Insurers in the Marketplace must cover same-sex spouses


Beginning in 2015, insurance carriers participating in the Marketplaces, created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), must cover same-sex spouses regardless of whether the marriage is recognized in that particular state.  Married same-sex spouse couples will now be eligible for the family plan.

“If an insurance company offers coverage to opposite-sex spouses, it cannot choose to deny that coverage to same-sex spouses,” said Dr. Matthew Heinz, who heads HHS outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual communities. “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 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said the administration is encouraging insurers to voluntarily implement the non-discrimination policy for the 2014 coverage year under the Public Health Service Act.