University of Arkansas Pulls Back Extension of Health Insurance Coverage to Same-Sex Couples
May 20, 2014 by Maureen McCarty, HRC Associate Director of Digital Media
Earlier this month the University of Arkansas System announced it would extend its medical benefit plan to include same-sex couples following Pulaski’s County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza’s ruling finding the state’s ban on marriage equality unconstitutional.
However, the University of Arkansas System General Counsel made clear today that the policy cannot take effect because of the Arkansas Supreme Court’s stay on Judge Piazza’s ruling.
In a memo issued today, General Counsel Fed Harrison states:
"Otherwise, both the University and individuals concerned would run the risk of entering into legal relationships about important matters such as health care which later might be overturned. Also, this affords same-sex partners of University employees relying on Judge Piazza's opinion and final order and my memorandum of May 12 to obtain insurance coverage ogther than under the University's medical benefit plan. Any premiums which may have been, or will be, deducted for employees enrolling should be refunded. I also note that under University's plan no coverage would begin until June 1, 2014 and current coverage is not affected.”
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