The Department of Health and Human Services ( HHS ) on March 14 announced that, beginning in 2015, all insurance companies offering coverage to opposite-sex couples in the Health Insurance Marketplace will have to offer the same coverage to same-sex couples.
"Today, we are clarifying that, starting next year, if an insurance company offers coverage to opposite-sex spouses, it cannot choose to deny that coverage to same-sex spouses," wrote Matthew Heinz, MD, director of Provider & LGBT Outreach, on HHS' blog. "In other words, insurance companies will not be permitted to discriminate against married same-sex couples when offering coverage. This will further enhance access to health care for all Americans, including those with same-sex spouses."
The rule applies whether or not the state the couple resides in recognizes their marriage, and follows a lawsuit brought by an Ohio couple, married in New York, who was denied family coverage through the Marketplace because Ohio does not recognize gay marriage, Bloomberg reported. In January, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina cancelled the policies of about 20 couples who had already purchased couples policies through the Marketplace, according to the [Raleigh] News & Observer.
HHS announcement is here: 1.usa.gov/1cFCphE .
Bloomberg article is here: bloom.bg/1lDJMpP .
News & Observer article is here: bit.ly/1mHmhv6 .