ACA rules change for 2015 recognizing same-sex married couples

Posted on 27 Jan 2015 at 4:09pm

healthcareUnder the Affordable Care Act, the rules have changed for same-sex couples buying health insurance on The Marketplace in 2015.

“For coverage starting in 2015, an insurance company that offers health coverage to opposite-sex spouses must do the same for same-sex spouses,” Healthcare.gov explains on a page for same-sex married couples.

The couple must be legally married in a state that issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The current count is 36 states+2 marriage equality cities: D.C. and St. Louis. Every state now at least borders on a marriage equality state.

So, if a couple is legally married, it doesn’t matter where they live, where the insurance company is located or whether the policy is new or reissued. A same-sex couple is now entitled to buy the same policy offered to opposite-sex couples

When applying, select “married” if you and your spouse plan to file a joint federal tax return for 2014, select “yes.” (By the way, if you are married, you must either file jointly or as married, filing separately.

If you are not married, but in a same-sex relationship, this rule does not apply. However, if either partner has an employer that offers partner benefits, the uninsured partner may be able to buy insurance through the employer. It may be cheaper, however, to purchase a plan as a single on The Marketplace.

The deadline to enroll this year is Feb. 15.

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