For many years before 2014, a simple thing held up divorces: health insurance. Because of spiraling healthcare costs, many couples were held together by the fact that the spouse without insurance would be left financially destitute post-divorce. That left many bad marriages from going their natural route of ending.
This year, however, is the first with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which changes that dynamic forever. For those that don't know, the Affordable Care Act makes health insurance mandatory for everyone in the United States, but also less costly and changes the rules for things like pre-existing conditions (insurers can't increase cost based on them) and allows parents to keep their children on their plans until age 26.
Now that the ACA is law, and insurance is made readily more available for people who would've been charged exorbitant rates otherwise, in divorces they aren't the bargaining chip the once were. For years, there would be a lot of negotiating between parties and concessions made all around insurance. This story from Margaret Klaw, a partner in the Philadelphia firm of Berner Klaw & Watson, is a perfect example.
"Several years ago, Klaw had a gravely ill client whose wife wanted a divorce. The wife's job provided the family's health insurance. To keep her client covered, Klaw, with her client's approval, offered major financial concessions if the woman would stay married for eight more years.
The woman agreed. The couple signed a divorce settlement that included a clause that said if the woman remarried within the eight-year time frame, she would continue to pay for her ex-husband's health insurance.
"He had to make serious concessions to get that," she said."
Insurance no longer may hinder divorce (philly.com)