All employees should get equal benefits

Despite official University policy, the families of homosexual University employees do not receive equal health insurance benefits. The University should honor its commitments and lobby the state Legislature for domestic-partner benefits under the state health insurance program, the University’s provider.
Currently, domestic partners of University employees cannot receive health insurance because of the terms of the state health insurance program. Because the University offers only one health insurance plan, this means homosexual employees must either find another plan or allow their partners to live without health insurance.
Obviously, having no health insurance is not wise. A severe illness can financially devastate an uninsured family. The other choice, finding an independent plan, is very expensive. Because the University covers more than 15,000 employees, the rates for the University plans are much lower than independently negotiated plans. Typically, families that opt for an independent plan will pay around $50 per month more than those on the University plan. In addition, University employees choosing this option must submit paperwork that proves a financial and emotional connection to their partner. This essentially forces homosexual employees to put their sexuality on the record — a decision that can be very difficult in a country that frequently discriminates against homosexuals.
The Board of Regents has declared that domestic partners of University employees are eligible for benefits. In reality, those benefits are severely limited. The University should attempt to put reality in line with their policy and negotiate a contract that allows all University families affordable health insurance.