Back in the day, before marriage equality was a thing, LGBTQ couples didn’t have the easiest time getting health benefits for their partners. Only some workplaces were cool enough to offer domestic partner health insurance benefits to couples that weren’t married. Now that marriage equality is a done deal, people started wondering: what’s gonna happen to those domestic partner benefits?
This article is pretty much a deep dive into that question. Thanks to a survey done by KFF in 2023, we’ve got some answers. The whole scene for same-sex couples got a major revamp when the Supreme Court was like, “Yep, same-sex marriage is cool” in two big cases in 2013 and 2015. This meant that LGBTQ folks suddenly had the same access to spousal benefits as straight couples – which is awesome. And then, there was another case in 2020 that made sure LGBTQ people were protected from discrimination at work.
Rewinding a bit, in the early 2000s, about one-third of big companies were offering health benefits to same-sex domestic partners. The numbers went up a bit in 2012, but since the big Supreme Court decisions, it’s been pretty steady, with about 45% of firms offering these benefits in 2023.
So why are companies still offering domestic partner health benefits even after marriage equality? Well, it turns out it’s a win-win situation. Companies get to show they’re all about equality, and they don’t even have to foot the whole bill since employees chip in for their partner’s coverage. And for the employees? They get more choices for coverage, whether they’re married or not. So, all in all, marriage equality has been a game-changer, but keeping those domestic partner benefits around? That’s been a pretty cool move too.