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The Affordable Care Act may make divorce easier

Until recently, the best that many New Jersey citizens getting a divorce could do for individual health plans was thanks to a federal law called COBRA. This law allowed divorcing spouses to continue their health insurance coverage on their ex's employee-sponsored plan after divorce. COBRA benefits last for 36 months and require enrollees to pay the full cost of the insurance premium without the help of the employer, which often made the premiums too expensive for divorcees.

Until the recent approval of the Affordable Care Act, it was not always possible for someone to buy insurance on the individual market; someone who had recently gone through a divorce was often required to seek out employment in order to prevent the interruption of their health insurance coverage. This could at times be a difficult proposition, particularly for those over the age of 50 - and, as it happens, this is the demographic that often has pre-existing medical conditions.

According to several family law attorneys, these considerations were often cited as reasons for reluctance in pursuing a divorce. By providing more options in its marketplace and requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, the Affordable Care Act may be removing these understandable concerns from people's minds and making divorce a little bit simpler in the process. Life after divorce can be challenging for some, but a little planning and forethought before the separation is finalized may help someone avoid the potential obstacles and achieve the fresh start they desire.

Since everyone's circumstances are different, it is often necessary for someone going through a divorce to have a plan tailored to their specific needs. A family law attorney may help those planning divorce figure out what options they will have after the separation for their health insurance.

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

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