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Health Insurance Options for Domestic Partnerships
Date:7/9/2009

-tax dollars from flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts cannot be used to cover domestic partner benefits. The recipient may be exempt from these taxes if supported by his or her partner. To determine if you meet the criteria, see page 33 of IRS Publication 17 or contact your state insurance department. Go to www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm for a link to your state insurance department's Web site.
  • Continue coverage with COBRA. If your domestic partnership dissolves and you receive health benefits from your partner's employer-sponsored group health plan, you may be entitled to continue your coverage under state and local COBRA-like laws for up to 18 months after you exit the plan. Check with your state insurance department for further information on mini-COBRA laws in your state.
  • Establish health care power of attorney. Domestic partners may want to consider creating a health care proxy or health care power of attorney document indicating you have designated your partner to make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated and also to allow for hospital visitation. The document should be prepared by an attorney and kept in a safe, accessible place if you or your partner need it. You can also place it on file with your physician to make the doctor aware of your wishes. Ask your legal advisor for details.
  • If your employer's plan does not provide domestic partner coverage, then ask about including it at renewal. Research and experience with domestic partner benefits shows that domestic partner coverage does not add significant additional costs to employer plans (estimated 1% to 3% maximum increase). Many insurers will only offer domestic partner benefits as part of a benefit package upon request of the employer. If your plan does not i
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  • SOURCE National Association of Insurance Commissioners
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