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Social Security News

Social Security, Medicare adjusting programs to accommodate married gays, lesbians

Social Security pays spouse claims for same-sex couples; Medicare changes nursing home coverage in Medicare Advantage

Sept. 3, 2013 - Social Security and HHS made announcements in August of changes in their programs to meet the demands resulting from the Supreme Court's rejection of the Defense of Marriage Act. Social Security has begun paying spouse claims for same-sex couples and Medicare is providing spousal nursing home care in Medicare Advantage without consideration of sexual preferences.

 

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Senior Wants to Know Why Social Security is So Interested in Our Marriage History When We Apply

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June 12, 2013


Read more Social Security News

also check Medicare and Senior Politics

 

 “I am pleased to announce that Social Security is now processing some retirement spouse claims for same-sex couples and paying benefits where they are due, said Carolyn W. Colvin, acting commissioner on August 9. 

"The recent Supreme Court decision on Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, made just over a month ago, helps to ensure that all Americans are treated fairly and equally, with the dignity and respect they deserve.  

She noted that the agency is working closely with the Department of Justice. 

She added, "In the coming weeks and months, we will develop and implement additional policy and processing instructions.  We appreciate the public’s patience as we work through the legal issues to ensure that our policy is legally sound and clear. 

"I encourage individuals who believe they may be eligible for Social Security benefits to apply now, to protect against the loss of any potential benefits. We will process claims as soon as additional instructions become finalized.”

Medicare changes provisions for Medicare Advantage

All Medicare beneficiaries in private Medicare plans will have equal access to coverage in a nursing home where their spouse lives, regardless of their sexual orientation, says a news release issued by Health and Human Services last week. This is the first guidance issued by HHS in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling, which held section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

“HHS is working swiftly to implement the Supreme Court’s decision and maximize federal recognition of same-sex spouses in HHS programs,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last Thursday. 

“Today’s announcement is the first of many steps that we will be taking over the coming months to clarify the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision and to ensure that gay and lesbian married couples are treated equally under the law.” (Read more)

 

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