HHS Guidance Clarifies Medicare Coverage Applies to Couples in Legal Same-Sex Marriages

September 4, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Health System


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a memo clarifying that all beneficiaries in private Medicare plans, including those in same-sex marriages, have access to equal coverage when they receive care in the skilled nursing facility where their spouse resides, according to an August 29, 2013, HHS press release. The first guidance issued by HHS in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling that held Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, the memo specifically clarifies that this guarantee of coverage applies equally to couples who are in a legally recognized same-sex marriage, regardless of where they live.

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