Since the legalization of same-sex marriage, all married couples have the right to spousal coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, all insurance companies must offer the same health plans to legally married gay and lesbian couples as those offered to married heterosexual couples.
This new law has some employers that previously offered health and retirement benefits to their employees’ domestic partners, considering eliminating this policy in order to save money and avoid discrimination claims. This however, would force domestic partnerships to marry in order to retain benefits in their workplace.
So while both employers and the health insurance industry navigate this new environment, it makes sense to understand exactly what health care options are right for you as an individual or a married couple. Be sure to consult with an advisor on matters of taxes, health care benefits and retirement in order to better understand which course of action suits your best financial needs.
Here are some points to consider:
- In order to qualify for tax credits on private insurance plans offered through the health care exchange you must file a Joint tax return.
- Contact your employer regarding domestic partnership to make sure this option will not be phased out in the future.
- Contact your retirement benefit programs for information on their specific requirements. In some cases there may be marriage duration prerequisites before you can obtain benefits.
- Consider reviewing your estate plan and updating any beneficiaries on your financial and insurance accounts.
In all coupled relationships, finances will continually change and evolve over time, so let these changes prompt open financial planning discussions. Every couple should have these chats regularly to be proactive in new situations and make choices as they arise. These discussions will help prepare you for the most up to date and beneficial financial decisions for your future.
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