Blue Cross Blue Shield, a US health insurance company, has been directed by the Obama administration to provide coverage to the same-sex spouse of a federal employee.
Such coverage has been allowed for the first time, say Gay rights advocates.
In a letter to the insurer on March 9, Shirley Patterson, assistant director of federal employee insurance operations for the Office of Personnel Management, said, 'OPM hereby withdraws any outstanding directive regarding the enrollment of Ms. Golinski's wife, Amy C. Cunninghis, in her family health benefits plan.'
OPM previously said the wife of Karen Golinski, a federal court employee in California, could not be covered.
The new position follows a February ruling by US District Judge Jeffrey S. White, who ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex married couples.
The letter told Blue Cross Blue Shield to implement an expeditious enrollment of Ms. Cunninghis. Karen and Amy had been waiting for years for this equal treatment.