But unlike the overall partnered or married population, this dependent coverage disadvantage did not lead to significantly higher uninsurance rates in the employed group. They offer the same benefits to opposite-sex partners that they do to same-sex partners: Now that same-sex marriage is legal in every state, more employees will add their same-sex partners to their health plans. In re Marriage Cases. Hence, legal reforms, at both the federal and state levels, to marriage eligibility and recognition laws, tax laws, and insurance regulations have the potential to affect the health coverage of same-sex couples. The Appendix is available by clicking on the Appendix link in the box to the right of the article online. Domestic partner benefits were originally based on the idea that employees with same-sex partners were disadvantaged relative to those with opposite-sex partners, due to the fact that same-sex marriage was not recognized under applicable state law.
The number of unmarried people reporting themselves to the Census as domestic partners is rising quickly, passing 13 million in ; about 1. While no federal law explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has taken the position that discrimination against gay or lesbian employees is forbidden as sex discrimination by the Civil Rights Act of Georges Benjamin in a statement. GAO; Report no. Some employees are likely to find this a deterrent. In our efforts to rebuild economic strength and security in the United States, it is important to consider the role of public policies in unfairly disadvantaging some minority classes of individuals and their families, and to recognize society's interest in righting the balance of who bears those costs. The authors take full responsibility for the final paper. Unpublished data from reinterviews of a subset of the California survey respondents suggest that this is a reasonable assumption. Employers should also review their procedures with respect to withholding and taxation of benefits provided to same-sex spouses to ensure proper federal and state tax treatment. The majority of unmarried people live with other people in a web of important relationships. First, it falls short of the standard set by other employers. However, again allowing same-sex couples to marry in California still would not remove the federal taxation of benefits for a same-sex spouse. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act did not include the Tax Equity for Domestic Partners and Health Plan Beneficiaries Act, a still-pending bill that would end the federal taxation of health insurance benefits for domestic partners and same-sex spouses. This dependent coverage disparity by sexual orientation is the source of half of the uninsurance gap for all lesbians and a substantial source of the uninsurance gap for partnered lesbians and gay men in both the overall population and among employees. Contributor Information Ninez A. They work, they partner, and they create families. Employers without DP benefits are at a competitive disadvantage. That's not to say, however, all employers with the benefit will drop it. Supplementary Material Click here to view. Delta Air Lines and Verizon Communications, for example, have already begun eliminating those options. For example, the year after Arizona voters amended the state constitution to limit marriage to heterosexual couples, a new state law ended health coverage for domestic partners of state employees. Solomon said it can also save money administratively. Now that same-sex marriage is legal in every state, more employees will add their same-sex partners to their health plans. Under the Affordable Care Act, all insurance companies must offer the same individual or group health plans to legally married gay and lesbian couples as those offered to married heterosexual couples. Third, it falls short of the reality of the majority of American households. Jun 2, [cited Jun 12]. First, as a result of data limitations, we had to assume that the sexual orientation of relationships was consistent with individual sexual-orientation identities.
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Same-sex couples in Texas may not be eligible for benefits with new ruling
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