First Read On Same-Sex Spouse Health Benefits Post Windsor

Law360, New York (July 7, 2014, 10:56 AM EDT) -- The issue of same-sex spousal rights to benefits is now largely resolved for qualified retirement plans. However, substantial questions about same-sex spouse health and welfare benefits remain unanswered. In Roe v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, a court took an initial step in clearing the uncertainty and ruled that employers with self-insured health plans are not required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to offer coverage to same-sex spouses, even though opposite-sex spouses receive coverage.

Same-sex spousal rights to benefits were central in United States v. Windsor, where the U.S. Supreme Court struck down most of the Federal Defense of...

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