In Washington, DC, two new laws were enacted this month that will impact insurance coverage eligibility in same-sex marriages performed out-of-state. The Jury and Marriage Amendment Act of 2009, effective July 6, 2009, provides that “marriages legally entered into in another jurisdiction between two persons of the same sex shall be recognized as a marriage in the District.” The Domestic Partnership Judicial Determination of Parentage Amendment Act of 2009, effective July 20, 2009, will direct the Mayor or, in the case of the Mayor’s deferral, District government agencies to recognize as domestic partnerships those relationships, other than marriages (e.g., civil unions), that are “substantially similar” to domestic partnerships in the District and established under the laws of an out-of-state jurisdiction.
Pursuant to the two laws, insurance products covering the spouse or domestic partner of a primary or group insurance policyholder will be deemed to cover the same-sex spouse or same-sex domestic partner of the insured. The laws are applicable to all insurance policies.
The District has released a bulletin, available here, which provides guidance to insurers, health maintenance organizations and third-party filers on applying the new laws