Obamacare Blog Post: Obamacare Insurers Must Offer Plans to Same-Sex Couples, Even if SSM is Banned In State

March 14th, 2014

In a new blog post, the HHS announced that private insurance companies can no longer deny cover to same-sex spouses.

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. 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.

Folloing Windsor, the Obama Administration has issued a whole host of blog posts (or rules) affecting manners in which the Federal Government will treat all couples married based on the state of celebration, regardless of whether the home state recognizes those marriages.

But this seems different because now the government is forcing private insurance companies to recognize these unions, even if state law specifically forbids it! (Well, insurance companies are not really private anymore).

What isn’t clear from the blog post (we didn’t even get a PDF!) is whether a private employer is now required to offer policies to married same-sex couples. I doubt this is the case, but maybe we’ll get a new blog post soon enough. If this is the case, this will set a collision course with RFRA–forcing employers to provide health insurance to same-sex couples.