Size Does Matter

Since the dawn of time, women have been telling men that size doesn’t matter but, oh, how times have changed. Size does matter, at least when it comes to your benefits package.

These days, as you stroll out into the single scene, you just might want to dangle your group health insurance card as a tantalizing offering to the opposite sex. For maximum appeal, make sure the side with the co-pay amount is clearly visible.

That would be enough to capture the attention, and perhaps the heart, of Terri Carlson, the creator of the website: According to Ms. Carlson, her job does not offer health insurance. In anticipation of reaching the end of her COBRA benefits period, which is barely affordable itself, she has been seeking coverage in the individual market. Her chronic pre-existing condition has resulted in denials across the board. Most states allow insurers to deny coverage due to health reasons.

What’s a lady to do? Why, advertise for a husband, of course. Not just any husband, but one with a substantial benefits package that includes group coverage for a spouse. Of particular interest is the co-pay.

Is this woman for real? Whether or not she is, marrying for health insurance benefits is certainly not a new concept. A 2008 Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that seven percent of respondents said that they, or someone in their household, had decided to get married to obtain health insurance through their spouse… that was two years ago… and that was the seven percent who would admit it. One must assume that a lot of people would be rather reluctant to admit this as their reason for marrying.

Then there are the couples want to, but don’t marry, because a child who previously qualified for aid would lose it upon marriage, and the couple would be unable to afford it on their own; or those who divorce in order for one of them to qualify for Medicaid; or miserable couples who stay together to avoid the fate of the uninsured.

Rising unemployment and the difficulty encountered in the individual market are contributing the the rising tide of uninsured. Those with pre-existing conditions are at particular risk, with both their health and their financial stability — meaning keeping a roof over your head, food on the table, and clothes on your back — hanging in the balance.

It’s hard to blame folks for trying to survive the inhumane and antiquated maze of red tape we refer to as our “health care system.”

So if you’re on the market for a mate, a large benefits package just may make you the most popular single in town.

“In sickness and in health” is taking on a whole new meaning.

Related reading on Care2:

Remove Marriage Penalty Against People with Disabilities

Bad Marriage Affects Women’s Health

Multiple Sclerosis in the Marriage



Elaine Dixon
Elaine Dixon7 years ago

i am just happy that I was able to get insurance through my husband being disabled military or I would have not had anything and with kidney problems which can be costly, I am happy that I got it...

Ruth Barrett
Ruth Barrett7 years ago

The Australian public health system isn't perfect, but I'm amazed that the richest country in the world puts up with theirs.

Hester Goedhart
Eternal Gardener7 years ago

What an outrageously inhumane system, unite and protest, don't put up with it.

Heather B.
Past Member 7 years ago

Thanks for the article, Ann. Awhile back I updated my mental list for my dream man to include health insurance.

Kathy T.
Kathy T7 years ago

I believe that possibly some people would marry for health insurance as hospital procedures and doctors are expensive. It would be a big help to these people who may have a part time job; or a job without insurance. And maybe they are in love. There are a few reasons to marry. Security is a byproduct of insurance to them.

Roxanne N.
Roxanne N7 years ago

I don't know, people marry for all sorts of reasons. They marry for security, for companionship, for money, because they want a family, for love, for status, to be able to stay in a foreign country legally, etc. So why not health insurance?

In some cases, it is merely an arrangement that both parties are aware of and each derive some benefit. In others, they may truly mesh into a loving relationship.

I really don't see anything wrong with marrying someone for benefits. It is the sad state of affairs in the US, that for some people, like the woman in the article who has an illness, she has run out of options. She probably can't afford to pay out of pocket, is too young for Medicare, and earns too much for Medicaid. I suppose she can look for another job with benefits, but I guess she is looking into all options.

For those who are critical of her--I imagine that you have not been in that situation. I have a friend right now who needs a lung transplant due to a congenital heart condition, and she has been through the ringer with losing coverage, being unable to get any, etc. I'm sure she would jump at the option of marrying for health insurance!

Odile M.
Odile M7 years ago

I have the best way....
I am an American who married a Canadian and live in Canada.
I married him for love and still love hime, BUT the Health
Insurance coverage is a wonderful part of the package....

Robert B.
Robert B7 years ago


Mia E.
Maria E7 years ago

I feel this is so pathetic, I can understand why

"Denise L. says
Thank goodness I'm Canadian!"