Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Today in "Living with DOMA"

Today I submitted our marriage license to HMS Employer Solutions, based in
Jeffersonville, Indiana. I did this as required by RASHP, a consortium of Rochester area school districts, to verify my husband, Kyle, is eligibile to be covered as spouse on my health care policy.

(It should be noted that the school district already has a copy of my marriage certificate on file which they accepted as proof of our marriage. So after 35 years with this benefit, worth thousands of dollars and untold peace-of-mind, I was finally given equality of contractual benefits.)
HMS requires an additional document dated within the last two months: A joint bank account statement, a joint household bill, joint mortgage payment or the front page of our federal tax return filed jointly. We have none of these as the mortgage and all bills are in my name. And because of DOMA (the so-called, Defense of Marriage Act) I am forced to lie and flle as single, under penalty of, ironically, perjury.

The HMS website proudly claims: HMS Employer Solutions has identified more than 60,000 ineligible dependents, saving millions of dollars for employers.
(Is it any of my former employers business how my mortgage is held or my bills are paid?)
I called HMS and explained the situation. After consultation with a supervisor, I was told “Your company does not recognize ‘domestic partnerships.’ I am not in a domestic partnership. I am married.

My employer had to offer me coverage under Martinez v Monroe County ( which was decided in favor of the defendant. Under this decision contractual benefits offered to married couples had to be offered to all married couples, regardless of the jurisdiction in which they were married.

I have called and left a message with my employers benefits department. I remain confident that this will be resolved in favor of my current coverage.

It does stand ,however, as further testimony as to why marriage equality is needed, not only by every state, but by the federal government. DOMA must be repealed.

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