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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Women Often Lose Health Insurance Coverage After Divorce

Long-term marriage has been an endangered species for some time in our society.  Couples in the United States divorce at the rate of approximately one million times each year.

Divorce is Hell for both men and women.  Even in our post-modern society, however, women still seem to get the brunt of the pain.

According to a recent study published by the University of Michigan, approximately 115,000 women nationwide lose their health insurance coverage as a direct result of the divorce process.  Of these, some 65,000 never re-gain coverage.

The study was conducted by Bridget Lavelle, a UM sociology doctoral candidate.  Ms. Lavelle examined literature and data from survey respondents who divorced between the years 1996 and 2007.  The December issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior will feature the study.

Lavelle postulates that women's loss of health insurance benefits is not just a temporary disruption resulting from the divorce process.  Rather, she concludes that the loss of health insurance coverage for women is a long-term problem that compounds the economic losses of divorced women.

What's worse is that mid-income women have the greatest risk of loss of coverage because they do not qualify for Medicaid or other safety-net coverage options available to lower income divorcees.

We here at the Law Blogger wonder what effect Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act will have on this equation next year when everyone must carry insurance by mandate of federal law.

When facing a divorce, if you are at risk of losing your health insurance coverage, consider demanding some form of short-term alimony payments sufficient to cover the 3-year period of COBRA available from your spouse's employer.  Or, in the alternative, shop for comparable affordable health insurance.

The short-term alimony approach will at least cover women during the initial transition from marriage when, as posited by Ms. Lavelle, they are most at risk to lose health insurance coverage, and suffer even greater economic hardships as a result.

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Blogger John said...

Good post, Tim!

November 22, 2012 at 9:30 PM 
Blogger ezweb guru said...

Very interesting topic and thanks for great posting.

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November 29, 2012 at 11:13 PM 
Anonymous Personal Insurance MA said...

Unfortunately, many women rely on the insurance provided by their husbands. If there is a divorce, women loose this privileged. The divorce rates have been steady climbing in most major cities therefor the loss of health coverage for women have increased as a result.

December 4, 2012 at 10:02 AM 
Blogger William Martin said...

Nice blog with great information about health insurance.

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December 10, 2012 at 12:38 AM 
Blogger micheal clark said...

Great Post! It's very nice to read this info from someone that actually knows what they are talking about.Malibu Insurance

December 14, 2012 at 6:05 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting topic and thanks for great posting. Nice blog with great information about health insurance.

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January 30, 2013 at 3:48 AM 
Anonymous Health Insurance said...

I think it's extremely good advice for women to ask for additional alimony payments to cover their medical insurance when going through a divorce. Unfortunately, even in today's world it's typical for the husband to make more money and provide for the family. Therefore, with divorce rates so high, we are seeing the trend of women losing important things like health insurance.

April 15, 2013 at 1:59 PM 
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May 20, 2013 at 3:19 AM 

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