Sacramento County Board of Supervisors Approves Health Benefits for Domestic Partners of County Employees
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors yesterday voted 3-2 to reverse its "long-time refusal" to provide health benefits for the domestic partners of county employees, the Sacramento Bee reports. The board passed the measure after Supervisor Muriel Johnson reversed her position on the issue. Johnson said that she decided to vote for the measure in response to a number of county employees who told her that they have "struggled because their domestic partners lacked medical insurance," the Bee reports. "It seemed like the right and humane thing to do," she said. Under the measure, eligible domestic partner couples must register with the state, which recognizes same-sex partners older than age 18 and opposite-sex partners older than age 62. The measure will require county employees to cover the full cost of health insurance premiums for domestic partners -- about $200 to $500 per month. The county covers some or all of the cost of health coverage for spouses of employees. The county has not determined the number of employees who will qualify for domestic partner benefits, according to Steve Lakich, head of labor relations for the county. United Public Employees Local 1, the union that represents county employees, plans to ask for additional benefits for domestic partners in future contract negotiations, Sandra Poole, executive director of the union, said. Fifteen counties and 19 cities in California offer domestic partner benefits (Davila, Sacramento Bee, 9/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.