Ivy League Schools Reimburse LGBT Employees For Health Care Burden

Ivy League universities Columbia and Yale are doing something to boost their reputations even further in 2012—at least among the LGBT community: They’re going to start reimbursing gay employees who are taxed when their partners sign onto their health insurance.

Both Connecticut and New York have same-sex marriage laws but since they’re not recognized by the federal government (thanks DOMA!) legally married gay and lesbian couples are still treated like single people.

According to The New York Times, Columbia will pay eligible employees with same-sex partners $1,000 over the course of a year, while Yale will pay $1,500 a year.

It’s not a perfect plan—Yale will only cover the tax for employees whose spouses can’t get healthcare elsewhere, and Columbia is currently only offering the deal to nonunion salaried employees—but given the cost of medical care these days, “better than nothing” is an understatement.

Want to know which major companies also offer tax reimbursements for health care? The Times made a handy list.

Images via Nita Lind, Plong

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  • Curtis Smith

    It may not be enough. For me, the “value” of the additional medical insurance for my partner is about $8,000. So I have to pay about $2,000 in additional federal tax to get the benefit of insurance coverage for my spouse. If I got $2,000 from my employer to cover that expense, I would have to pay another $500 in federal taxes. And so on and so on…

  • xander

    This practise isn’t limited to the Ivy League, but is increasingly common in academia. To compete for staff / faculty, schools try to create a tax-neutral policy so that same-sex couples’ healthcare benefit equals that of married opp-gender couples. This was the case when I negotiated my last uni. contract.

    @Curtis Smith : Talk to yr HR department, if you’ve not done so. If you can find info on orgs that are similar to yours in size, and which DO gross up for taxes, you might just be able to make the case to get them to pony up. (I have friends / colleagues who’ve done so successfully). Best of luck to you.

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