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USA: New Guidance on IRS, Treasury and Medicare Benefits for Same Sex Couples

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

USA MapThe IRS and US Treasury will recognize all legally married gay and lesbian couples, regardless of where they live. Edge Boston reports:

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday that all same sex couples will be recognized for federal tax purposes, regardless of whether the state where they live recognizes the marriage, the New York Times reported today. “Today’s ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax-filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide,” Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said in a statement. “This ruling also assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change.”

Plus, it’s retroactive. Wonk Blog reports:

What’s more, the rule is retroactive. As the press release puts it: “Generally, the statute of limitations for filing a refund claim is three years from the date the return was filed or two years from the date the tax was paid, whichever is later. As a result, refund claims can still be filed for tax years 2010, 2011, and 2012.” Given that same-sex couples are likelier to have similar incomes than opposite-sex couples (which is why the Congressional Budget Office scored legal same-sex marriage as increasing revenue and reducing the deficit), the number of people eligible for refunds in those years will be considerably smaller than the total married population. And the tax bill for many couples will grow going forward.

In related news, same sex couples also got some guidance on medicare benefits today. The Washington Blade reports:

Gay married couples are now eligible for nursing home care through Medicare-funded private insurance in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision against the Defense of Marriage Act, according to guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid obtained Thursday by the Washington Blade. In the guidance dated Aug. 29, Danielle Moon, director of the Medicare Drug & Health Plan Contract Administration Group, explains the new post-DOMA policy to Medicare Advantage organizations, or private companies that contract with Medicare to provide coverage. Moon says the ruling against Section 3 of DOMA requires these companies to cover services offered in a skilled nursing facility, or a nursing home, for a gay married couple to the same extent they would provide them to an opposite-sex couple.

Great news for US same sex couples!

Obama Administration Allows States to Extend Medicare Protections to Gay and Lesbian Couples

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Kathleen SebeliusThe Obama administration is set on Friday to issue policy guidance to states expanding their ability to offer same-sex couples the same protections afforded to straight couples when they receive long-term care under Medicaid, the Washington Blade has learned exclusively.

Under the new guidance, dated June 10, states have the option to allow healthy partners in a same-sex relationship to keep their homes while their partners are receiving support for long-term care under Medicaid, such as care in a nursing home.

Medicaid kicks in for a beneficiary to receive care after an individual depletes virtually all of their money. To pay for the beneficiary’s expenses under Medicaid, a state could impose a lein, or take possession, of a beneficiary’s home to pay for Medicaid expenses.

Full Story from Washington Blade

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White House Issues New Rules for Hospitals on Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

White House Issues New RulesToday the White House announced the publication of rules prohibiting Medicare and Medicaid hospitals from denying visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

The rules were created in response to a Presidential Memorandum issued earlier this year which instructed the Department of Health and Human Services to create new rules allowing patients the right to choose their own visitors during a hospital stay.

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued that rule – a rule that will let patients decide whom they want by their bedside when they are sick – and that includes a visitor who is a same-sex domestic partner. The rule presents an important step forward in giving all Americans more control over their health care.

Full Story from Pam’s House Blend

Click here for gay marriage resources.

To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook – just search for Gay Marriage Watch (you’ll see our b/w wedding pic overlooking the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge in SF). We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.