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U.S. senator Barbara Boxer of California introduced a bill this week that would require employers to provide the same health insurance coverage to both domestic partners and spouses of those who lose their jobs.
Currently, federal law does not require companies to offer COBRA coverage to the domestic partners of departing employees, even if the corporations provide domestic-partner benefits. Meanwhile, the federal government requires that married spouses be offered the COBRA coverage.
Boxer's law would require all companies that offer domestic-partner benefits to offer the COBRA coverage to the unmarried partners.
"This is a question of fairness," Boxer said in a statement. "Every family deserves access to health insurance, especially in this tough economy. This bill ensures that domestic partners and their families will have equal access to health coverage after a job loss."
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