Publix to Offer Health Insurance to Spouses of Its Gay and Lesbian Employees

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Publix has made known that it will provide health and medical insurance benefits to spouses of its gay and lesbian employeesfrom January 1, 2015 onwards. The announcement was made through an internal memo which was circulated by the supermarket brand’s corporate communications division. In the memo, Publix declared that it will expand its spousal coverage to include spouses of gay and lesbian employees who marry somewhere else “where same-sex marriages are legal, regardless of the associates’ state of residence,”from January 1. Before the announcement, the supermarket firm did not consider same-sex marriages to be “legal unions”.

What made Publix changed its stance?

Headquartered in Lakeland, Publix owns about one thousand grocery stores spread across the length and width of the United States, including states like Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina as well as Tennessee. Thirty-five US states, including the District of Columbia, have given same-sex marriagesthe same legal status as a normal marriage.States that have recently joined the same-sex marriage bandwagonare North Carolina in October and South Carolina in November.Florida will do the same come January 6 when a stay order comes to an end. Welcoming the good news, Nadine Smith of Equality Florida said, “The timing of this announcement comes as dozens of businesses are weighing in calling for an end to the marriage ban.”

Same-sex couples to get the same health and insurance benefits as other couples

According to a human resources employee, Publix has given its same-sex married workers a thirty day enrollment time period starting January 1. Upon enrollment, same-sex couples will get the same health and insurance benefits as other employee spouses after thirty days. In order to register,employees have been told to present their marriage certificates, enrollment forms and declaration of tobacco use along with their enrollment forms.

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