The Affordable Care Act may take some of the worry out of divorce

When it comes to divorce, health care concerns are a top priority for some Missouri residents. Especially in cases where spouses were together for a long time and one relied on the other to be covered by their employer-sponsored health care coverage. In fact, it is not unheard of for one spouse to end up dropped from coverage after a divorce, but then unable to afford coverage on their own.

However, looking to the very near future, when the Affordable Care Act is implemented across the U.S., it could end up having a big impact on those going through a divorce.

For example, let’s say a husband and wife has been married for 15 years. In this scenario, the wife is the one with the full-time job who provides financially for the family. The husband is a stay-at-home dad. Due to their family arrangement, the father has been busy caring for his children and put aside his own career aspirations. This husband is also relying on his wife in terms of being on her health care plan.

If the two were to divorce, and the father is not age 65 — the qualifying age for Medicare — he could find himself uninsured. Even if he were to go back to work, there is no guarantee he would be offered health insurance or that he would be able to afford his own plan.

In this type of scenario though, under the Affordable Care Act, the father would be able to get insurance.

In general, this could end up taking a lot of the fear out of divorce.

However, people should keep in mind that things like the government tax credit going toward insurance coverage could end up playing a role in how much an ex-spouse receives in alimony payments.

Source:, “Obamacare could ease divorce’s financial sting,” Elizabeth O’Brien, Sept. 25, 2013

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