CHAPEL HILL: Blue Cross NC to offer plans to same-sex couples - WNCT

Blue Cross NC to offer plans to same-sex married couples

Posted: Updated:
BCBSNC announced Wednesday that same-sex married couples will be eligible to purchase family coverage. BCBSNC announced Wednesday that same-sex married couples will be eligible to purchase family coverage.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina announced Wednesday that same-sex married couples and anyone in a domestic partnership will be eligible to purchase family coverage.

The company recently received criticism for its decision not to offer Affordable Care Act plans for married same-sex couples or domestic partners. But Wednesday, the company said its decision to delay family coverage was inconsistent with its commitment to serve all North Carolina residents.

"In order to ensure that our technology was ready for the Affordable Care Act, our company chose to postpone a number of product updates until 2015. One of these was to begin making family coverage available to same-sex married couples and domestic partners ... in our ACA-approved plans," said Brad Wilson, BCBSNC President and CEO.

Wilson acknowledged that Blue Cross "should have more thoughtfully considered this decision, with full appreciation of the impact it would have."

"We're sorry we failed to do so," Wilson said.

Beginning Monday, same-sex married couples and anyone in a domestic partnership may purchase new family coverage on or off the exchange for an effective date of March 1.

Also, domestic partners and same-sex married couples who enrolled separately on ACA plans can convert them into family plans retroactive to their original effective date.

Last week, BCBSNC came under fire after it canceled family insurance policies sold to 20 gay and lesbian couples on a federal insurance marketplace because of restrictive contract language.

North Carolina's largest insurer was legally bound to invalidate the policies because of standard language in the insurer's individual policies that define "spouse" as "opposite sex," state Insurance Department spokeswoman Kerry Hall said.

The company said it planned in 2015 to change the language in order to offer insurance options to same-sex married couples and couples in domestic partnerships, but the criticism that came with the plan cancellations pushed BCBSNC to change course.

The only other insurer selling subsidized coverage on North Carolina's federally run insurance marketplace is Coventry Health, which doesn't bar same-sex couples from buying a family policy, spokesman Walt Cherniak said.

RELATED STORIES

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Monday, April 14 2014 4:07 PM EDT2014-04-14 20:07:04 GMT
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
  • Piedmont Farm Tour

    Piedmont Farm Tour

    Piedmont Farm Tour

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:25 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:25:38 GMT
    The 2014 Piedmont Farm Tour is happening April 26-27 from 2-6pm both days! Come learn about the Triangle’s local and organic farm food scene. Meet local farmers tour their farms!View ourGoogle Interactive Mapfor alist ofthe exceptional farms on the tour this year – with driving directions!Download a PDF of theFarm Tour Brochure - Farm tour maps, directions and descriptions of all the fun things to do at each farm! How to Take the Piedmont Farm Tour Load up a car with your friends andfamily...
    The 2014 Piedmont Farm Tour is happening April 26-27 from 2-6pm both days! Come learn about the Triangle’s local and organic farm food scene. Meet local farmers tour their farms!View ourGoogle Interactive Mapfor alist ofthe exceptional farms on the tour this year – with driving directions!Download a PDF of theFarm Tour Brochure - Farm tour maps, directions and descriptions of all the fun things to do at each farm! How to Take the Piedmont Farm Tour Load up a car with your friends andfamily...
Powered by WorldNow

3221 South Evans Street
Greenville N.C. 27834

Telephone: 252.355.8500
Fax: 252.355.8568
Email: newsdesk@wnct.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.