campus life

Univ. of Arizona’s Simple But Brilliant Return of Health Insurance to Gay Domestic Partners

Even though Arizona Governor Jan Brewer last year removed health care benefits for same-sex domestic partners at state universities (a year after they were implemented), the University of Arizona has found a work around to keep the coverage coming.

Arizona’s new law that redefines “dependents” (to eliminate gay partners) takes effect Oct. 1. That’s the same day UoA’s new rules do, too, the Arizona Daily Star reports:

The University of Arizona is now offering special medical-, dental- and vision-insurance plans for employees with domestic partners. The plans don’t use any state money but have similar premiums. The new state law, which changes partner benefits by redefining the word “dependent,” was signed in September 2009 and will take effect on Oct. 1. The new UA plans will kick in on that day, too. A dependent will then be a “spouse under the laws of this state,” which excludes unmarried domestic partners. The UA wanted to cover both gay and heterosexual relationships, because “in order for us to be competitive, to be able to attract talented people, we need to be able to offer benefits that other employers are offering,” said Allison Vaillancourt, UA vice president for human resources.

Small fixes worth celebrating for a state where “ethnic studies” are banned and looking like an illegal immigrant gets you pulled over.

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