December 19, 2014 at 7:00 am EST | by Staff reports
New insurance coverage for Alabama couples
Alabama State Capitol, HIV, gay news, Washington Blade, insurance

A ban on gay marriage is written into the Alabama Constitution. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama’s largest insurer now offers spousal coverage to legally married gay couples in order to comply with a federal rule that insurance companies must treat married couples the same regardless of sexual orientation, the Associated Press reports.

A spokeswoman for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama said the company began offering same-sex spousal coverage for underwritten plans in early 2014, “in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ regulations that prohibit health insurers from discriminating in health plan coverage on the basis of sexual orientation,” the AP article said.

The state of Alabama does not currently recognize same-sex marriages and has a ban on gay marriage written into the Alabama Constitution. However, the Department of Health and Human Services issued guidelines in March reiterating that same-sex couples, who were legally married in any of the states that currently authorize gay marriage, are entitled to the same coverage as straight couples, the article said.

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