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06
Nov

Plans Recognize Same-Sex Marriage

Written by dreilly. Posted in Blog, education

Health plans in Maryland are now amending contract language to include eligibility for spouses in same-sex marriages performed in other states.  This comes as a result of changes in Maryland law.

In May 2012 the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that Maryland law recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other states that allow for such unions.  The ruling further states that both participants to the marriage are considered spouses under Maryland law. 

In July 2012 the Attorney General of Maryland subsequently concluded that health insurance policies that offer coverage to spouses must include coverage for legally recognized same sex spouses.   Therefore, health plans must amend their contract language to allow spousal eligibility for same-sex marriages legally performed in other states.   

The amendment to health plan contracts is unrelated to the same-sex marriage referendum on the Maryland 2012 ballot.   In the event the Maryland same-sex marriage referendum fails, the law will continue to recognize spouses of same-sex marriages legally performed in other states, and health insurance plans will continue to provide same-sex spousal eligibility.  If the referendum passes, then spousal recognition will then expand to also include same-sex partners of marriages performed in Maryland.

Many Maryland health plan contracts already allow for domestic partner eligibility.

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