Does the Affordable Care Act Encourage Divorce?
Could implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) lead to an increase in divorce rates? Here are some compelling why this could be a distinct possibility. For starters? Given the high cost of healthcare, it’s no surprise that some individuals stay in unhappy marriages, or attempt to delay divorce, as a way to keep health insurance coverage through their spouse for as long as possible. However, if the health exchanges established through the ACA are successful in providing a greater number of affordable post-divorce health care options, it appears to remove this barrier.
Secondly? Health insurance can have a bearing on the need for spousal support/alimony, with one spouse having to include enough support to cover these expenses. The Affordable Care Act could in theory potentially lower the amount of spousal support if health insurance becomes cheaper.
And one last reason? For couples without children, getting a divorce may be a way to save money on health insurance premiums. For a married couple in New Jersey, for example, the annual premium for health insurance is about $12,000. In some cases, couples can save over $400 a month by divorcing and having separate insurance; individual premiums are only about $4300 per calendar year. In a strange twist, it really does seem more financially feasible to have an individual health insurance plan than it is to have a joint one with a spouse. Got kids? The ACA’s family insurance plans, which are on a different scale, and often do benefit families of three or more.