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N.Y. Tells Insurers to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

New York state Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo has announced that same-sex couples who legally marry outside of New York state must be treated as a...
December 2, 2008

New York state Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo has announced that same-sex couples who legally marry outside of New York state must be treated as a married couple under New York insurance law, including for health insurance. Dinallo said the policy is consistent with long-standing policy for opposite-sex couples who get married outside the state. The departmental bulletin, or circular letter, to all licensees covers life, disability, long-term-care, health insurance and other products. The department's determination, published in a circular letter, was based on a legal review that began in early spring, after consumers and insurers requested guidance.

"We expect insurance companies to provide the same rights and benefits to all legally married couples, regardless of the sex of the spouses," Dinallo said, adding that an insurer's refusal to extend health insurance or other coverage equally to all couples may constitute unfair discrimination and/or an unfair act or practice.

N.Y. DOI Circular Letter No. 27 (11/21/08)

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