Health & Medicine

June 27, 2013

Gay couples free to buy CalPERS insurance

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act clears the way for CalPERS to begin offering its nursing-home insurance coverage to gay couples after a three-year legal battle.

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act clears the way for CalPERS to begin offering its nursing-home insurance coverage to gay couples after a three-year legal battle.

The big pension fund sells so-called long-term care coverage to about 160,000 public employees in California, but was prevented from offering the benefit to gay couples because of DOMA.

The CalPERS case began when Mike Dragovich, a nurse at UC San Francisco's hospital, tried to buy the insurance coverage for his husband, Michael Gaitley. The two were married in 2008 during a window when same-sex marriage was legal in California. Dragovich was denied the right to buy the coverage, and he and several others instituted a class-action lawsuit against CalPERS and the federal government in 2010.

Call The Bee's Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.

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