Scroll To Top
Health

Blue Cross and
Blue Shield to Cover Same-Sex Couples

Blue Cross and
Blue Shield to Cover Same-Sex Couples

Seniors_0

Less than three weeks after a legally married New York lesbian couple filed a lawsuit against Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Western New York for denying them spousal health care benefits, the health insurance company has announced it will begin covering married same-sex couples, according to OutcomeBuffalo.com.

Less than three weeks after a legally married New York lesbian couple filed a lawsuit against Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Western New York for denying them spousal health care benefits, the health insurance company has announced it will begin covering married same-sex couples, according to OutcomeBuffalo.com.

"We applaud Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Western New York for following the law and treating all married couples the same," Donna Lieberman, New York Civil Liberties Union executive director, told OutcomeBuffalo. "Families who were denied coverage up until this point will now be able to protect themselves with health care coverage."

The lawsuit, filed on July 9 in Erie County supreme court, followed the NYCLU's landmark legal victory in Martinez v. County of Monroe, in which an appeals court unanimously ruled that New York State must recognize the valid out-of-state marriages of lesbian and gay couples.

In February, Jeanne Kornowicz, a school psychologist at the Cheektowaga Central School District, asked her employer to provide health coverage for her wife, Joy Higgins, after she learned of the NYCLU's victory in Martinez. The couple was married in Canada in 2006. Higgins gave birth to the couple's daughter, Elizabeth Higgins, in July 2007, and Kornowicz's second-parent adoption of Elizabeth was made final in January of this year.

Despite the school district's multiple demands that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Western New York grant Kornowicz's request for spousal coverage, the insurance company refused to comply. Many other New York insurers, including other insurers carrying the Blue Cross and Blue Shield name, have been recognizing same-sex couples' valid out-of-state marriages for years.

"As spouses and parents, Jeanne and Joy deserve the same protections that every other family in New York State enjoys," NYCLU staff attorney Matt Faiella told OutcomeBuffalo. "We're so relieved for their family that they will finally know some peace of mind." (The Advocate)

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories