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Health Insurance and the Divorce Litigant

In divorces, a frequent area of concern in the courts in Louisville is what happens with regard to health insurance.  A person previously covered under an employment plan offered by their spouse's employer generally comes to find that the 18 month continuation of COBRA benefits is so costly as to be impossible to obtain.  Compounding the difficulties for the older divorce litigant is the problem of insurance underwriting on policies for those who are sailing headlong through middle age - they may not qualify for coverage, and even if they do, the product that is offered is expensive and inadequate for the needs of the litigant.  When this occurs, a regular market based policy solution (if available at all) is as financially out of reach as the COBRA benefit, and has far reaching impacts on issues of spousal maintenance.

While the Affordable Care Act may bring some relief for both spouses in the midst of a dissolution of a long term marriage, in the near term, it is best to anticipate that the insurance market mechanisms will continue to confound smart solutions to the issue of medical care for the middle aged. In Kentucky, this is a somewhat more acute problem than it is in other states, as there are fewer high skill/professional jobs that provide benefits to men and women alike. This can seriously impact the health and well being of women past childbearing years, inasmuch as there are serious impediments to finding and funding decent coverage.

These issues cannot be left to chance; omitted issues of health coverage can impact maintenance and could be used as justification to reopen a divorce case previously thought resolved.  Divorcing couples should seek the advice of an experienced domestic practitioner, one who knows that the issue must be addressed.

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