I did not know that, DOMA meets ESI version

I heard an interesting job talk today by Gilbert Gonzales from the University of Minnesota on the impact of same sex marriage laws on access to employer sponsored health insurance (ESI). In the background, he mentioned that the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) made premiums paid by employers for same sex spouses/partners taxable income.

I did not know that.

Janet Weiner from Penn confirmed this and passed on this link describing the University of Pennsylvania’s policy to offsetting the increased tax liability. The link, says in part:

Beginning July 1, the University of Pennsylvania will provide a tax offset of as much as $125 per month for employees who are covering same-sex domestic partners under their Penn medical plans, with a maximum of $1,500 per year. This offset will appear in employees’ paychecks as additional taxable income — minus applicable state and federal taxes — starting in late July.

Currently, many Penn faculty and staff enjoy the employee benefit of paying pre-tax health-insurance premiums for themselves and their dependents, resulting in more take-home pay.   However, employees who cover a same-sex domestic partner under the University’s benefit plans must pay federal and state taxes on the value of their partner’s coverage because federal and Pennsylvania tax codes do not recognize domestic partners as dependents.

About Don Taylor
Professor of Public Policy at Duke University (with appointments in Business, Nursing, Community and Family Medicine, and the Duke Clinical Research Institute). I am one of the founding faculty of the Margolis Center for Health Policy, and currently serve as Chair of Duke's University Priorities Committee (UPC). My research focuses on improving care for persons who are dying, and I am co-PI of a CMMI award in Community Based Palliative Care. I teach both undergrads and grad students at Duke. On twitter @donaldhtaylorjr

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