The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Monday that federal courts, prisons, and programs would treat married same-sex spouses indiscriminately, granting them the same recognition and privileges as heterosexual married couples. In some states, however, the motion fails to address major discrepancies in healthcare and other important areas.
Do State Laws Promote Unfair Treatment?
NPR explains current policies: “On the one hand, federal rules say that legally married same-sex couples should be treated the same as opposite-sex couples when it comes to determining eligibility for premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies that reduce the cost of marketplace plans.” The decisions leave troubling holes, however. “But when it comes to defining family for health insurance purposes, there’s no clear federal definition. The decision is left up to the states. Moreover, if state law doesn’t spell out what family or spouse mean for insurance purposes, insurers generally have flexibility to make those determinations themselves,” NPR adds.
Insurers are taking advantage of this lack of clarity to deny same-sex couples family plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, for example, originally postponed plans to address same-sex marriages in their healthcare plans until a public outcry pressured them to reconsider their decision. CEO Brad Wilson apologized in a statement: “We should have more thoughtfully considered this decision, with full appreciation of the impact it would have on same-sex married couples and domestic partners. We’re sorry we failed to do so.”
Same-Sex Married Couples Entitled to Legal Recourse
Family law specialists, including collaborative family lawyers and family divorce lawyers, no longer discriminate against same-sex couples. Same-sex couples can schedule family lawyer free consultations if they believe they have been wrongfully denied a family healthcare plan, for example.
Don’t let insurance carriers and other establishments strip you of legally guaranteed rights. Talk to a family lawyer or a family divorce lawyer if you believe that you — or your spouse — is being wronged by a company or institution. Learn more at this link.