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


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