Fed Government Helps Gay Couples Find Health Coverage

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com February 08 2012 3:12 PM ET

Same-sex couples now have the same government-backed resource as heterosexual married couples when it comes to finding health insurance coverage.

Domestic partners can now use HealthCare.gov's Health Plan Finder to compare the cost sharing and benefit choices of health plans, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Tuesday. The website can also be used to find more general information about different insurance plans.

According to HHS, LGBT Americans tend to be under-insured, even if some individuals are married, in civil unions, or domestic partnerships, because not all states and private companies extend partnership rights to same-sex couples and their children.

“Last year, as part of our commitment to work with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and be more responsive to the needs of these populations, we promised to improve the Health Plan Finder tool to give these individuals the ability to search for health plans that provide same-sex partner benefits.” Sebelius said in a statement. “Today we have delivered on that promise.”

HealthCare.gov was created because of the Affordable Care Act, which the Obama administration has been touting as policy that helps LGBT citizens.