“ There's nothing in the rules that says you can't get divorced for Medicaid”…first it was getting married for insurance benefits and now it’s getting divorced for Medicaid.  image

Healthcare is starting to erode a lot of ethics here, and all due to money.  If this doesn’t point out that we have one messed up system today, I don’t know what does, and this is not related to just seniors, it revolves around getting the medications and care one needs, and with a dual or large enough income, even though at poverty levels, it’s too much income to have any care provided under Medicaid.  This one story is sad about a couple married for 50 years to get a dissolution over being able to have her cancer drugs and therapy and due to the circumstances the judge approved the petition. 

Just think of the other implications this has too, some it may not bother if married for many years and there is a good solid marriage, but it can other non positive effects too and create additional issues, what if there are young children involved too, is this what we are teaching our kids today that marriage and divorce is not predicated on love and commitment but rather on insurance and being able to afford healthcare instead?  BD 

imageNearly 50 years later, following two children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, the couple divorced, for no other reason than that they couldn't afford the costs of Emily's weekly $2,800 chemotherapy treatments for terminal bone cancer. After learning from a friend that by dissolving their marriage Emily could qualify for Medicaid, the couple walked into a drugstore, picked up a guidebook on dissolutions and then marched into an Ohio courthouse in February 2005, their $75 divorce petition in hand.

Divorce, if only on paper, was always a last resort, said Friece, a 72-year-old retired truck driver who moved to Silver Springs following his wife's death two years ago. "She would cry about it. She didn't want to do it but I told her, she had no choice. She was getting worse and worse, and finally she agreed to it," he said. "After it was done, it was done. I took care of her up until the very end."

The Frieces are part of a small but growing number of elderly or low-income couples who have felt the need to dissolve their marriage in order to qualify for government-funded health coverage for a sick spouse.

"When we got divorced, she got food stamps and medical assistance," Rowley, 55, said. "All medications were free and she got to go to Gainesville for MRIs."

Medical costs force couples to divorce | Ocala.com | Star-Banner | Ocala, FL


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