"Partnered lesbians and gay men are more than twice as likely to be uninsured as married heterosexuals,” according to a new study of Californians by Lambda Legal and the Department of Health Services at UCLA.
The research shows that the exclusion of same-sex couples from civil marriages and the lack of insurance equity in domestic partnerships “contribute to unequal access to health coverage, with the probable result that more health spending is pushed onto these individuals and onto the public.”
When an employer’s insurance plan does not cover the employee’s same-sex partner, that partner is often left uninsured. In these cases, the partners are dependent on public insurance options, shifting the cost of their insurance to taxpayers.
“The data from over 100,000 Californians is the first to quantify dependent coverage disparities by sexual orientation,” said Professor Ninez A. Ponce, the principal UCLA co-author. “By not allowing lesbian and gay couples to marry, and not respecting their status when they are married, government invites the private sector to pass the costs of discrimination onto families and communities.”