Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

BCBSSC not the first in the State to offer Gays Benefits

Although BCBSSC isn't the first company in the state to offer Domestic Partner Benefits (DPB) I've yet to find evidence to show otherwise that they're not the first South Carolina Corporation to offer DPBs(see previous posts here and here). First American, with offices in Chapin, SC, but headquartered out of California (go figure) also offers DPBs to their LGBT employees. (Enough Acronyms for you?) I'm posting First American's DPR (Domestic Partner Requirements) as a *.jpg because as we reported on BCBSSCs offering we also as of late learned of one couple who is finding difficulty managing the red tape in order to get their partner the benefits. Someone reported that BCBSSC's policy was a bit more stringent than BCBSGA who apparently only requires that the Domestic Partner lives with the covered employee.

If you notice the requirements of First American policy to ascertain a committed relationship (ACR) not only say you must live together, be 18, and not be otherwise married or legally separated, sorry, divorces must be final. Beyond that it says that Partners "They must have executed a domestic partnership agreement and/or registered as domestic partners in a jurisdiction which authorises such agreements and/or registers" and if you can't do that (SC) requires that you must prove your partnership through actions and statements that make it easy for anyone to ACR.
Such activities include, but are not limited to:

Having lived together continuously for the previous twelve (12) months;
Either partner is named as the beneficiary under the others will or as beneficiary of any life insurance policy;
Either one has granted his or her partner powers under a durable power of attorney (DPOA);
A joint bank-account
DPs are cosigners of a lease or deed;
Both are named on the same auto or Home Insurance Policy.

The chief 'concern' circulating with BCBSSC, which really makes no sense at all, is that the company not only requires a lot of hopping through hoops (if it's anything like First American, would you really call it hoops) but also requires that the employee and DP sign a sworn statement of partnership. No matter that SC and a host of other states doesn't recognize DPs if the company wants it on record that I'm partnered, at least some entity recognizes it. I'd be more than happy to sign one, especially under the current philosophic regime. Heck I might even want a copy to frame and put up in my home much like a wedding license, that I'm sure most couples take for granted in lieu of the pomp and circumstance that goes along with a ceremony.

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