Bill To Extend COBRA Benefits Introduced Into Congress
A bill to extend equal COBRA health benefits to LGBT families was introduced in the House of Representatives on Thursday by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY). The Washington Blade reports on the legislation, known as Equal Access to COBRA Act.
In a statement, Boxer highlighted the necessity of passing the legislation to help ensure LGBT people have health care coverage.
“All of our families deserve equal access to health insurance,” Boxer said. “This bill would help ensure that domestic partners and their families will be able to keep their health coverage if their partner loses their job.”
The measure would apply to companies that already offer health coverage to employees with same-sex partners to ensure they have access to Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act benefits if they lose their job.
Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, praised the introduction of the legislation.
“In these troubled economic times, social safety-net benefits like COBRA continuation coverage are even more important to American families,” Solmonese said. “LGBT people should have the equal ability to maintain those critical benefits for their families during difficult times.”
According to Boxer’s office, more than half of Fortune 500 companies cover domestic partners under their health plans.