Divorce Mediation Blog

Post-Divorce Health Insurance in For Same Sex Spouses: One More Reason to End DOMA

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

In a previous entry, we discussed the “self-insured” loophole to the Massachusetts insurance laws that otherwise require extension of medical benefits beyond federal "COBRA" benefits to ex-spouses. If a family is unlucky enough to have employer coverage where risk of loss remains the employer’s, rather than an insurer’s, these benefits do not apply; and the parties must default to the less generous COBRA.

As difficult as this is for families who depend on self-insured employers, the result is even more draconian for same sex ex-spouses. This is because the existing federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), does not recognize legally married couples of the same gender (now including ten states and D.C.) as spouses, at all. Since spousal COBRA rights require a federally recognized marriage, divorced same sex spouses with self-insured employers here remain uncovered by any spousal continuation benefits.

Beyond simple unfairness, this undermines the policy of the 2012 Affordable Care Act, as it becomes fully operative in 2014: just one more reason to hope that the United States Supreme Court strikes down DOMA.

Get e-mail notifications of new blog posts! Enter email address below.:

Delivered by FeedBurner

other articles

recent posts


family law arbitrator DOMA Massachusetts divorce mediators self-adjusting alimony Baseball Baseball Players divorce mediations med/arb Obamacare Same Sex Marriage General term alimony pre-ARA alimony conciliation facilitated negotiations health insurance Massachusetts alimony special master divorce and family law Massachusetts alimony and child support disputes rehabilitative alimony mediators mediation Child Support Guidelines family mediation The Seven Sins of Alimony MLB labor agreement litigation alimony reform legislation divorce arbitration alimony law family support family law arbitrators Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act Self-adjusting alimony orders divorce arbitrators lawyer-attended mediation Levine Dispute Resolution Center Levine Dispute Resolution Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC LDRC Divorce Major League Baseball Arbitration Baseball Arbitration Alimony Reform Act divorce mediators separation health coverage med-arb high-risk methodology mediations arbitrator arbitrators Levine Dispute Resolutions divorce process how baseball arbitration works support orders Defense of Marriage Act mediator IRC §2704 lawyer family and probate law disputes Boston child support Uniform Arbitration Act private dispute resolution Divorce Agreements divorce and family law mediators alimony orders family law mediation annulment Matrimonial Arbitration arbitration divorce agreement Cohabitation alimony divorce litigation divorce mediator divorced Massachusetts lawyers divorce judgment family law dispute resolution Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly SJC Massachusetts Family Law Arbitration resolve disputes divorce mediation Twinkies divorce arbitrator divorce lawyers Chouteau Levine fraud medical benefits traditional negotiations COLA lawyers Massachusetts divorce lawyers alimony statute