Divorce to Save Money on Health Insurance?

Healthcare expenses | Charleston, SC | The Peck Law Firm

Divorce is not something that most people take lightly. It’s a process that is challenging and sometimes heartbreaking, particularly when undergone without the help of an experienced Charleston divorce attorney.

People end their marriages for a variety of reasons, whether because of a specific cause—like infidelity—or general unhappiness.

Now a new divorce question has arisen: will happily married couples get divorced if it means they can save a significant amount of money?

The answer to that question, surprisingly, is: “Yes.” MSN reports that some married couples are considering a divorce because of the hidden “marriage penalty” in Obamacare.

According to MSN, “Childless couples and empty nesters pay more” for health insurance under the new law.

Obamacare offers subsidies, but only for married couples that earn less than $62,040. In contrast, single people can earn up to $45,960 and still be eligible for an Obamacare health insurance subsidy.  This means that unmarried couples can make a significantly higher amount than married couples—nearly $30,000—and still receive subsidies. Faced with this financial reality, some Charleston couples may choose to get divorced and then resume living together as a means to save a significant amount of money on their health insurance costs.

Why is there a discrepancy? The subsidies were designed to help single parents and struggling families with children, not married couples. Obamacare’s subsidies are not unlike many other government programs, including the tax code, that penalize married couples with similar earnings.

For some married couples, particularly those that live in more expensive areas, like Charleston, Daniel Island, Isle of Palms, Mount Pleasant, and Sullivan’s Island, increased healthcare expenses could cause serious financial difficulties, making divorce a tempting option.

The marriage penalty in Obamacare, says Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, “is basically hostile to the institution of marriage.”

Sadly, he may be right. Marriage penalties in government programs encourage financially strapped spouses to divorce, and the same penalties discourage other Charleston couples from getting married.

If you are facing challenges in your marriage and considering a divorce, please call me at 843-800-2928. As an experienced Charleston divorce and child custody lawyer, I am here to listen and help you.