Introduction to the concept:
Domestic partner Insurance is a form of Insurance that is soon gaining ground in the US. Some time back, the concept was not in the picture because of the obvious taboo that it presents with it.
Traditionally, a married couple would go in for a Joint Insurance coverage which would reduce the cost of Insurance to them both instead of applying separately for individual insurance on their lives. The same principle is applied to the case of couples who decide to stay together for convenience.
Classification of Partners:
Generally, Domestic Partner Insurance can be provided to unmarried couple who live together in a committed relationship of sharing their residence and the financial responsibilities. Insurance coverage is provided to couples of same or different sex who live together and gain the advantage of reduced cost of insurance benefit.
The scheme is more pronounced in some Universities of the country among students who prefer to stay together as partners in a way to reduce their cost of living. Many universities provide health insurance benefits to such people. Under the program, a student can enroll his or her domestic partner and the dependent children of the domestic partner in health insurance generally offered to full-time students. Except for eligibility to participate, the same general rules (for example, cost sharing and benefit entitlement) apply to domestic partners and their dependent children as to other participants in the health insurance plans.
Proving themselves as partners becomes the basic eligibility for seeking Domestic partner insurance. Some such points that are to be satisfied may be as follows –
- The partners have an exclusive mutual commitment, similar to that of marriage, but the partners cannot become legally married;
- They are each other's sole domestic partner and intend to remain so indefinitely;
- Neither partner is legally married;
- Are not related by blood to a degree of closeness which would prohibit legal marriage in the state in which the partners legally reside;
- Are at least eighteen (18) years of age and are legally competent to enter in to a contract;
- Are currently residing together and have resided together in a common household;
- Share joint responsibility for the partner's common welfare and financial obligations.
- They provide some proof of living together, like, bills where expenses are shared commonly or some notarized statement or even domestic partner agreements.
These are some points that may have to be satisfied by the partners. But, they are not all. The same depends upon Insurer to Insurer differing from state to state where the regulations keep changing.
Evaluating the risk that can be taken up in the domestic partner insurance requires the same research as evaluating the purchase of any type of health insurance. Taking the time to understand and review a health insurance policy thoroughly is important.
Benefits of Insurance Cover:
The Domestic Partner Insurance is widely accepted by Employers' towards Employees who live with partners. Although there are no explicit provisions in the law that require employers to make the exact same benefits package available to employees' domestic partners that spouses receive, what is typically meant by “coverage for domestic partners” is the extension of some or all benefits currently provided to employees' spouses to other employees' unmarried partners, including health insurance coverage.
Plans that offer supplementary benefits, such as dental benefits, often extend those benefits as well. Other benefits which frequently extend to domestic partners include employee assistance programs (EAPs), dependent life insurance (where available), family leave (i.e., for the birth or adoption of a child or the illness or death of a family member), relocation assistance and financial counseling. Some employers offer certain work / life programs to employees' domestic partners. Employees can usually name anyone for certain survivor benefits.
A handful of companies in each state provide domestic partner insurance. But, the conditions, benefits differ in each state based on their individual experience.
Disclaimers to the concept:
Senate Bill 152, banning most Kentucky government entitles from offering health insurance to employee partners, passed the senate recently.
The bill prevents same sex couples from sharing health insurance benefits and blocks health benefits in the un-adopted grandchildren, sibling and parents of employees, even if the employee has custody of the relative. The bill includes universities, schools and most public agencies.
The intent of the bill is not to prevent the type of insurance coverage provided but only to protect marriage and family structure that is prevalent.