Your Health 11-16-12 Health Insurance for women after divorce

The end of a marriage means the end of health insurance coverage for hundreds of women.

New research shows each year in the United States about 115,000 women lose their private health insurance after a divorce.

University of Michigan researchers analyzed national data from 1996 through 2007 on women ages 26 to 64.

They also found that about 65,000 U.S. women a year lose all health insurance coverage in the months following divorce.

Researchers say, many of these women are unable to keep private coverage because they no longer qualify as dependents under their husbands' health insurance plans, or they have difficulty paying private insurance premiums.

And even for women with their own employer-based coverage, financial difficulties may make it hard for them to be able to afford their share of the employer-based coverage.

In most cases, divorced women may not be eligible for Medicaid or other public insurance.

The findings appear in the December issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.#