December 23, 2014
Janis Cowhey, Co-Leader of the LGBT Practice Group, Quoted in South Florida Business Journal Article, "What a Proposed Rule Could Mean for LGBT Couples' Health Coverage."
By Nina Lincoff
Health care insurers in Florida may have more customers after Jan. 6., when same-sex marriages could become legal in the state.
A proposed rule to ensure same-sex spouses in legally valid marriages are recognized and afforded equal rights in Medicare and Medicaid by providers, suppliers, and long-term care facilities was published in mid-December. In Florida that could open up opportunities for coverage.
On Dec. 19, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to extend a stay past Jan. 5 allowing Florida's ban on same-sex marriage. What that refusal and the proposed heath coverage rule add up to is hard to determine, but for same-sex couples married or not, now may be the time to consider available benefits.
The three big federal issues for same-sex spouses to consider are veterans' affairs, family medical leave, and social security, Janis Cowhey McDonagh, tax partner and co-leader of the LGBT Practice group at Marcum LLP, said.
"Many couples retire to Florida and apply for social security, and find that they can't have it. What we've been doing is making sure that you apply before you leave your home state where it is legal," Cowhey McDonagh said.