Same Sex Marriage Supreme Court Ruling – Update

Gavel_Flag-288x300The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2015 deems that all couples have the right to marriage regardless of their gender. Additionally, all states must recognize a marriage that was entered into in a different jurisdiction.

Effective June 26, 2015 health plans must cover married couples, regardless of gender, if spousal/dependent coverage is offered. Health Net of Arizona, Inc. will offer an additional Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to allow spouses to be added through September 30, 2015.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does Health Net need to start allowing same-sex spouses to have coverage now or can they wait until open enrollment?
    Health Net will start accepting all spouses now.
  • What happens if a couple was previously married, but the spouse was not allowed to join the plan?
    The spouse may submit an application to the plan through September 30, 2015.
  • What happens if a couple is newly married?
    The spouse may submit an application to join Health Net and be added during the SEP.
  • What is the difference between a domestic partner and marriage?
    A domestic partnership is not a federally recognized relationship. Certain states have regulations for registered domestic partnerships. Health Net will still have domestic partnership coverage in those states and for any employer that elects the coverage. A domestic partnership entered into in one state, is not necessarily recognized in another state.

Note: Arizona does not have laws related to recognition of Domestic Partnership. The Supreme Court ruling did not change the rules related to Domestic Partnership. For Arizona, Health Net policy is to let the employer group decide whether to extend Domestic Partnership coverage. If the employer group offers Domestic Partnership coverage, an opposite sex couple will be given the opportunity for Domestic Partner coverage as would same sex couples.

  • What if an employer group wants to remove domestic partnership coverage?
    If the state law allows, such as in Arizona, we will make the change at renewal.
  • Can an employer group decide not to allow married couples of the same gender to have coverage?
    No, if an employer group offers coverage for married spouses, it must cover all married spouses.
  • What if the couple has a civil union?
    Colorado, Hawaii, and New Jersey still have civil union. A civil union partnership is not the same as marriage, and is not necessarily recognized by another state.
  • Will any Evidence or Certificates of Coverage need to be updated?
    No, all of our policies use generic language for the definition of marriage.

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Susan Peters