‘After Divorce, Many Women Lose Health Insurance’

11.14.2012, 4:46 PM

From Daniel Akst at the WSJ blog:

Shedding light on the issues of divorce and health care, a new University of Michigan study estimates that 65,000 American women become uninsured each year as a result of marital dissolution.

Indeed, among married women who had health insurance and then divorced, 17 percent were uninsured six months later. There was also a big shift among divorced women from private insurance to public insurance, such as Medicaid. After divorce an estimated 115,000 women each year lose private coverage, the study reported, but many are bailed out by government programs…

note from Elizabeth: the “bailed out by government programs” language is your tip off that the story appears in the WSJ :)

4 Responses to “‘After Divorce, Many Women Lose Health Insurance’”

  1. Diane M says:

    This is one reason I favor a system where everyone is insured through the taxes and you choose an insurance program. (And you train more doctors to drive down the price.)

    But, barring that, would it make sense to require husbands or wives to keep their spouse on a health insurance plan?

  2. marilynn says:

    I for one am happy to put money into the infrastructure that I get so much out of. that is what medicaid is for – it’s there for us during periods of emergency when we have no other coverage. Maybe that is only a year, maybe its 10 years but I’m glad that it’s there so women and men don’t have to be deadlocked into some horrible marriage for fear of going without medical insurance or food or whatever. I’m happy this is a good thing there is that coverage. Years ago those women might have had no other choice but to stay married.

    I pay for the fire department and I’ve never had a fire. Can’t tell you when the last time I visited the library was. My kid goes to public school and I walk on paved streets and have clean drinking water and I don’t care who else drinks that clean water even if they don’t pay for it go ahead and have some. So good for us for having medicaid. America is a great place for all its faults. I am so happy to live where you don’t have to save up for an operation.

  3. Diane M says:

    I’m probably not going to be posting comments for a little while as I deal with some family issues. Just wanted to let everyone know so they don’t think anything offended me. (Although I’m in a mood where I’d probably post offensive things.)

    I just wanted to say with all my heart, though, that health insurance and the medical care you get should not depend on your marriage or your job. Our system kills.

  4. Matt N says:

    Diane: Best of luck with sorting things out. I frequently have to hit pause and walk away from the whole internet just so that I don’t do something I’ll later regret, so I know the feeling. About your last point though:

    I just wanted to say with all my heart, though, that health insurance and the medical care you get should not depend on your marriage or your job.

    This. Absolutely this. This is a major part of why there was a large debate within the LGBT* community prior to the recent pushes for legal recognition of same-sex marriage. By insisting that our families be included in the system so that many of us could have access to health insurance or other necessities would we be reinforcing the idea that through marriage or employment people gain the right to those services?

    I think ultimately the main advocacy groups decided that there were other more important issues about social inclusion and equality that mandated legally recognizing same-sex marriage independently from asking those hard questions. While I respect and understand their point, I think it’s important to not forget about the broader issue you just raised – why should the circumstances of your romantic life or employment determine your health care?