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Does the uncertain future of health care leave divorce in limbo?

Life is rarely as simple as black and white; there are innumerable shades of gray. Once a New Jersey resident has made up his or her mind to divorce, anything that may hamper one's decision can be frustrating. One area that is causing uncertainty for some people is the lack of information over what might replace the Affordable Care Act.

This country is one of the few where health insurance is usually tied to employment and sometimes also to one's marital status. The Affordable Care Act, which came into force in 2014, was designed to protect those who would lose the benefit of a spouse's health care policy in the event of divorce. It ensured that coverage would be available to all individuals, and that pre-existing conditions would not result in higher premiums. Before this Act came into being, it was estimated that around 115,000 women were affected in this way each year.

For many years, divorced individuals have been entitled to continue health coverage for a limited period on their ex's plan under COBRA. Once that period expired, however, one had to have an alternative in place in order to remain insured. The ACA allowed individuals to continue receiving therapy or regular medication without having to worry about how it would be covered. With the uncertainty over what will replace the ACA, some couples feel as though they have no choice but to put divorce plans on hold.

As with any other costs that will arise as part of divorce, health coverage can form part of the negotiations. New Jersey residents may choose to offset them against property or other assets. Good record-keeping can assist in the calculation of these and any other future costs, and seeking appropriate advice will help one to move forward in a positive manner.

Source:, "People Are Stalling Their Divorce So They Don't Lose Health Care", Elizabeth O'Brien, July 24, 2017

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  • Best Readers Choice Awards Of Essex | 2018
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