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OPM extends long-term care to same-sex partners

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

The same-sex partners of gay and lesbian federal workers may start applying for long term health care insurance starting July 1, the Office of Personnel Management said Tuesday.

President Obama signed a memo last June extending some benefits to the same sex partners of federal workers, including access to the government’s Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program. On Tuesday OPM essentially followed through on that memo by broadening the definition of relatives eligible for the insurance program to include same-sex domestic partners of eligible federal workers, U.S. Postal Service workers and federal annuitants.

But OPM will not extend access to the insurance program to opposite-sex domestic partners, because they can obtain the insurance through marriage, “an option not currently available to same-sex domestic partners,” the agency wrote in Tuesday’s Federal Register.

OPM said interested same-sex couples can visit www.LTCFeds.com to complete a form that states they are committed domestic partner and intend to stay together indefinitely. The federal worker must then submit the form to their employer. Couples will not be required to provide further proof of the relationship, because asking for further proof, “would impose a greater burden on domestic partners than other qualified relatives,” OPM said, noting it does not ask opposite-sex couples for bank statements or other proof of marriage.

Tuesday’s ruling applies only to FLTCIP and no other federal health care or insurance programs. Same-sex partners must answer the same questions about their health as other qualified relatives and are not guaranteed to be approved for coverage. Eligible federal workers do not need to be enrolled in FLTCIP in order for a same-sex partner to apply or be eligible, OPM said.

Though Obama's memo extended some benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian federal workers, Congress would have to change federal law in order to extend them full benefits. Companion bills in the House and Senate await final votes.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | June 2, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener, Workplace Issues  
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Next: Study: Defense Dept. pay-for-performance system 'flawed'

Comments

Under Health Care Reform, Health insurance is a must, but now you can easily find health insurance for $40 http://bit.ly/c3RV9F

Posted by: winsenronec | June 2, 2010 6:16 AM | Report abuse

How much is it going to cost taxpayers to support the friends of gummint workers involved in an immoral lifestyle?

Posted by: thebump | June 2, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Okeefe violated his probation by lying to get a Census job under false pretenses. Will the nearest federal marshal please club him and drag him back to prison?

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | June 2, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

"How much is it going to cost taxpayers to support the friends of gummint workers involved in an immoral lifestyle?"

It is of course a tiny fraction of taxes collected from gay Americans.

As for 'lifestyle's, are you all up in arms over health care being given to divorcees? That's immoral, according to the Bible.

Or how about anyone that's ever cheated on a spouse? Or disrespected their parents?

Where do you draw the line? One you decide that withholding life-saving medical coverage based on 'morality' where do you stop?

Posted by: Hillman1 | June 2, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Ed,

Please don't call it "long term health care insurance." This may have been a mistake (or perhaps you are not informed about what long term care insurance is), but you will confuse your readers by using that title.

It is not health insurance or "health care insurace." Instead, it is long term care insurance ... i.e, insurance for when you need long term care. Long term care is care that you need if you can no longer perform everyday tasks by yourself due to a chronic illness, injury, disability or the aging process.

For more information follow this link: http://www.ltcfeds.com/start/aboutltc_whatis.html

TheThoughtfulBureaucrat

Posted by: TheThoughtfulBureaucrat | June 2, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

You people are so judgemental. Paying benefits to people who aren't working for them isn't waste, it's.... stimulus!

Posted by: seraphina21 | June 2, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

thebump wrote: "How much is it going to cost taxpayers to support the friends of gummint workers involved in an immoral lifestyle?"
-----

I completely agree... It is high time "the gummint" stops spending our tax dollars on benefits for anyone who cheats on a spouse!

Posted by: iMikeDC | June 2, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

This is perfect: healthcare discrimination based on sexual preference. Only if you're not heterosexual can you get benefits for your unmarried "domestic partners". It clearly discriminates against unmarried hetero couples. This will surely fail constitutional challenge.

On the other hand, the good thing is, there's no requirement for same-sex domestic partners to be sexually involved, or even gay at all. Skirt-chasing fratboys can be "domestic partners" too. It's beautiful. It highlights the utter absurdity of sex-couple benefits, married or not. The benefits must be limited to childrearing partnerships, not just people living together. Marriage has never benefitted society in any way. There should be no discrimination against single people, especially in this new age of population pressure destroying the planet. Procreation should be discouraged for the good of the planet.

Equal rights for singletons! Protected status for "persons of singular persuasion!"

Posted by: Religulous | June 2, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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