Same-sex couples guaranteed equal access to nursing homes
All legally married beneficiaries in private Medicare plans have equal rights when a partner or spouse requires nursing home care the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today. In July 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional.
As a result, this guidance ensures that same sex couples “will have access to coverage in a nursing home where their spouse lives, regardless of their sexual orientation,” according to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Secretary Marilyn Tavenner.
In the memo, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, “Today’s announcement is the first of many steps… to clarify the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision and to ensure that gay and lesbian married couples are treated equally under the law.”
The announcement explains that the coverage guarantee applies equally to couples who are legally joined in a same-sex marriage, regardless of where they live.
Related article: Same-sex couples guaranteed access to partners in nursing homes
Sandra Hoban was on I Advance Senior Care / Long-Term Living’s editorial staff for 17 years. She is one of the country’s longest-serving senior care journalists. Before joining Long-Term Living, she was a member of the promotions department at Advanstar Communications. In addition to her editorial experience, Sandi has served past roles in print and broadcast advertising as a traffic and talent coordinator.
Topics: Advocacy , Executive Leadership , Medicare/Medicaid