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Maryland treats married people like they are married

Timothy Kincaid

May 20th, 2010

Following up on its commitment to recognize same-sex marriages conducted outside of the state, Maryland will now provide marriage benefits to same-sex married state employees. (WaPo)

State employees in Maryland can now sign up same-sex spouses as dependents, making them eligible to receive the same health care and other benefits afforded to husbands and wives of heterosexual state employees, according to Gov. Martin O’Malley’s (D) office.

The change, made public Wednesday, means that O’Malley’s administration has followed through in codifying a legal opinion issued in February by Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler.

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tina
May 20th, 2010 | LINK

first of all, I loved that headline. :)

now i have a question. I’ve heard that b/c of DOMA/lack of federal recognition of gay marriage, that the benefits awarded to gay couples are taxed differently.

a friend told me that her company in PA did make the switch to allow their gay employees’s partners to be covered.

2 problems:
1. the benefits cost more b/c they were not federally recognized as married. her company covered the additional costs, but they were then eligible to be taxed as income.
2. she owed 2,000 in taxes at the end of the year on these benefits. a very bad surprise.

is this always the case?

can someone concisely explain how benefits are or are not equal for married gay couples?

Timothy Kincaid
May 21st, 2010 | LINK

tina,

I don’t think that it is accurate that the insurance rate (the cost) is any higher for the company than any other spouse’s insurance. I know of no insurance company that does not treat spouses as spouses regardless of whether gay or straight.

But you are correct that they are taxed differently.

If Joe’s wife’s health insurance is covered by his employer, it’s just a benefit.

But if Gary’s husband’s health insurance is covered by Gary’s employer, then the cost of the insurance is Federal taxable income paid to Gary.

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