There are plenty of reasons for two individuals to join together as domestic partners. Whether you’re looking to take your relationship to the next level through the commitment of a domestic partnership, or you strictly do it for the benefits, there are some important questions you probably have running through your mind.
What is a domestic partnership?
Will all states recognize my union?
Am I or my partner eligible for health insurance through our domestic partnership?
We’re going to do our best to answer all the questions you may have, and most importantly, cover the guidelines you’ll need to follow to take advantage of your domestic partner benefits. Let’s get started.
What Are Domestic Partnerships?
Similar to marriage, domestic partnerships are applied to unmarried couples who reside together. Most of the United States registered domestic partnerships are those of couples who are in same-sex relationships. In a few US states, a domestic partnership can still be classified as partners in an opposite-sex relationship who live together.
To register with the state that you are in a domestic partnership, you must file an application with the courts and may have to pay a fee. There are benefits to registering in a domestic partnership such as, right to family leave for a sick partner, right to bereavement leave, visitation rights and ability to receive coverage under a family health insurance policy. These benefits may vary by state and jurisdiction.
Are They Recognized In All States?
Currently, domestic partnerships are not recognized in all fifty United States. There are only a handful of states that will recognize domestic partnerships, so before applying for one, it is imperative that you check your state’s laws. Some states that currently recognize domestic partnerships are:
- District of Columbia
Since there are no current federal guidelines that dictate what domestic partners are eligible for insurance benefits will be dependent on which state you reside.
Covering Your Domestic Partner on Health Insurance
Adding your domestic partner to your health insurance plan may be right for the two of you for numerous reasons. Your partner may not have their own insurance, there may be better benefits if they are covered under your plan, or it just may be more convenient to cover them under your plan. However, finding health coverage for your loved ones is not always an easy task. It can become even more difficult if you are looking for domestic partner health insurance.
Since laws vary from state to state, it is important to find out what kind of coverage you can receive for your domestic partner. The good news is a lot of different health plans have now added dental coverage and vision coverage to those who are in domestic partnerships.
To be eligible for a domestic partnership there are a few different factors that weigh in. Both partners in the relationship need to be eighteen years old or older unless the state of residency has other guidelines. The partners must also be each other’s sole partner and committed to remaining in the relationship indefinitely. Neither partner can be legal married, nor related to each other by blood.
Other factors such as length of time the partners have shared a residence together, how long of a time has elapsed since the termination of any other domestic partnerships and financial interdependent readiness may apply given the state.
How To Prove You Are In A Domestic Partnership
To prove that you are in a domestic partnership, you will have to show proper documentation that you received after applying for the partnership through the courthouse. Be certain that you keep all official documents for safekeeping and have a few certified copies on hand for backup. By having a valid proof of identification and certified copies of your domestic partnership paperwork, it will be simple to prove your domestic partnership.
Domestic Partner Health Insurance Vs. Marriage Coverage
Domestic Partner Health Insurance is when the insurance plan will extend benefits to the partner in the relationship. This may give additional benefits of reduced insurance rates and eligibility for an employee benefits package. This differs little from Marriage Health Coverage.
How To Find Domestic Partnership Insurance
There is more good news also. If you are having trouble finding health insurance to cover your domestic partners, you may need to look no further. There are online resources that can help you find the plan that you are looking for.
If you’re looking to get your search started today, find domestic partner health insurance quotes with FirstQuote Health. Regardless of where you live, we’ll be able to help you find the best coverage options in your area. At FirstQuote Health, we also make it easy to compare plans side by side, and even help you get in touch with experienced agents with no obligation and no cost to you! Get started, and you and your partner can get covered today.