Joel Ario Discusses Health Insurance Options for Divorced People

Insurance No Longer May Hinder Divorce
– Philadelphia Inquirer

Manatt's Joel Ario, a managing director with Manatt Health Solutions, spoke to the Philadelphia Inquirer about handling health insurance coverage during a divorce.

As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, married people once reluctant to divorce for fear of losing health insurance coverage now have more options available. Industry insiders told the newspaper that the Affordable Care Act is already significantly diminishing the value of health insurance as a negotiating tool. When divorce was inevitable before the ACA, the only strategy left for an attorney whose client didn't have health coverage was to trade a valuable asset for help with insurance. Spouses could also receive health insurance through a law known as COBRA. The cost of policies varied based on the employer. In all cases, the individual was responsible for paying the full cost of the insurance premium plus a fee of up to two percent. COBRA covered 36 months, after which anyone under 65 had to find an individual policy.

The same COBRA rules still apply today. The difference is that when COBRA runs out, people have more plans to choose from on the ACA marketplace.

Ario told the newspaper that comparing COBRA and plans on the marketplace makes sense.

Dollar for dollar, COBRA may be a better buy for some people, especially those between 50 and 64 or people with health issues.

"If you're younger, it may be wiser to go on the marketplace," Ario said. "So someone younger may pay less on the market for the same or similar benefits they can get with COBRA, especially if they are going to receive a subsidy. But once you pass your mid-40s the difference is break-even. As you get into your 50s the prices on the ACA exchange get higher."

Read the article here