Blue Cross sees the error of its ways, restores coverage for gay couples

Last week, the Blues screwed up big time, dumping coverage for gay couples who were married in more enlightened states. It was a boneheaded move and the blow-back was harsh. Today the company apologized and fixed things.

Same-sex couples and anyone in a domestic partnership may, beginning Monday, purchase family coverage either directly from Blue Cross or on the exchange, the company said. Coverage would become effective March 1. Also, domestic partners and same-sex couples who enrolled separately on ACA plans also can convert them into family plans, retroactive to their original effective date.

I don't like much about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. The company could have been a player in helping to move our state toward a single-payer healthcare system, but its self-interest always manages to trump the public interest. That said, I'm glad to see that they got this one right, and did so quickly.


Every so often

Negative press shames or embarrasses a company into changing their behavior.

"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis

Why LGBT visibility is so important

Groups like Equality NC and others, and the individuals involved who told their stories, and were seen and heard seemed to be an important factor in winning this change.

Another opportunity for LGBT visibility is coming up at HKonJ. For the past 2 months I've been planning and trying to bring together the various LGBT groups in the state to march together at HKonJ. I think visibility is important for the LGBT community and I think it's important to show solidarity with other justice and equality issues in the movement at large.

I've called or e-mailed or spoken to in person or facebook shared this info with every PFLAG chapter, LGBT college student group, LGBT Dems group, and other LGBT group I can think of in the state. And along the way Equality NC stepped up to help out, and be the glue that holds this groups together, that can have mass distribution of signs, and that can hold space for the various LGBT groups and individuals to meet up and find each other on the day of.

Here's what I've been posting (using a slightly modified version of a very helpful map the NAACP made):

We have more power when we march together! Join the HKonJ Moral March & Rally on Sat Feb 8th in Raleigh, and march with the unified coalition of LGBT organizations spearheaded by Equality NC.
Event details:

The most interesting part of the BCBSNC policy change to me

... is their sudden update on the small group employee plans.

• Small groups will have the option to offer coverage for same-sex married couples and
domestic partners beginning with new and renewed plans effective April 1, 2014.

As I recall, this part wasn't in The N&O article or other initial press.

However, the small group issue was mentioned here on BlueNC.

Small group plan administrators and employees on small group plans should make sure their plan offering language is updated.