CHAPEL HILL: Blue Cross NC to offer plans to same-sex couples - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Blue Cross NC to offer plans to same-sex married couples

Posted: Updated:
BCBSNC announced Wednesday that same-sex married couples will be eligible to purchase family coverage. BCBSNC announced Wednesday that same-sex married couples will be eligible to purchase family coverage.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina announced Wednesday that same-sex married couples and anyone in a domestic partnership will be eligible to purchase family coverage.

The company recently received criticism for its decision not to offer Affordable Care Act plans for married same-sex couples or domestic partners. But Wednesday, the company said its decision to delay family coverage was inconsistent with its commitment to serve all North Carolina residents.

"In order to ensure that our technology was ready for the Affordable Care Act, our company chose to postpone a number of product updates until 2015. One of these was to begin making family coverage available to same-sex married couples and domestic partners ... in our ACA-approved plans," said Brad Wilson, BCBSNC President and CEO.

Wilson acknowledged that Blue Cross "should have more thoughtfully considered this decision, with full appreciation of the impact it would have."

"We're sorry we failed to do so," Wilson said.

Beginning Monday, same-sex married couples and anyone in a domestic partnership may purchase new family coverage on or off the exchange for an effective date of March 1.

Also, domestic partners and same-sex married couples who enrolled separately on ACA plans can convert them into family plans retroactive to their original effective date.

Last week, BCBSNC came under fire after it canceled family insurance policies sold to 20 gay and lesbian couples on a federal insurance marketplace because of restrictive contract language.

North Carolina's largest insurer was legally bound to invalidate the policies because of standard language in the insurer's individual policies that define "spouse" as "opposite sex," state Insurance Department spokeswoman Kerry Hall said.

The company said it planned in 2015 to change the language in order to offer insurance options to same-sex married couples and couples in domestic partnerships, but the criticism that came with the plan cancellations pushed BCBSNC to change course.

The only other insurer selling subsidized coverage on North Carolina's federally run insurance marketplace is Coventry Health, which doesn't bar same-sex couples from buying a family policy, spokesman Walt Cherniak said.

RELATED STORIES

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • MORE DETAILS: Family Releases Statement on Father, Daughter Death

    MORE DETAILS: Family Releases Statement on Father, Daughter Death

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:51 PM EDT2014-07-29 18:51:17 GMT
    911 calls tell the story story of what happened before and after the tragic freak accident
    911 calls tell the story story of what happened before and after the tragic freak accident
  • UPDATE: Suspect Not Found In 35th St. Home In Savannah

    UPDATE: Suspect Not Found In 35th St. Home In Savannah

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 1:00 AM EDT2014-07-29 05:00:19 GMT
    Metro Police are on the scene of a possible hostage situation.
    Metro Police are on the scene of a possible hostage situation.
  • Parents Arrested: Daughter Left in Hot Car

    Parents Arrested: Daughter Left in Hot Car

    Parents arrested after three-year-old girl is locked alone inside 104 degree car for 20 minutes in shopping mall car park.Ho Kim, 33, and Tae Kim, 35, are accused of leaving their daughter locked inside the vehicle at the Brea Mall in Brea, California, while they shopped.This all comes after 18 children have died so far this year after suffering heatstroke after being left inside hot cars. But in this latest case, the girl was saved after someone saw her inside a black Nissan mini van. Police...
    Parents arrested after three-year-old girl is locked alone inside 104 degree car for 20 minutes in shopping mall car park.Ho Kim, 33, and Tae Kim, 35, are accused of leaving their daughter locked inside the vehicle at the Brea Mall in Brea, California, while they shopped.This all comes after 18 children have died so far this year after suffering heatstroke after being left inside hot cars. But in this latest case, the girl was saved after someone saw her inside a black Nissan mini van. Police...
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.