Couples of all types can face family law issues when moving from state to state. This is especially true when parents are unmarried or divorced, and one adult wants to change states for personal or work reasons. In such cases, establishing parental rights in the context of a long-distance relationship and multiple state laws can be a challenging legal issue. For one same-sex couple living in Ohio, parental rights are not in question, but health insurance coverage is.
According to reports, the couple was married in another state in 2012. However, Ohio doesn't recognize the marriage due to a difference in state laws. The couple had adopted a daughter in 2006. The couple reports that all three of them were covered under a family policy for 15 years.
Even after a move from another state to Ohio in 2010, the couple was able to continue family health insurance coverage under an Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield plan. It wasn't until 2013 that the couple began to consider other insurance options. One of the men retired from a chief financial officer position, and the other began to scale back his law office.
With a reduced income, the couple was interested in what the Affordable Care Act might offer them. The couple attempted to enroll in an ACA plan but faced glitches that were common with the early roll out of the website. At that time, the couple says they were told that they could keep their Anthem plan for the rest of 2013.
In November 2013, the couple states that Anthem discontinued their plan, as it was not compliant with the ACA. According to the couple, a compliant Anthem policy would cost half of their income. The couple turned again to the ACA website but was told repeatedly that family coverage wasn't possible due to the fact that Ohio didn't recognize the couple's marriage.
The couple has filed a lawsuit naming the state of Ohio and the U.S. government as defendants. In the end, the couple had to purchase three separate individual polices to cover their family. The lawsuit claims that the couple's constitutional rights were violated. Regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, the story illustrates a valuable point about interstate family law issues. Before changing states, couples and individuals should understand legal issues that might arise due to the move.
Source: Huffington Post, "Ohio Gay Couple Sues After Being Denied Obamacare Coverage" No author given, Feb. 18, 2014