When are health insurance restrictions discriminatory?

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When are health insurance restrictions discriminatory?

My partner and I are unmarried although we have have been together almost 10 years. I am unable to be covered by his companies health insurance even though the health insurance carrier does recognize unmarried hetero couples; however his company does not even though it does recognize same sex couples.

Asked on June 26, 2011 under Personal Injury, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, while you could try to bring an equal protection lawsuit, on the ground it is discriminatory to recognize gay unmarried partnerships or unions but not hetrosexual unmarried one, for health insurance purposes, this suit is highly unlikely to bear fruit. In my knowledge, courts universally hold that since hetrosexual couples have the right to be married, they are not actually discriminated against; if they want to rectify the situation and have health coverage (and all the other advantages, including tax advantages, inheritance advantages, the ability to make health care decisions for each other, etc.), all they have to do is get married. Thus, they have a ready-to-hand way to be covered under each other's health care, and there is no discrimination.


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