Do all insurance companies have to offer ‘significant other’ insurance coverage

‘Significant Other’ Insurance I believe that currently no insurance companies HAVE to extend benefits for partners. That is one of the many issues concerning gay marriage because by legalizing marriage between couples of the same gender, it would give recognition to the spouse. This would therefore require insurance companies to offer insurance coverage for the recognized significant other.However, that’s not to say that forward thinking insurance companies don’t exist in the United States. Browse websites for insurance companies in your area, many of them will include information on benefits for same-sex couples. For example, my car insurance company (Geico) offers the same discounted insurance rates given to married couples to myself and my significant other. While they may only be seeing the dollar sign and not the politics, it’s nice to know there are companies out there that can be ahead of the curve.It is not a legal requirement for any insurer to offer such choices. Insurers are not legally bound to insure anyone and can avoid discrimination laws by the use of the company’s definition of who qualifies as insurable. This is one of the reason for so many “redlining” suits and similar litigation.In some state (like California) there are domestic partners laws that do require extension of benefits. There are precise definitions and guidelines that must be followed however. For instance, if a medical insurance policy is issued in CA then they must offer domestic partner coverage. However, if you work for a company headquartered out of CA and the polciy is issued in that state, even though it is insuring individuals in CA it does not have to extend the coverage since the policy was not issued there.?California Insurance Equality Act,? provides additional benefits to the registered domestic partners of employees in California and imposes additional benefit requirements on insurance companies. The law requires all health care service plans and health insurance policies, as well as all other insurance policies regulated by the California Department of Insurance, to provide benefits to registered domestic partners of employees equal to the benefits that are offered to spouses of employees.The law is effective for health care service plans (HMOs) and health insurance policies issued, amended delivered or renewed in California after January 1, 2005, which means the law will be effective for calendar year insured health plans January 1, 2006. However, the law applies to all other insurance policies issued on or after January 1, 2005, so it would apply for the 2005 year for such policies. A.B. 2208 does not apply to self-insured plans or to insurance policies that are not regulated by the California Department of Insurance.

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