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Domestic Partner Health Insurance 101


Senior couple talking to doctor, smiling
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What is Domestic Partner Insurance?
Domestic partner insurance is when an unmarried couple in a committed relationship decide to share an insurance plan. Traditionally, when a couple shared an insurance plan they were married. Now, many couples of the same and opposite sex are able to share insurance just as a married couple would and reap all the benefits of doing so, with the biggest benefit being a reduced insurance rate and the ability to have their fair share of an employers' benefit package.

Who Qualifies as a Domestic Partner?
Since there are no current federal guidelines that state what a domestic partnership is, that answer is up to each individual state. It is becoming common practice for states to recognize a domestic partnership as a committed couple in a relationship (same sex or opposite sex) similar to a marriage, but with no official marriage license. So, this would mean that the couple would have similar characteristics of a marriage such as sharing a common residence and financial responsibility. Often times an insurance company will require proof of a committed relationship such as receipts and bills showing that you both share financial responsibility, a notarized document, or, in some states that it is available, a filed domestic partnership agreement from the city clerk's office (check out About.com: Lesbian Life for more information on states that grant domestic partnerships). If you want to learn more about specific state laws on domestic partnerships you can check out About.com: Gay Life's article on the Benefits of a Domestic Partnership.

How do I Evaluate Domestic Partner Insurance?
Evaluating domestic partner insurance requires the same research as evaluating the purchase of any type of health insurance. Taking the time to understand and review a health insurance policy thoroughly is important and will help you get the most out of your insurance. Using the Health Insurance 101 article will help you determine the kind of health insurance coverage you may need along with information on understanding your health insurance policy and claims assistance.

How do I Find a Domestic Partner Insurance Company?
Finding an insurance company that will accept you and your domestic partner can sometimes be a lengthy, time consuming process. The first step would be to start with your insurance plan at work. It may be best to contact the insurance company directly and ask them if you can insure your domestic partner on your employee health insurance plan and if so what steps do you need to take to get started. If your employer's health insurance plan does not provide domestic partner insurance next check with a private company. Here are some online sources that may help in your search for domestic partner insurance:

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