Monday, November 17, 2014

Same Old Same Sex

A friend of mine who's a high school teacher told me about a change in his union's health care coverage.  Previously, domestic partners in homosexual relationships could be covered by a teacher's insurance.  But now, in the growing number of states that allow same-sex marriage, this is no longer the case.  Either you get married or you lose that coverage.

It makes sense.  Formerly, your insurance could cover your wife or husband in traditional marriages, but not your girlfriend or boyfriend, no matter what your living arrangement. It makes sense the same rules should apply to same sex marriage.  Show them you're serious, or get your own insurance.


Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

I have been expecting insurance companies (and employers) to trend away from this, also, forcing spouses into separate plans through coordination of benefits.

2:44 AM, November 17, 2014  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

Why should you have to show insurance companies (and taxing authorities & hospitals) you are "serious" to qualify for partner benefits? And what do we mean by "serious"? Who sets the requirements to show seriousness? Does it require love? Is deep concern or shared interest enough? Does sex have to be involved? How would two people prove any of these requirements, or is a State marriage certificate the only way to prove it to get the benefits? Why not an independent organization's declaration, or a signed attestation by the parties?

Don't we have to be moving toward a general rule that everybody can name on other person to share benefits with? I think it is impossible to restrict the benefits to a nebulous qualification of "serious" relationships. And why should we - what is the reason or public policy objective that is served by offering these benefits to a restricted class of couples?

By the way, can party A share benefits with party B who then shares his or her separate benefits with party C? Could you have a circle of benefits sharing among a number of people? If not, why not? What reason for the public policy would such an arrangement violate?

4:28 AM, November 18, 2014  
Blogger LAGuy said...

There is a long tradition of the state treating marriage as a special legal category. You may think that's a mistake, but it's a fact, and if you want it changed, give it your best shot. But for now, it's what we do. If we somewhat widen the concept of marriage, it makes sense that related laws would keep up with the change.

9:38 AM, November 18, 2014  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

But do you know how my questions will be answered (whether by new legislation or court decisions)? What will happen when the first person applies for a marriage license with his cousin, perhaps someone he doesn't even live with, but who needs medical benefits or with whom he wants to file a joint income tax return? As you say, the related laws will have to keep up with a lot of change.

9:52 AM, November 19, 2014  
Blogger LAGuy said...

If it's still illegal to marry a cousin, that marriage won't be allowed. If it is legal to marry a cousin, then the coverage can expand as well. But just wanting to marry to get someone covered medically is not enough to change any law. Of course, people will get married to have green cards, so I wonder if anyone's gotten married to extend their coverage.

10:41 AM, November 19, 2014  

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