The Tax Penalty Faced By Same-Sex Couples Who Take Employer Sponsored Health Benefits Is Unfair, We Must End These Discriminatory Laws, Says Ros-Lehtinen

Press Release

By:  Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Date: June 25, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

Today, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) joined Representatives Richard Hanna (R-NY), Jim McDermott (D-WA), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) in introducing the "Tax Parity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act" which would end inequitable taxation of benefits offered to domestic partners and other non-spouse beneficiaries under employers' health programs.

Under current law, when an employer provides health insurance for the spouse or dependents of an employee, federal tax law allows the value of the health insurance coverage to be excluded from the employee's gross income. However, no such exclusion exists for heterosexual couples. This bill would end this discriminatory treatment by extending the exclusion from gross income for employer-provided health coverage to other eligible designated beneficiaries of employees.

Said Ros-Letinen:

"I have been a long-time supporter of policies that help end discrimination and extend equal rights for all Americans. It is unfair for an employee who elects domestic partner coverage to pay more income and payroll tax than an employee with a different-sex spouse. This bill demonstrates a strong bipartisan commitment to ensuring tax equality for all and I urge my Congressional colleagues to give this bill the serious consideration that it merits."