Traditionally, when one spouse was the only source of healthcare benefits, it could be difficult for the other spouse to move forward with plans to divorce. However, as healthcare laws have changed, some spouses are finding they have options they may not have had a year ago. Any Pennsylvania spouse who has postponed or been unable to divorce due to the status of their healthcare benefits may be interested to know their newly expanded options.
In the past, if a spouse wanted to keep healthcare benefits, they could do so for a limited time through COBRA. Once COBRA ran out, they were typically left without health insurance unless they got insurance through an employer or remarried. Now, even if they choose to rely on COBRA, once it runs out they can buy into a plan on their own even if they have a preexisting conditions that would have prevented them from doing so previously.
With the inception of the Affordable Care Act, those who divorce and find they are uninsured can look into independent plans if they wish, rather than remain uninsured. In the past, some people would have to work the cost of health insurance into a divorce settlement. Some also felt the need to bargain away rights to keep insurance.
Healthcare benefits used to be a common point of contention or sticking point for some couples as they tried to dissolve their marriage. However, with the new options out there, Pennsylvania couples can go about filing for divorce without health insurance benefits needing to be a primary issue. Taking insurance out of the equation during the negotiations can help all parties move on quicker and with fewer concessions than they may have had to make a year ago.
Source: philly.com, Insurance no longer may hinder divorce, Robert Calandra, March 2, 2014