Anthem BCBS Offers Same Sex Health Insurance for Colorado Small Groups

Armen Hareyan's picture
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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.

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"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.

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Comments

Same sex couples have a history of more sexual diseases, etc. and will up the cost for the company. That cost will eventually be passed down to every insured. I don't want to join that train wreck.
Although it is nearly two years later and we are still struggling to insure the partners of unmarried and same-sex couples I am still very proud that your company took the initiative to create equality for all employees. Currently, President Obama is hard at work to create equality among Federal Employees, and not just employees of small groups; as mentioned in this article. As for the commenter who posted before me I have a few points to make. 1. "There is no additional cost to the employer." - Paragraph 3. Although it is a statistical fact that same-sex couples tend to contract more sexually transmitted diseases then heterosexual couples. However, this is not an acceptable base for not insuring an employee. It is call discrimination, and being gay is not a preexisting condition that should be filed on an insurance policy. Although it would cost a bit extra for the company to insure every employee and their partner that is a problem that cannot be avoided. If you are only looking for a group of people to not insure just because the company does not have enough funds then maybe that company should look into reconsidering were they can make a few cut backs. My friend, you are simply looking for a way to save a company money. What about saving individual couples money by providing insurance? I'm sure you would hate to be left uninsured if your husband/wife could not insure you through their employer because the country has a "No blond hair and blue eyed" policy when it comes to insuring partners. 2. It is unconstitutional to discriminate. Just like the civil rights movement, the gay and lesbian community has to fight for even the smallest rights on a daily basis. The fourteenth amendment states : "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." By not insuring the partners of unmarried or gay couples employers are abridging the fourteenth amendment. They are segregating a community and not allowing them equal rights and protection under the law. Next time you discriminate maybe you should consult the constitution and reflect on your own rights.