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New study says divorced women often lose health insurance

Connecticut Divorce Lawyer

On behalf of Law Offices of Piazza, Simmons & Grant, L.L.C. posted in Divorce on Wednesday, March 7, 2012.

Married women in Stamford, Connecticut, may want to pay attention to the results of a new study from the University of Michigan. According to the report about 16 percent of women lose health insurance within six months of a divorce. They then can go without it for two years or more. The study looked at 11 years of census data. Connecticut Divorce Lawyer

This can have many serious implications for a newly divorced woman. Women with the highest risk of losing their insurance coverage were those who were insured under a plan tied to their former husbands. According to the lead researcher on the project, approximately 25 percent of these women find themselves uninsured within months of the divorce.

This could contribute to lowered income levels found in recently divorced women, but it could also stem from reduced income, leaving a divorced woman unable to purchase coverage. Other research has shown that many women suffer a serious decline in economic well-being after a divorce. Paying full cost for health services could be part of this decline. Due to this decline, some women may be unable to afford health insurance for themselves, turning this situation into a vicious cycle.

The recent report did not look at the effects of divorce on the health insurance status of men, but other research has indicated that men do not suffer as harsh of a financial decline as women. The lead researcher said that men are less likely to be insured under a spouse’s health plan, so it is likely that the effects of divorce on men’s health insurance are much less substantial.

One way that a woman who is worried about a loss of income or health insurance coverage can address this is to negotiate a prenuptial agreement before a marriage. That way, issues such as maintaining coverage until a new plan is affordable can be addressed.

Source: Public Radio International, “Research shows after divorce, women more likely than men to lose health insurance,” Feb. 17, 2012

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