Anthem BCBS Offers Same Sex Health Insurance for Colorado Small Groups
Colorado Small Business Health Insurance
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is delivering some good health insurance news to the more than 142,000 Colorado small business owners and for their employees, too.
Effective July 1 (for new groups) and August 1 (for existing groups), Anthem will begin offering same-sex domestic partner health care benefit insurance coverage to small group employees and their dependents. While Anthem and other insurers currently offer this coverage to large group employers, to the company's knowledge it is the only health insurer in the state to provide coverage to the small group market.
"We know from the 2000 Census that same-sex couples reside in more than 99 percent of U.S. counties. This means that large or small businesses very likely have an employee, or will hire an employee, who would benefit from domestic partner health care benefit coverage," said John Martie, President, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado. "There is no additional cost to the employer, but it's 'value-added' for employees. Anthem is working hard to ensure health care security for more Coloradans."
The process for enrollment is simple: any employee who receives insurance benefits through a small business that is insured by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and that chooses to include this benefit in its employee health plan, can add a same-sex domestic partner and dependents by completing an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership and submitting it along with a Colorado Uniform Employee Application (available on the company's website).
According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), more than half of Fortune 500 companies offer domestic partner health benefits to their employees. (HRC, State of the Workplace, 2005-2006).
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado is a subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP). WellPoint's mission is to improve the lives of the people it serves and the health of its communities. WellPoint, Inc. is the largest health benefits company in terms of commercial membership in the United States. Through its nationwide networks, the company delivers a number of leading health benefit solutions through a broad portfolio of integrated health care plans and related services, along with a wide range of specialty products such as life and disability insurance benefits, pharmacy benefit management, dental, vision, behavioral health benefit services, as well as long term care insurance and flexible spending accounts.