Same-sex marriages command benefits

Same-sex marriage in Minnesota became law Aug. 1, and the Minnesota Department of Commerce and Department of Health issued a joint bulletin to all insurers to provide guidance related to insurance coverage for dependents.

The new law means that policies issued in Minnesota that provides dependent coverage for spouses must make that insurance coverage available to all spouses regardless of their sex.

The guidance issued in the bulletin by the Commerce Department asserts that although insurance companies may still choose whether its policies provide dependent benefits, the companies cannot define spouse in a way that would limit coverage to opposite-sex spouses.

Therefore, policies that prohibit coverage after August 1, 2013 to same-sex partners would violate Minnesota law.

Consumers with questions about insurance coverage or complaints related to insurance should call the Commerce Department’s Consumer Response Team (CRT) at(651) 539-1600 or (800) 657-3602 (Greater Minnesota)