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Single people sure get hosed on insurance

October 16th, 2007 at 09:39 pm

At least in my company, they do. Ok, up front, my company gives good benefits. I am not comparing my benefits with someone who is self employed. I am also not comparing my benefits with someone who works for a school, or a bank, or even another IT shop or aircraft company. I am comparing my benefits with two other groups of people who work at the same company as me: married couples/families and same-sex couples/families.

I am looking through the benefits package for next year because the open enrollment is right now. I have to decide what I am going to choose for the first month for me, and what I am going to choose for my fiance and I when we get married.

I pay ~$1000 a year for health insurance for me. When I add him on, it will only be another $700. The vision insurance doesn't go up at all. The dental plan goes up by less than half. Why is that? How come he gets a better rate than I do? I mean, that is great for US, but really, how come someone who doesn't work for the company have to pay $300 less for the year compared to someone who does? So, the married couple gets a $300 break compared to the single person (in this company).

While looking this up, I saw a link for same-sex couples. I'd never looked into that before, but I was curious as to what the requirements were for them to get benefits and what it takes to change the benefits if they break up.

It turns out that my fiance and I either meet, or could meet within a day, all the requirements except one. Here are the requirements:

1. We have had a single relationship of at least 12 months duration and intend to remain in the relationship indefinitely. (Yep)
2. Neither of us is married to or legally separated from anyone else nor have had another same sex domestic partner within the prior one year period.
(Yep)
3. We understand that in those jurisdictions which offer registration for same sex domestic partners, the Company reserves the right to request proof of registration as a condition for or continuation of benefits. (I'd say this is a toss up. Kansas doesn't have one, so this doesn't apply)
4. We are both at least eighteen years of age and mentally competent to consent to contract.
(Yep)
5. We are not related by blood to a degree of closeness that would prohibit legal marriage in the state in which we legally reside.
(eew. And yep)
6. We cohabit and reside together in the same residence and intend to do so indefinitely. (The current arrangement will be the same as when we are married. I am at his house Thursday night - Monday morning, and work Monday - Thursday, so stay here Mon, Tue, Wed nights. The same will happen when we are married)
7. We are engaged in a committed relationship of mutual caring and support and are jointly responsible for our common welfare, living expenses and are financially interdependent and recognize our responsibilities for any debts incurred by each other. Our interdependence is demonstrated by at least two of the following which we agree to provide documentation of, if requested, and as a necessary condition to the initiation of benefit coverage:
a. Common ownership of real property (joint deed or mortgage agreement) or a common leasehold interest in property.
b. Common ownership of a motor vehicle (we could by tomorrow)
c. Driver's license listing a common address
(we could by tomorrow)
d. Joint bank accounts or credit accounts
(we could by tomorrow)
e. Proof of designation as primary beneficiary for life insurance or retirement benefits, or primary beneficiary designation under a partner's will
f. Assignment of a durable property power of attorney or health care power of attorney.
8. We are not in the relationship solely for the purpose of obtaining benefits coverage.
(yep)
9. We are of the same sex.
NOPE.

So, we meet all the requirements (or could by tomorrow) except we are not of the same sex. If it got him health insurance, since he doesn't have any now, I would do all of those things tomorrow.

I called the benefits office to see if I was overlooking anything, and the nice lady (really, she was nice) said that there was nothing for my situation, and that she gets calls about this all the time. I said, "that's kind of discrimination, isn't it?" and she couldn't say she agreed with me, but she sure did imply it.

She then said that Kansas is a common-law state, so we could declare our situation common-law married. But then, if we broke up, we would have to get a divorce...lawyer fees, court dates, etc.

Here is what the same-sex couple has to do: sign a paper saying:
1. We are no longer same sex domestic partners
2. Please cancel the coverage on this date
3. I have provided my former same sex partner with a copy of this notice
4. I understand that I may not seek to declare a new same sex domestic partner for company provided benefits for a period of twelve months from the date on which the same sex domestic partner benefits are terminated.

I think both situations are unfair to the single person. If there is a married person, a person in a same sex relationship and a single person doing the same job for this company, even if they all have the same salary, the married person and the gay/lesbian person gets more compensation than the single person does because of the benefits they receive.

1 Responses to “Single people sure get hosed on insurance”

  1. yummy64 Says:

    In Canada people are considered married and eligible for benefits if live with the participant in a conjugal relationship.

    Notice sex of participant and spouse aren't mentioned nor does anyone care if they are the same or different. We don't care if there is a marriage license either.

    We are picky that no one can have more than one spouse however..

    But the US and Canada are very different in attitudes to marriage and common law marriage and the entire same sex thing.

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