Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation
North Carolina

Blue Cross and Blue Shield cuts family policies for gay N.C. couples

Sunday, January 26, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s largest insurer has cancelled family insurance policies sold to 20 gay and lesbian couples on a federal insurance marketplace because of restrictive contract language the company plans to remove next year.

blue-cross-ncBlue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina 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.

Gay rights advocates point out the nonprofit insurer offers domestic partner benefits to its own employees, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported, and that Blue Cross insurance plans offered by large North Carolina companies also include health benefits for employees and their same-sex partner.

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.

Advertisement
Blue Cross has never offered domestic partner or same-sex health coverage on individual and small group policies in North Carolina, spokeswoman Michelle Douglas said.

The insurer said it had intended to update its plans to include those offerings, but postponed making the change in terminology as the company scrambled to get ready for what turned out to be a rocky rollout of subsidized insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

The change would have affected billing, insurance cards and other calculations that required time for implementation and testing, Douglas said.

Blue Cross said it plans in 2015 to offer the same insurance options to same-sex married couples and couples in domestic partnerships as are offered to everyone else.

© 2014, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Share this article with your friends and followers:

Archives: , , ,

Filed under: North Carolina

66 more reader comments:

  1. You have got to be kidding me!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:35pm
  2. F U NC..aint nobody got time for you

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:36pm
  3. BCBS you suck! I will make sure my company does not get their policy from you next year

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:37pm
  4. how hateful can one get i ask you

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:37pm
  5. time for a lawsuit!!!!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:38pm
  6. They suck

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:38pm
  7. Sounds like the state’s fault, not necessarily the company’s fault.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:38pm
  8. It is the states.

    Replied on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:46pm
  9. This will only help the marriage equality fight.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:38pm
  10. suddenly I see many lawsuits ahead for them!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:39pm
  11. What a pit NC is getting to be!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:39pm
  12. Wish I could unlike double thumbs down. I get blue cross and blue shield through work and I’m very gay.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:40pm
  13. right on, they don’t see that we’re all God’s children too.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:40pm
  14. Bsbc need taught a lesson

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:40pm
  15. Couldn’t be bothered to change their policies in a timely manner. Naturally these pigs blame it on Obama.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:40pm
  16. ..hUmmmmm Lesbian

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:41pm
  17. Holy crap! They can’t do that, right?

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:42pm
  18. In NC you can.

    Replied on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:48pm
  19. Many employers and insurance companies in states that have legalized marriage are doing this cause they feel now that marriage is an option it’s fair to.do as heterosexuals also have to be married to get family coverage. I feel forcing people, anyone to get married for insurance is wrong.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:43pm
  20. What the hell? One step forward, two steps back is getting old!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:43pm
  21. What crap!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:44pm
  22. Hmm… That’s where I work and I’ve heard nothing about this. And it doesn’t seem like something we’d do. It’s a very pro gay company

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:45pm
  23. Fuch NC, it’s pne regressive thing after another.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:45pm
  24. North Carolina is disgusting. People are moving out.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:47pm
  25. Um…Did any of you actually READ the article? They HAD to cancel the polices due to unchanged contract language that is being changed. Nobody’s being denied insurance because they’re gay– BCBS is a GLBT-inclusive employer, and this is really nothing more than a story about them having to change the language in their policy to INCLUDE those married couples who are same-gender, NOT about kicking gay couples off the insurance… Jeez, y’all…

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:47pm
  26. Blue Cross is something quite different in the UK, so this kind confused me :P

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:47pm
  27. Ah, that makes sense. I work in a Colorado location, must be different.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:47pm
  28. Nope, can’t open the link on my phone. My bad.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:48pm
  29. Bastards

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:49pm
  30. Born and raised in Burlington North Carolina. Glad I moved to Honolulu. Love hawaii! I have my rights and can marry the one I love. North Carolina you make me sick!!!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:51pm
  31. Quite opposite of what New Mexico’s BCBS is doing.

    I think.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:52pm
  32. Another reason I would rather pay the penalty for not having insurance

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:53pm
  33. Bryon!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:54pm
  34. Disgusting

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:55pm
  35. WTF?

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:55pm
  36. DISLIKE!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:56pm
  37. Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:59pm
  38. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska refused to pay for my blood work to check my hormone levels. I got charged over $300 by the testing lab. Sad thing I had been paying over 650 a month for insurance that seems to refuse any thing that sounds close to transgender. So I am feeling this insurance company is very anti LGBT, but they will take your money.

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:00am
  39. Yes Christopher Williams?

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:01am
  40. They are horrible. I have them and have no trans coverage

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:02am
  41. Makes the 5th Amendment issue crystal clear and irrefutable.

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:06am
  42. Horrible BCBS

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:07am
  43. wtf

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:09am
  44. NC sucks! What a nasty bigoted and hateful state. Blue cross and blue shield are wrong to cut these policies!

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:12am
  45. Bc/bs sucks they are anti gay

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:16am
  46. Is this illegal?

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:18am
  47. And this will be the reason we become the last industrial country to socialize medicine

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:18am
  48. Not surprising. My wife has BCBS through work (we live in Virginia) and even though her company is equality friendly and offers us full benefits which would include coverage for our daughter and the company recognizes all marriages regardless of where the couple resides, BCBS has said they won’t insure our daughter or myself because we live in Virginia.

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:24am
  49. I would think they would want more money that’s all they fucking care about anyways they don’t give a flying fuck about your health and I guess they don’t want your “gay” money either

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:26am
  50. Ya but I’ve read about some shady dealings BCBS pulled to get some people to double their copay. They were “Grandfathered” in a certain policy. Tricked into giving up their status, hence doubled the payments.
    Its too bad for this dirty play. BCBS used to be the best…

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:36am
  51. They’re actually adding it back though, this was a snafu with the language in this contract, this is kind of a non-story

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:36am
  52. lawsuit city

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:37am
  53. BCBS must be sued for discriminating…

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:39am
  54. WTF?! SMH…

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:47am
  55. This is the curse of working in a heavily regulated industry. When regs quickly, companies cannot keep up. There were probably hundred of folk working long hours doing thier best to dot the i’s and cross the t’s in order to provide benefits that conform with the thousands of old, new and proposed regulations. This isn’t perfect, but most things that rely on people seldom are. BCBS is committed to fixing the issue. Unless you can turn back time, that is as much as can be asked. I feel bad for those 20 families this year, but let’s keep perspective.

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:57am
  56. I feel like that could be considered as a hate crime

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 1:01am
  57. How the hell?

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 1:03am
  58. hat do you expect from N.C. ??? — racist, sexist, AND filled with other prejudices!

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 1:14am
  59. yep lawsuit big time !!!!

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 1:14am
  60. Down with the Blue!

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 1:26am
  61. Isn’t this unconstitutional

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 1:31am
  62. Whaaaaaaattttttt?????

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 1:38am
  63. This is not only unconstitutional but way wrong

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 1:58am
  64. I have always hated BCCS. They stink.

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 2:09am
  65. Losers! Single payer now!

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 2:10am
  66. Guess I won’t be doing business with them.

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 2:13am