Posted by: Catherine Lugg | December 12, 2010

Remember my health insurance headache?

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

To recap:

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. ….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).

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.”

Well, believe it or not, I received a letter yesterday from the State of NJ. I actually have an assigned investigator (I thought my complaint was headed for the circular file). Now, I’m sure this person probably has 2,000 OTHER cases to work on since public servants don’t get treated too well these days OR get much administrative support. But still….it’s nice to know that my complaint is somewhere in the system.

Stay tuned.



  1. At least you can complain. In Texas, you cant tell the difference between the state workers and the insurance people. I think they have two phone numbers that route you to the same person.

    But agree with your point.

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