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Another reason why married same-sex couples can celebrate

Marriage equality is not a big issue in states that allow same-sex couples to marry legally. Since Referendum 74 has been approved in early 2012, Washington is one of those states. Aside from that, the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court now allows same-sex partners to be eligible for the same federal benefits heterosexual couples receive.

Same-sex partners in Washington and the rest of the U.S. have even more reason to celebrate after President Obama announced a healthcare reform that benefits married gay couples. According to the report, the US President's healthcare reform law, which will fully take effect in 2015, allows married same-sex partners to qualify for family health plans. The Department of Health and Human Services exercised its authority to prevent insurance carriers from discriminating against gay couples in offering health plans.

Reportedly, a lawsuit filed by a gay couple in Ohio prompted the recent reform under Obamacare. The case involved a same-sex couple who were not allowed to obtain family coverage under the Affordable Care Act because their state did not recognize gay marriage yet. With the new changes, however, an insurance company that offers health care coverage to heterosexual couples now cannot deny that coverage to same-sex partners, thereby preventing discrimination. It also makes affordable health care more accessible to Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation or preferences.

Same-sex spouses are certainly grateful for the benefits they are receiving with the help of the government. As these benefits increase, their role in the event of divorce or legal separation will loom large as well. When getting a divorce in Washington, same-sex couples may be able to resolve property division, child custody and other legal issues. Nonetheless, when it comes to gay marriage, it would be different because of the complicated matters of states law. Fortunately, the broad knowledge of a legal professional is always available.

Source: Reuters, "U.S. says Obamacare covers married gay couples under family plan," David Morgan, Mar. 14, 2014

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