Same-Sex Spouse of Federal Worker Must be Given Health Coverage

Tuesday, 27 Mar 2012 10:56 AM

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In what is believed to be a first, the Obama administration has ordered a health insurance company to cover the same-sex spouse of a federal employee, The Washington Post blog The Federal Eye reported.

The Office of Personnel Management sent a letter in early March to Blue Cross Blue Shield telling them that “OPM hereby withdraws any outstanding directive regarding the enrollment of Ms. Golinski’s wife, Amy C. Cunninghis, in her family health benefits plan” and added that Cunninghis should be quickly enrolled. Karen Golinski is a federal court employee in California and OPM had maintained she could not be covered, the Post reported.

The shift was a result of a February federal court ruling in a case brought by Golinski that held the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. OPM maintained in the letter that its decision on Golinski’s health coverage would have “no effect on enrollments requested by other same-sex spouses," the Post reported.

“We’re thrilled for Karen and Amy who have been waiting for years for this equal treatment,” Tara Borelli, a lawyer with Lambda Legal, which represents Golinski, told the Post. However, the case is not over because  Republicans in Congress have appealed the ruling, the Post reported.


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