For Same-Sex Couples, Medicare, Federal Health Programs Problematic
These couples still face hurdles created by the Defense of Marriage Act.
Reuters: Gay Couples Can't Bank Obama's Blessings Yet
Same-sex couples also face financial trouble with their healthcare when they are seniors. Eligibility for Medicare is based on the number of quarters in which you have paid payroll taxes into the system. At age 65, anyone with a work history of at least 40 quarters can enroll for Medicare Part A (hospitalization) without paying a premium. ... You can also enroll without paying a premium if a spouse qualifies. But [the Defense of Marriage Act] means that a legally married LGBT same-sex spouse lacking those 40 quarters must take the other route into Medicare -- buying into the system by paying a hefty Part A premium out of pocket. This year, the monthly Part A premium is $451 for those with less than 30 quarters in the system (Miller 5/15).
CQ HealthBeat: Benefits For Federal Workers' Domestic Partners Addressed In Senate Bill
A week after President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage, a Senate panel will on Wednesday take up legislation that would extend benefits to the domestic partners of federal employees. Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., wasted no time in pushing his panel to mark up the bill he has introduced in each of the last four Congresses. The bill has never advanced to the full Senate, though the panel did approve it in 2009 (5/15).
Related KHN coverage: Many Businesses Offer Health Benefits To Same-Sex Couples Ahead Of Laws (Appleby, 5/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.