Health Care

Medical Mutual Enrolling Same-Sex Couples

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CLEVELAND – Medical Mutual of Ohio is treating the recent United States Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage as a qualifying event for special enrollment, the health insurer announced Thursday.

This means eligible Medical Mutual members will have a 60-day special enrollment period beginning with the date of the ruling, June 26, to add a spouse if they were already married in a state that previously permitted same-sex marriage.

If the application is received on or before Aug. 25, coverage will be made effective as of June 26.

“Through the years, Medical Mutual has covered same-sex spouses in many of our plans,” said Patricia Decensi, Medical Mutual senior vice president and general counsel. “The Supreme Court’s ruling means that we will consider same-sex spouses eligible in all of our plans.”

Decensi also noted that, outside of this special 60-day enrollment period, marriages are considered a qualifying event and newly married spouses and their dependent children may be added in accordance with the terms of the insured’s plan. Children of same-sex spouses would be treated as any other dependents under the plan’s eligibility guidelines.

This policy will apply to all of Medical Mutual’s fully insured group and individual plans. However, it will be up to self-insured groups to handle their own enrollment and eligibility, Decensi said. It is recommended that self-funded plans work with benefits attorneys to determine their obligations.

Medical Mutual of Ohio, founded in 1934, is the oldest and largest health insurance company based in Ohio.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.