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Divorce causes loss of health insurance for Nevada women

A new divorce study has found that a startlingly large number of women lose their private health insurance coverage every year after divorcing their husbands. Although women who do not work or who hold one or more part-time jobs are generally more likely to become uninsured after divorce, women who work full-time and hold their own employer-provided health insurance coverage are not immune.

In the study, researchers analyzed nationally representative data on women aged 26 to 64 from the years. The data was collected between 1996 and 2007. Overall, researchers found that about 65,000 women lose all of their health insurance after divorce. Women who are insured under their husband’s employer-provided health insurance are the most prone to this loss, with about one-fourth of that group remaining uninsured at six months after the divorce becomes final.

Although that group is the most likely to become uninsured following a divorce, women with their own private health insurance prior to divorce are also at risk of losing that insurance after their split. Many women who struggle to pay for a long, pricy divorce and then adjust to a single-income lifestyle are forced to forego health insurance because of an inability to pay their insurance premiums.

Overall, it appears that middle-income women are the most prone to a loss of health insurance after divorce. High-income women are more likely to be able to fund their own insurance after a split, and low-income women tend to qualify for public assistance programs that help them remain insured.

Source: Science Codex, “Divorce costs thousands of women health insurance coverage,” Nov. 12, 2012

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