Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI), the state's only insurer to guarantee coverage to Rhode Islanders regardless of health status, today announced it will begin covering domestic partners for Plans for Individuals and Families. Effective July 1, 2011, same-sex partners who are not eligible for health plan coverage through their employer may be added during open enrollment, the anniversary date of the policy or upon the occurrence of a qualifying event.
"Offering domestic partner coverage within our Plans for Individuals and Families policies allows us to extend access to high-quality healthcare to even more Rhode Islanders," said Jim Gallagher, BCBSRI assistant vice president of strategic marketing and product innovation. "As the state's only local, non-profit health insurer, we are fully committed to supporting the diversity of individuals in our state."
With open enrollment currently in full swing until June 15, this is the time to submit an application to sign up a domestic partner. Domestic partners must be of the same-sex as the subscriber, have resided together for a year or more prior to application and be financially interdependent. In addition, supporting documentation including a Declaration of Domestic Partnership must be presented. Once the domestic partner is added, dependent children also become eligible for health coverage.
If you are a Rhode Island resident legally married in another state to a same-sex partner, have a legally recognized civil union, or have a registered domestic partnership, you now can add your spouse to your Plans for Individuals or Family. The member may be asked to submit the appropriate documentation such as a marriage or civil union certificate, or registration of domestic partnership.
BCBSRI offers five different BCBSRI Plans for Individuals and Families, as well as a dental plan. Each plan provides comprehensive coverage for medical care and prescription drugs. Subscribers have access to the BlueCard PPO network, the largest integrated provider network in the U.S., and they retain the option to visit non-network providers.
To get your questions answered about domestic partner benefits and/or open enrollment for Plans for Individuals and Families, the company is hosting two upcoming informational meetings in East Providence and West Warwick where representatives will answer questions. These sessions will be held at:
For more information on BCBSRI's Declaration of Domestic Partnership and our eligibility guidelines, and to learn more about open enrollment or to request an enrollment brochure, call 1-855-690-2583 "my0blue" or 401-459-5550, or visit BCBSRI.com.
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state's leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members. The company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit www.bcbsri.comand follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI.