CHICAGONine out of 10 large U.S.-based companies reported offering comprehensive health benefits to their employees' same-sex domestic partners in 2013, according to a survey published Dec. 9 by the nonprofit Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
As employers continue to adjust their group benefit programs in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in June to partially overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), results of the Washington-based HRC's 2014 Corporate Equality Index indicated that 90 percent of the 734 firms rated in the survey currently provide medical, dental, vision, dependent medical and COBRA benefits to their employees' same-sex domestic partners. That's up slightly from 89 percent in the prior plan year. Sixty-eight percent of employers polled in the study offer comprehensive health benefits to same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partners.
Also, 46 percent of employers reported offering health benefit plans to transgender individuals without exclusions for medically necessary care in their current plan year, compared with 42 percent in the 2013 survey.
Now in its 12th year, the HRC's annual Corporate Equality Index scores participating employers based on the degree to which their internal policies and operationsincluding nondiscrimination policies, benefit programs, organizational competencies and public commitment to equalityare inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees.
The 734 employers rated in the 2014 study comprise 299 Fortune 500 businesses and 79 Fortune 1000 businesses, 138 firms from American Lawyer's top 200 legal firms and 218 additional employers.