Same sex couple insurance rights get a shot in the arm from Obama

same sex couple insurance plans health care reform

The administration has now moved to broaden access to health plans by closing a controversial loophole.

On Friday, the Obama administration made a move to improve same sex couple insurance access when it comes to health plans by beginning an effort to close an existing loophole that would risk leaving certain patients with HIV/AIDS without any coverage.

The Health and Human Services Department made two different announcements on the subject.

same sex couple insurance health care reformThe first stated that insurers that are offering spousal coverage for those who are heterosexual must also provide same sex couple insurance to those of the same gender who are legally married. The second announcement said that insurance companies are not permitted to refuse HIV/AIDS patients when the Ryan White federal program is paying their premiums.

This same sex couple insurance statement was made in response to the LGBT community’s protests.

What they pointed out was that spousal coverage came with a number of confusing rules in the online exchanges implemented by the health care reform, particularly within the states that have yet to recognize same sex marriage.

The Department of Health and Human Services also used this announcement to show how it was countering a strategy that had been made by Louisiana insurers that would stop accepting premiums payments for HIV/AIDS patients that were being made by the federal Ryan White program.

Those insurers, who claimed that they had been complying with another federal policy that would discourage the payment of premiums for individuals by third parties, ended up in a lawsuit before the federal courts when advocates filed against them. The new rule that has been put into place requires coverage providers to accept the Ryan White program third party premium payments, as well as those from other state and federal programs.

This particular same sex couple insurance issue is now being interpreted by opponents of the Affordable Care Act, as one of many tests to see whether insurers will be capable of continuing to avoid having to cover the most costly patients, despite the fact that the health care reform law requires those providers to accept all providers, regardless of preexisting conditions.

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