File this one under unintended consequences.
Since the Supreme Court’s national mandate on gay marriage there has been plenty of partying going on in the rainbow coalition, but the good times may be coming to an end for some couples. Federal employees in same sex domestic partnerships (read: what we used to call “living together in sin” for traditional couples) will no longer be able to get health insurance for their partner’s children unless they “put a ring on it.” (Washington Post)
The Obama administration reversed a policy Monday that had allowed unmarried federal employees and retirees in same-sex domestic partnerships to obtain insurance coverage for children of their partners under certain conditions.
The change, applying to the separate insurance programs for health care and for vision and dental care, is a fallout of the June U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring all states to allow and recognize same-sex marriage. It overturns a policy that itself was a result of a ruling by the high court two years earlier and could be a harbinger of other changes in eligibility for federal employee benefits.
This was a policy that had been in place since the 2013 Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Windsor, where it was ruled that since federal employees could not have their marriage (or partnership) officially recognized, they were being denied the same employee benefits of traditional married couples. But now that those conditions no longer exist, the old rules which always applied to married couples now cover anyone. If a man and woman had a child they couldn’t get full health insurance benefits for the non-employee’s children unless they got hitched, so now that will apply to everyone again.