If the Supreme Court follows Thursday’s federal appeals court ruling declaring the Defense of Marriage Act’s denial of federal benefits to same-sex married couples unconstitutional, many married couples will benefit from being able to file joint tax returns, collect Social Security survivor benefits, and more. And of course the expanded legal recognition of their relationships, and the move toward equality, would be advances. But one group in particular would see big gains: federal workers whose spouses have not been covered by their benefits.
[F]or now, [Martin] Koski and [James] Fitzgerald [together for 37 years, married for almost five], along with postal employee Nancy Gill, the named plaintiff in the case, and her spouse must continue to bear the emotional and financial burden caused by Uncle Sam’s refusal to accept the reality of their marriages.
The emotional toll has not been quantified, but the financial cost can be.
“It would be much better and much less expensive if I could have him on my policy,” Koski said in an interview. “It would save us thousands of dollars each year.”
FEHBP would have covered much more of Fitzgerald’s hearing aid and cataract surgery costs than his insurance did, according to Koski: “We would have saved about $ 12,000.”
For now, they’re waiting on the Supreme Court.