If The Captain and Tennille, the people who famously assured us that love can keep us together, can’t make it in this crazy world then it begs the question: who can, really?
But after the pair of 1970s muskrat-love-song troubadours declared their 40 year marriage over just this week, gossip sites began to raise questions about the nature of the divorce: did couple really fall out of love after a four decade affair, or did they suddenly find the need to to declare their earnings were just a little bit less?
The Captain, whose real name is Daryl Dragon (seriously, when your name is “Dragon,” “The Captain” seems like a demotion) has been struggling with a neurological disorder that resembles Parkinson’s since the mid-1990s, and according to the couple’s website, his condition is so dire, he’s even been receiving experimental treatments, leading at least a few people to question whether it’s Medicare, and not an internal breakdown, that caused the demise of elevator music’s most powerful couple.
It’s not unheard of for couples facing health crises to divorce for solely financial reasons, so that the sicker spouse can deplete his or her assets and qualify for health-coverage help from Medicaid. No further details of the couple’s insurance situation were available, but it’s certainly possible that health-care costs are straining the marriage.
Tennille and Dragon are both Medicare-eligible, but Medicare doesn’t cover long-term rehabilitative therapy, nor does it cover most kinds of at-home nursing care or assisted living. The couple’s website also says that Dragon has received several kinds of neurological treatment that are in “clinical-trial mode”—which Medicare also sometimes balks at paying for.
Some kinds of insurance will cover costs like these, including Medigap policies and long-term care insurance. But for those products, insurers are allowed under some circumstances to charge higher premiums for those who have pre-existing conditions. (They aren’t covered by the provisions of Obamacare that prohibit such pricing strategies for most insurance sold to people under 65.)
Since California’s divorce law requires checking a box and not a detailed explanation, they don’t really need to provide any backstory as to why their marriage broke down. But by divorcing, the couple probably halves their income (depending on the settlement agreement, of course), which means that while they may only get scant coverage from Medicare now for Daryl’s disease, if he runs out his savings, he can qualify for greater coverage, which might be subject to Medicare’s restrictions, but would be a lot easier on Daryl’s pocketbook than, say, paying for an at-home caregiver out-of-pocket.
Someone will get this exclusive interview, no doubt. But if it’s true, perhaps the most epic tragedy of the introduction of Obamacare won’t be a non-working website.