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Texas health insurance no longer holding up divorce

Leaving a marriage and filing for divorce in Plano may be easier today for spouses who are difficult to insure. Those who previously relied on their spouse's employer to provide their health care insurance can now apply for coverage under the Affordable Care Act markets.

Until recently, many people felt that they were unable to leave a marriage whether they wanted to or not. They were covered by a spouse's health insurance through work as part of a group policy that didn't discriminate against those with serious health concerns or pre-existing conditions. Leaving the marriage meant that either they would lose their health insurance with no viable options or be forced to negotiate away some other important assets just to keep it.

Those over the age of 50 but not yet old enough for Medicare have been most affected, as finding affordable individual health coverage was previously very expensive. With that age group, pre-existing conditions are common. With the advent of the ACA, more adults are able to find coverage that is reasonable, and no one can be turned away regardless of any illness or disease they may be living with. The new options include COBRA as well. One can remain on an existing employer-provided health insurance plan for as many as three years while they look for a new policy. While COBRA charges the full cost of the premiums plus an additional fee, older adults may find it comparable in price to insurance found through the ACA market. Younger adults may find it less expensive to leave COBRA and sign up for an ACA policy.

In heavily contested divorces, health care insurance is frequently part of the reason that the parties can't come to an agreement. The ACA individual health care marketplace makes it possible to take health insurance off the bargaining table in a divorce. If one has questions about how health insurance will be affected in a divorce, he or she may wish to consult with a family law attorney.

Source: Philly.com, "Insurance no longer may hinder divorce", Robert Calandra, March 03, 2014

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