This week, Maryland became the eighth state to legally allow same-sex marriage. Whenever two people get married, it leads to changes in the insurance policies of both partners. HealthCare.gov is a resource that everyone can use in order to find affordable health insurance options, including newly married same-sex couples.
Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and the District of Columbia currently issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Now, the state of Maryland will, too. California recently ended the ban on same-sex marriage, (but has not yet started issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples).
Whenever two people get married, it causes changes to happen to their health insurance policies. In many states, you cannot include your girlfriend, boyfriend, or domestic partner in your employer sponsored health insurance coverage – but you can use it to cover your spouse. If neither spouse has health insurance, then it is time to search for an affordable policy that can cover both of you.
Of course, finding an affordable health insurance policy is not an easy task. There are thousands of uninsured Americans. If your job doesn’t offer an employer sponsored health plan, then you are pretty much out of luck. A good resource that can help you to begin your search for health insurance is to check out HealthCare.gov.
In February of 2012, United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that an update to the HealthCare.gov website now enables domestic partners and same-sex couples to find health insurance plans that will cover all of the members of their families.
Secretary Sebelius said:
“Last year, as part of our commitment to work with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and be more responsive to the needs of these populations, we promised to improve the Health Plan Finder tool to give these individuals the ability to search for health plans that provide same-sex partner benefits”. She continued with: “Today we have delivered on that promise”.
This means that same-sex couples, (whether married or not), can use the HealthCare.gov website to look for health insurance plans that will allow same-sex partner coverage. Those plans can be sorted by enrollment, by out-of-pocket expenses, and by other important categories. The website can also be used by small businesses who are looking for a health plan that will cover all their workers, including same-sex couples.
Another change at HealthCare.gov is that they have expanded the information that you can find about plan benefits. You can find out what is covered, what is not covered, or covered with limitations. It also says which plans include dental care, maternity care, and more.
Image by United States Mission Geneva on Flickr