Finally, in our series on divorce for those over the age of fifty: healthcare.
While private health insurance is an option, many of those over the age of 65 will find themselves turning to Medicare and Medicaid. You may qualify for Medicare as the divorced spouse of a worker if you were married for at least ten years, are still unmarried (or remarried after age 60), and are NOT eligible for Social Security benefits on your own that are greater than half of the benefits payable on account of your ex.
Medicaid, on the other hand, is only available to those who are low-income. Depending on the financial outcome of your divorce agreements, you may qualify. As such, it is important to consider whether it may be more economically practical to take less spousal support if it is more important that you remain eligible for Medicaid.
Also, it is important that you make sure that your living will, your medical power of attorney, and durable power of attorney are in the hands of a trusted friend or family member. Often people depend on their spouse for end-of-life decisions, and you will need to re-execute new ones if this is the case.
[This and the rest of the series was based on information obtained from “The 50+ Divorce Handbook, produced by Family Advocate magazine. For more detail, visit them at www.abanet.org/family/advocate/client.html]