|By John Murawski, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The insurer canceled policies of 20 couples -- some who were legally married in states that recognize gay marriage -- and encouraged them to reapply for separate insurance policies as unmarried individuals. The couples received calls from
"I was so taken aback by it; I was speechless," said
The problem is traced to boilerplate terminology in
There could be similar language embedded in insurance small print in other states, but
Little financial impact
For most of the
But even as same-sex marriage gains wider social acceptance, Moulton said, the incident underscores the daily indignities that gay couples still experience, especially in states such as
"It's not that they are locked out of insurance or that they will be denied subsidies," said
Douglas said the change would have affected billing, insurance cards and other calculations, and it required time for implementation and testing.
"We recognize and agree that the ability to purchase family coverage is important from a fairness standpoint," Douglas said. "The reason for the deferral was that there was no financial impact to most customers."
Tax status affected
Those affected by the
They had been insured separately by
"It's been a really stressful 10 days and a lot of time trying to sort it out," Kimrey said. "For us being told suddenly we have no insurance was a very stressful situation."
Hafke, 29, said applying as unmarried individuals would require the couple to file federal taxes separately rather than jointly, a change that would increase their federal income tax bill by more than
"I'm hoping someone can figure something out," Hafke said.
"We'd like to go back and do things like everyone else and be a family," Hinman said. "This has certainly focused light on
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