Strategic Divorce

They probably had to commit perjury to get their divorce.

Their marriage isn’t irretrievably broken. They don’t have irreconcilable differences.

But they probably had to swear that one or the other applies. Because they desperately need a divorce.

The Husband has cancer and doesn’t have private medical insurance coverage.

They couldn’t afford it at $900 per month. Now they couldn’t get it at any price.

They tried for Medicaid insurance coverage, furnished to the indigent at government expense.

But, although they were too poor for private medical insurance, they were too rich for publicly subsidized medical insurance.

He had to move out of their family home. He had to stop working, except a few hours per week to cover the barest of necessities.

He wasted (technically, spent down, as required) his meager assets.

And only then, as an indigent single man, could he finally qualify for Medicaid insurance coverage in Indiana – and obtain the treatment for cancer that he needed to live.

To qualify for Medicaid in Indiana, a couple must live on less than $1,000 per month after medical expenses.

By the time Husband qualified, he had already incurred about $40,000 in medical debt. So he’ll probably have to file for bankruptcy anyway when he gets well.

Strategic divorce serves two critical purposes:

  1. it enables the spouse in need of medical care to qualify for Medicaid medical insurance coverage as an indigent single person and
  2. it protects the other spouse’s estate from claims by the government for reimbursement of its expenses for the spouse who needed care.

State laws often permit Medicaid eventually to recoup its expenses from the estate of the spouse who didn’t need care, as well as from the estate of the spouse who did receive care.

There reportedly are more and more people like this couple.

Read more in this Ft. Wayne [IN] Journal Gazette article: Couple divorce to afford cancer treatment.