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


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