More employers are requiring same-sex couples to marry to receive health care benefits after the 2015 Supreme Court ruling to legalize same-sex marriage. The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans revealed that three in ten employers will be eliminating same-sex domestic partner benefits.
The year prior to the Supreme Court ruling, employers reported that:
- 51% provided benefits to same-sex partners in civil unions
- 59% provided benefits to same-sex domestic partners
- 79% provided benefits to same-sex spouses
The year after the Supreme Court ruling, employers reported that:
- 31% are providing benefits to same-sex partners in civil unions (down 20% from 2014)
- 48% are providing benefits to same-sex domestic partners (down 11% from 2014)
At the same time, the larger companies (10,000 or more employees) are more likely to continue offering same-sex domestic partner benefits and most employers (86%) are providing benefits to same-sex spouses, which is an increase of 7% from 2014. Offering the same coverage to same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples makes it fair, consistent and an easier task for administrators.
Julie Stich, CEBS, Associate VP of Content at the International Foundation states that she “wouldn’t expect all employers to drop the domestic partner benefits” though. “Competitive employers are always working to provide an inclusive benefit package, and offering domestic partner benefits can build a culture of inclusion and help the company attract the best talent.”
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