California’s Long Reach to Protect Domestic Partners
The California domestic partner law was amended in the 2011-2012 Legislative Session to require individual and group health plans, including managed care plans, to provide equal coverage to a registered domestic partner as is provided to a spouse of the employee or insured, beginning January 1, 2012. What this law does is attempt to extend the California law that requires equal treatment of registered domestic partners to out-of-state insurance contracts and out-of-state employers. It is not clear, at this point, how exactly this law will be enforced; but the intent is there.
Further, it is important for California employers to know that if the employer is going to require proof of registered domestic partner status for purposes of plan participation, it must likewise require proof of marital status.
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