In the 1950’s it was common for a husband to be the breadwinner for his family and for a wife to stay at home to care for the children, but how much of that traditional stereotype persists today? In divorces, the traditional view of marriage creates assumptions such as “husbands are ordered to pay spousal support more often than wives” and “women are more often awarded custody of the children”. A study conducted by the University of Michigan tends to show that these old traditions and stereotypical roles may still endure today.
According to the study conducted by the University of Michigan, each year approximately 115,000 women are left without health insurance following a divorce. Additionally, two years after their initial divorce, the health insurance rate for divorced women remains low. Many health insurance companies allow employees who receive health insurance benefits to claim their spouses as dependents for insurance purposes. This allows the employee to obtain health insurance on behalf of his or her spouse through his or her employer. However, upon divorce, employees are generally not permitted to claim former spouses as dependents. Therefore, any divorcé formerly covered by his or her spouse’s health insurance must find new coverage.
The intriguing part of the University of Michigan study is that so many women, not men, are left without health insurance following divorce. Does this mean that men are typically still the breadwinners in modern marriages? The study also noted that even employed women had a difficult time maintaining health insurance through their employers. Because of the financial difficulties that can come with divorce, many women had to sacrifice paying health insurance premiums in order to pay for basic necessities.
As the traditional stereotype perpetrates, women tend to work part time jobs in order to be available to care for the children. These lower paying part time jobs tend not to offer health insurance. According to the study, the greatest population of women at risk for losing health insurance coverage is women in moderate-income families. This is because higher-earning women can afford to keep paying health insurance premiums in addition to household bills following divorce.
It still remains unseen how the Affordable Care Act will impact the trend of divorced women losing their health insurance coverage. The Affordable Care Act has a number of provisions specifically designed to provide assistance to women so it may counteract some of the damage of divorce.
Please contact us if you are considering a divorce from your spouse, a legal separation, or have questions regarding child custody and visitation. Nancy J. Bickford is the only lawyer in San Diego County representing clients in divorces, who is a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) and who is actively licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Don’t settle for less when determining your rights. Call 858-793-8884 in Del Mar, Carmel Valley, North County or San Diego.