Posted by: Catherine Lugg | November 26, 2010

Yet another example of why Civil Unions don’t work

I have spent part of today working on my partner’s health insurance. Mary is unemployed and is entitled to be covered by my state health insurance plan by dint of our NJ Civil Union, just like married non-queers. Mary has spent the last year receiving intensive physical therapy for a host of knee and back issues. On Tuesday, we received the standard bureaucratic weenie letter of “we don’t think we should cover you” for me to respond to. Since Mary is female, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ believes she has another health insurance plan (or should have one). Wrong.

Anyway, to begin with, the initial check off categories on this form give me the options of 1–Single, 2–2 adults (this is what I checked), 3–separated, 4–divorced. But no check-off for Civil Union (clearly, married non-queers don’t get this form).

Then, on the back of the form I’m either to fill out section 1, if I checked off box 2 (2 adults). But when I get to that section, the form THEN asks if any member of my family is covered by another health care plan. If I check off box #2 on this side (no, Mary is not covered by another plan) I am to fill out section 2. So, this dandy form tells me to fill out section 1 (and not 2), but then the second set of directions tells be to fill out section 2 (and not 1). Welcome to the land of heterosexist idiocy–It is bureaucratic dada at it’s finest.

So, I filled out section 1, using the current health care information that these clowns already have on file, and then filled out section 2, which is all about children of divorced or separated parents. On the line for explanation, I wrote, “I am entitled to cover my unemployed partner on my health insurance. This feels like heterosexist harassment.”

And yes, I’m filing a complaint to the State Department of Banking and Insurance.

Here is yet another example of just exactly HOW Civil Unions fail. While sometimes there are dramatic failures (like a NJ hospital barring my sister-in-law’s partner from seeing her in an ER after an accident), more often it’s the PITA (pain in the a**) factor at play. Married non-queers are immune from this sort of idiocy.

Best of all? I’ll have to go a few more rounds of squabbling with the folks at NJ BC/BS until this is completely sorted out.



  1. Thanks for posting this, Cath. What is most insidious is that most folks–even if they support civil unions–aren’t aware of the absurdities of the bureaucratic nightmares we face. And that doesn’t take into account the evil bigotry when that’s in play.

  2. Jim, thanks for your comment. Yes, this is definitely a PITA, but it’s time consuming and worrisome that Mary could be possibly lose her health care (remote, to be sure) for sheer bureaucratic blindness.

  3. […] I wish the Illinois legislators had extended marriage benefits to queer people, particularly¬† since Civil Unions don’t work, Civil Union are better than […]

  4. […] it is my partner’s health insurance headache. But it’s yet another example of why Civil Unions don’t work, or work VERY […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: