Company medical plans discriminate against unmarried couples

Many
private medical plans discriminate against unmarried couples according to a
recent survey by William M. Mercer.

The
survey of 527 company-sponsored medical plans finds that only 48 per cent allow
membership by common-law spouses and only 44 per cent by same sex partners.

More
than half of the plans limit cover to legally married couples.

Steve
Clements, European partner at William M.Mercer, said, “Surprisingly, a
significant number of plans appear to be out of tune with current social
trends. As things stand, many employers could be accused of acting unjustly, as
a large proportion of partners are not allowed membership. However, with the
increasing emphasis on equal treatment and inclusiveness, there are signs that
more companies are looking to address this issue.”

The
survey also shows that 50 per cent of companies pay for their employees’ health
insurance but do not contribute towards the cost of other family members, while
46 per cent pay for full family cover.

Three
per cent of organisations pay for employees and their spouses and the remaining
one per cent share the cost with employees.

By
Katie Hawkins

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