Empire State regulators say an accident and health insurer can make coverage available to the same-sex domestic partners of insureds without necessarily having to offer coverage to opposite-sex domestic partners.
The New York general counsel’s office recently came to that conclusion in an opinion representing the views of the New York State Insurance Department.
The office came to a similar conclusion in 1994. Since then, New York has enacted a law permitting gay and lesbian couples to form same-sex civil unions.
“There is nothing in the Insurance Law or the regulations promulgated thereunder that mandate that an insurer provide domestic partner coverage at all,” officials write in the new New York opinion.