Children of Gay Federal Workers May Receive Health Coverage
New York Times by Tara Siegel Bernard – July 26, 2012
A proposed rule would extend health insurance to the children of gay people who are partnered with federal employees. But the domestic partners themselves would still be blocked from coverage because of the federal law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
The rule, proposed by the Office of Personnel Management last week, was written in response to a 2009 memo by President Obama that asked the agency’s director to figure out where it was possible to extend benefits to qualified same-sex partners of federal workers and their families under the confines of the current law.
The proposal is significant because same-sex couples often have trouble establishing legal ties to their children, as I pointed out in a column published on Saturday. Many states only allow one parent to form legal links to a child, which often leaves both the parent and child vulnerable. The child, for instance, may be unable to receive insurance through the employer of a nonbiological parent, which can be a particularly big burden if that parent is the sole breadwinner.
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