Insurance Equality For Same Sex Couples

Certain Companies Offer Insurance Benefits for Domestic Partnerships

While the subject of gay marriage is heavily debated in headlines across the country, what many fail to realize is the debate and importance of health coverage among those in domestic partnerships and gay marriages. Many homosexual couples are unable to retain joint healthcare plans, but some large companies have changed their policies to include those in domestic partnerships.

Companies like Expedia, Walgreens, Target, Starbucks and Gap are now offering insurance options that include domestic partners. Brandon Cruz of notes, “There is a lot happening in our country surrounding the issue of gay marriage and equality. Joint health insurance is something that many people take for granted. With the recent news of Washington passing a gay marriage bill and California overturning the ban on same-sex marriage, the issue of health coverage is going to come to light. I foresee a lot more companies offering coverage options for domestic partnerships in the near future.” Currently seven states have legalized same-sex marriages (New York, Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and soon-to-be Washington) which would allow couples to take advantage of their spouse’s health care.

However if you find yourself exploring your options for health insurance coverage while your in a domestic partnership, there are some things to keep in mind.

Look into your state’s policy. Currently, there is no national definition of what it means to be in a domestic partnership, and therefore the definition is determined on a state-by-state basis. Education equals empowerment, and with the right information, you can be sure that you are getting the right benefits for you and your partner.

Evidence of partnership is almost always required. There are some ways to prove a domestic partnership. Couples might be able to receive a domestic partnership certificate, but in other cases one might be asked to share receipts, leases or bills- anything that can prove the couple shares fiscal responsibilities together.

Do your homework. By now, most people know that all health insurance companies are not created equal, and neither is every health plan. Do some research online and look throughout in order to learn more about what plan is right for you and your partner.

Marriage and health insurance
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February 2012
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