Gay Couple Files Federal Suit in Ohio After Being Denied Coverage Under Obamacare

Earlier this week a gay couple in Ohio filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. government and state of Ohio after being denied coverage under Obamacare, Reuters reports:

OhioThe plaintiffs, Alfred Cowger and Anthony Wesley of Gates Mills, Ohio, have been together since 1986 and were married in New York state in 2012, six years after adopting a daughter, according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Ohio…

…After initially being unable to enroll in Obamacare because of glitches involving the troubled rollout of the website, they said in the suit that they were assured by Anthem they could remain under its policy after December 2013, although premiums would increase by about 20 percent.

But in November, according to the suit, Cowger said he received a letter from Anthem stating their policy "was to be terminated because it was not in compliance with the ACA."

A new family policy with Anthem would cost about twice their existing one, or about half the family's joint income, and not be eligible for tax credits under Obamacare.

Full story here.


  1. Steve says

    More absurdity due to America’s ridiculously extreme and impractical federalism. The implementation of federal programs needs to be uniform and can’t be left up to the states. Meth labs of democracy indeed.

  2. Steve Talbert says

    This isn’t because they are Gay because the old policy covered them.

    Unfortunately, Obama took a Public Option and expansion of Medicare as a choice off the table, and their old policy probably isn’t good enough under the ACA rules. They need to go to the Ohio exchange the way it is now.

    In the future, learn that we don’t need more Democrats, we need BETTER ones.

  3. Paul B. says

    Sorry, but there’s something missing from this sad story. I’m in a very similar situation in CA and ACA has saved my family tons of $$$.
    So, let’s talk income…and see where the real problem lies…because if it’s not that, it’s something else we’re missing.

  4. john says

    I call BS. This is a publicity stunt because theyre not happy with the ACA. Gates Mills is like the Beverly Hills of Cleveland…I live here…I the article states that the plaintiffs are an attorney and chief financial officer of corporation. Sorry, but if these people cant afford health care they need to move to a place they can afford to live.

  5. Quicksilver says

    @john Yo, dimjeans. The CFO retired (no employer bennies) and the attorney (self-employed) scaled back his hours. So they applied with their reduced income for a family policy when before they were in a non-group policy. Ohio decided so late in the game to get with the ACA as well as accept the Medicaid expansion money, and because of glitches in not getting all applications to Ohio, there has been nothing but a constant nightmare for people in this state when it comes to getting personal insurance. All rates skyrocketed for everyone. Most people had to cut their coverage in order to pay the same amount starting January first. Anthem told them one thing, did another. Just as they did with everyone else. And now they can’t get a family policy at family rates because they are not a legal family in this state. I hope they stick it to this state and the US government until real reform happens. We need a single payer insurance program that covers everything like they have in Australia. Get rid of these shyster insurance companies. Healthcare is not a free market commodity.

  6. Paul B. says

    @JOHN…couldn’t agree with you more.
    @Quicksilver…if you’re trying to drum up sympathy for this pair…you’re wasting your time. Anybody with half a brain can see this smells bad…and you’re pathetic attempt to explain it away only makes it stink more.

  7. Paul B. says

    @JOHN…couldn’t agree with you more.
    @Quicksilver…if you’re trying to drum up sympathy for this pair…you’re wasting your time. Anybody with half a brain can see this smells bad…and you’re pathetic attempt to explain it away only makes it stink more.

  8. SteveP says

    “”As a result, the Cowger-Wesley family went from one family policy in 2013 to three different individual policies,” it added.”

    This is a key piece of information we needed. Individual policies are EXPENSIVE. Mine alone is $750 a month now that Obamacare is in effect. That’s in addition to now having to pay 20% of everything after the deductible is met (Previously it was $315 a month with 100% coverage after the deductible, that policy was cancelled because I didn’t have maternity coverage as a gay male).

    I agree there’s something missing here, though. It seems very strange that a CFO wouldn’t have health benefits as part of his retirement package.

  9. jim says

    The way this was reported on NPR this morning (Morning Edition) was that the primary thrust of the lawsuit is that Ohio doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, not the whole insurance/ACA thing. Strange that NPR had this take on it but a gay news blog doesn’t…

  10. jim says

    Just odd, Andy. The third paragraph in the article you linked spells it out clearly:

    “The suit names the U.S. government and the state of Ohio as defendants, charging they violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights by refusing to recognize their married status, thereby preventing them from enrolling in family coverage under the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.”

    Yet the post makes it sound like it’s all about the ACA.

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