Archive for July 25th, 2011

Compare Health Insurance for Same Sex Married Couples in New York

Monday, July 25th, 2011

New Yorkers who recently celebrated gay marriage and health insurance companies are looking into benefits to see what changes will be made.  Chris Hawley and Michael Hall of the Associated Press wrote about this in their article “NYers ask how gay marriage will affect benefits.”  Many people hope to add their same sex spouse to their insurance plans and save money.  But some companies who compare health insurance plans before and after New York legalized gay marriage won’t be making any changes at all.  There are employers who put restrictions on domestic partner benefits and it remains to be seen if and how these restrictions will be changed now that the marriage is legal.

With well over 40,000 same sex couples in New York, the question of how legalized marriage will affect health insurance benefits is important.  Many of the couples are already legally married in other places, but now that their marriages are legal in New York, insurance and tax consequences will follow.  State taxes will be reduced and offer savings for the newly married and those whose unions are now legal in New York.  But because their unions are not recognized federally, the differences between state and federal taxes will become more complicated.  Health insurance, taxes, adoption and estate selling are the most common financial changes that will occur with the new laws, but other areas of life will be affected as well.

Couples who are married do not get taxed on their employer’s contribution to health plans from companies like Aultcare health insurance, for the costs to cover their spouse.  Even if same sex couples were able to get their partner covered under their health insurance plan, as is the case in about one-third of businesses, the working spouse was taxed on the employer contributions toward their partner’s coverage.  Now that their marriages are legal in New York, same sex couples will see savings from this tax.  But those who maybe weren’t planning on getting married could risk losing same sex domestic partnership benefits now that they can legally get married.  It might force some couples to get married once they compare health insurance benefits that could be lost if they don’t, but not all companies will force people to marry to keep their benefits.  There are quite a few changes that same sex couples, businesses, and the government will have to figure out with gay marriage legalization in New York.