"Speechless": BCBS cancels gay couples' insurance policies

As if the government's oppression wasn't enough for same-sex couples to deal with, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC is piling on by canceling health insurance policies they had already issued to gay couples:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the state’s biggest health insurer, has systematically canceled family insurance policies it sold last month to gay and lesbian couples in North Carolina under the Affordable Care Act.

The insurer canceled policies of 20 couples – some who were legally married in states that recognize gay marriage – and encouraged them to reapply for separate insurance policies as unmarried individuals. The couples received calls from Blue Cross in mid-January, several weeks after they purchased their family health insurance, and were told their family coverage was invalid.

Apparently the reason for this nonsense is some antiquated BCBS policy that they claim they intended to correct, but just didn't get around to fixing. The article indicates that it won't prevent people from getting insurance, but it's at least a hassle and at most an increased financial burden for the affected families.

“I was so taken aback by it; I was speechless,” said Al Hinman, who moved with his husband to Durham from New York last year. “It was wrong, and it shouldn’t have happened that way. For 24 years we’ve been on the same insurance with a few gaps.”

Living in BackwardNC often leaves many people speechless.


Only in NC

Yes, really, only in backward NC:

From the same article cited in the original post:

There could be similar language embedded in insurance small print in other states, but North Carolina is the only state where cancellations of same-sex customers have surfaced so far, said Brian Moulton, legal director for Human Rights Campaign, a national gay-rights organization in Washington, D.C.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

I hope

I hope to someday witness BCBS being run out of this state on a rail, along with their monopoly.


"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

I would imagine

thousands of people lining the streets and cheering as they wave goodbye to BCBS NC.

It's interesting that the article notes that Coventry (the only other NC provider, thanks to Pat and the Tillisberger) does not prevent family policies being sold to same-sex couples.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Employer coverage BCBS

The article notes that Blue Cross Blue Shield offers same-sex benefits to its own employees. The company is also an insurance vendor for companies in NC that offer same sex benefits for their employees.

Since legal same sex marriages have been going on for some time in different states and have already been providing these types of policies to employers and their own employees, it's surprising that BCBS still has this language in their "open market" policies.

BCBSNC has had years to fix this

Every year when I ask my employer (of under 50 employees) to cover domestic partners, they say BCBSNC doesn't offer it for small groups.

When I served on boards and committees of non-profits, I asked to include domestic partner benefits, but when quotes from BCBSNC came back, they always denied that option because the employer had under 50 employees.

This is a years-long problem that BCBSNC has deliberately kept in place.

Thank goodness there's finally some light being shed on this.



Thank you for posting this. I wasn't aware of it.

I find this more disturbing than the main story - basically, for small businesses and non-profits that want to offer same-sex benefits to their employees, BCBS of NC has basically been saying "screw you", while offering it to their own employees and those that work with large corporations or universities they contract with.

This is simply irresponsible.

Interesting article

In reading that entire article it looks like BCBS is saying that they actually are following the rules set down but are going to change those rules for 2015 so they will then offer coverage for same-sex partners or same-sex married couples. My question is why not just change that provision now? The article says that it could not find out how many other states may have that same company-policy clause that says BCBS can only offer coverage to couples made up of two sexes. And it does not say why BCBS actually does offer its own employees that are living together in a same-sex relationship coverage as if they were in a heterosexual marriage.

I was happy to read in this article that the new individual coverage these couples had to get was not more expensive and it looks like at least one got their coverages cheaper. That isn't the point, though. The point is that this shouldn't have ever come up in the first place.