Glenn and I live in Georgia, which is not a marriage equality state. After 35 years of being together, we finally were able to get married in Washington DC on January 2. We've both felt for the first time that we're finally a part of something much larger that we've been barred from. Just doing taxes is a whole different feel. Next year we'll be filing married, jointly, for the first time.
Last Sunday, I was excited to hear via NPR that insurance companies must now cover same sex spouses (legally married) for family coverage, regardless of the state they live in:
What insurers offer to spouses in a traditional marriage, they must make available to same-sex couples, the federal government said Friday.After some digging, I was surprised to find that little has been made of it. I've done a search but haven't found a related dKos diary.
The change means that same-sex couples, who haven't been able to buy family health policies, will be able to do so now.
Hence this diary, which may be of lesser interest for same sex spouses who live in the states with marriage equality. For us, who live in Georgia, and other unfriendly states, it may be quite important. Even the University of Georgia, which has tried for years to get coverage on domestic partnerships, has not been able to succeed in that. The last attempt, last year, got through the Board of Regents, but was rejected by the state legislature and governer.
Briefly, and I'll quote from my husband Glenn's letter to University of Georgia Human Resources, inquiring on the matter:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), issued guidance on Friday 14 March 2014 regarding family medical coverage of married same-sex spouses under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It clearly applies to group plans and couples regardless of the state in which they live.From the NPR segment, here's the FAQ on the CMS guidelines:
To summarize, it looks like
1. Insurance companies must offer coverage to married spouses, regardless of gender and (especially!) regardless of the state they live in.
2. This does not appear to me to be limited to insurance policies obtained from the exchange through healthcare.gov.
3. Policies grandfathered (since ACA passage?) are exempt.
4. This addresses only legally married couples and not domestic partnerships or civil unions.
All this is just my own interpretation, but the FAQ linked to above seems to agree. The foundation for all of this is, of course, the Supreme Court rejection of Section 3 of DOMA.
So am I over reaching here in my reaction?