Couple Considers Divorce Due to Obamacare

Published 11/07 2013 06:05PM

Updated 11/09 2013 03:16PM

NEW YORK -- Imagine getting a divorce to pay less in healthcare. One New York couple will likely choose that path now that Obamacare is available.

It would be unthinkable for most couples, but a man and woman in New York say they can't ignore the money they'll save by un-tying the knot.

Nona Willis-Aronowitz and Aaron Cassara's love affair began in 2008 at a party.

"We kissed on a bean bag chair,” says Aronowitz.
A year later, it grew into a marriage at City Hall in Manhattan.

"It was really sudden,” says Aronowitz. “It was basically because he needed health insurance and I had a job that would give that to him."

Four years later, there's now irony in the fact the couple could soon divorce for the same reason.

"After Obamacare has rolled out, we realized that we would save thousands of dollars if we got divorced," says Aronowitz.

Together as only a family of two, the couple makes more than the $62,000 level to qualify for subsidies under Obamacare.

But if they lived together, unmarried as individuals, they qualify for the subsidies and potentially could save hundreds of dollars a month.

"It's really complicated,” says Aronowitz. “Go on the website and you'll see what I mean."

Aronowitz, a freelance writer, and her husband, who works as a freelancer in the film industry, lost their health coverage recently when she was laid off.

Critics of the Affordable Care Act have called the pricey decision the couple faces the "marriage penalty."
But, the income levels for subsidies were set by Congress.

"I'm an educated, very well plugged in person and I can't figure it out,” says Aronowitz.

Aronowitz says she and her husband are deeply in love, but together were never the "marrying type."  Still, they say they're not taking the decision ahead of them lightly.

"In our case, it would be worth it,” says Aronowitz. “In other people's cases, where marriage is really, really important to them and they had this big wedding and it was this sacred experience, I think it would be a really tough decision for them."
The couple is looking at other health options before making the divorce decision.

By 2014, Aronowitz will have to come up with some kind of health insurance plan or face paying a penalty.  That penalty is low the first year but increases as time goes on.

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