If you've been living with someone for a long time and have plans to stay together forever, PPO domestic partner insurance plans may be your best healthcare solution.
What Are PPO Domestic Partner Insurance Plans?
For many years, employer insurance benefits and most private insurance plans were offered for only two family classes -- either single or married. However, more recently states and private companies are working harder to accommodate modern cultural changes.
The History of Domestic Partnership Benefits
In 2010, the Census Bureau reported that fewer couples are getting married than ever before. This was a trend that started in the 1990s, which may explain why the trend of companies offering HMO and PPO domestic partner insurance plans continues to rise. The first company to offer domestic partner benefits was the Village Voice Newspaper in 1982. According to Salary.com, at least a fifth of Fortune 500 companies have opted to offer domestic partnership benefits since the 1990s.
Some domestic partnership benefits might differentiate between same sex and mixed sex partnerships and many only offer the benefits to same sex partners. If you are a company looking for PPO organizations that provide these benefits in a fair and equitable way, the organizations below have an excellent history of offering those benefits.
Finding the Right PPO for Unmarried Couples
Depending upon which state you do business in, it can be either very easy or very difficult to find a PPO domestic partner insurance plan to offer your employees. A lot depends on the laws that the state government passed regarding domestic partnerships, as well as the overall public sentiment regarding the status of these family arrangements.
What is a PPO?
The acronym PPO means "Preferred Provider Organization." This means that the plan covers most health procedures at the highest financial level if you are willing to visit medical providers that are preferred by the insurance organization. These medical providers are usually preferred because they've signed a contract with the insurance company promising to provide medical services at an agreed-upon rate, which is usually lower than the standard rates. If you are covered by a PPO and opt to visit a medical provider outside of the "preferred list," the benefits are usually less and your copayment for services may be significantly higher.
Top Five PPO Domestic Partner Insurance Plans
The following insurance providers were listed in 2009 among the top ten health plans in terms of enrollment levels in addition to offering a domestic partnership program.
- Blue Cross Blue Shield - In most states, Blue Cross Blue Shield does not provide domestic partnership insurance. Blue Cross Blue Shield only offers the benefit in Florida, Hawaii, and New York.
- Aetna - In many states, such as Arizona, California and Massachusetts, Aetna offers domestic partner insurance coverage.
- CIGNA - Cigna is clearly the top insurance company when it comes to offering domestic partners equal benefits as other couples, providing coverage in almost every state across the U.S.
- Group Health Incorporated - GHI offers coverage for couples living together as long as you fill out a Declaration of Financial Interdependence and an Alternative Affidavit of Domestic Partnership form.
- Humana - One of the largest insurance companies in the U.S. in 2009, Humana offered coverage to unmarried couples in Arizona.
If you've been living for a long time with a partner, there is no longer any reason for your partner to go without health insurance. Make sure to check with your employer to determine if they offer one of the PPO programs listed above, or any others available in your state. If your company doesn't offer the benefit, suggest one of the plans in your state that provides such a program.