More than 8 in 10 Workers With Spousal Health Benefits Have Access to Same-Sex Spousal Benefits, Analysis Finds

Following two major Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage, a new Kaiser Family Foundation data note finds that in 2016, 84 percent of employees who worked at firms offering spousal health benefits also had access to same-sex spousal benefits. Eight percent did not have access, while another 8 percent worked at firms who reported they had not encountered this benefits issue.

The data note draws from responses to the Kaiser/Health Research & Educational Trust (Kaiser/HRET) 2016 Annual Employer Health Benefits Survey. Small employers are less likely to offer same-sex spousal coverage, while larger firms, which employ the majority of U.S. workers, are more likely to offer this benefit. Ninety-four percent of workers at large firms (200 or more employees) with access to opposite-sex spousal health benefits also had access to same-sex spousal benefits, compared to 59 percent of workers at small firms.

Across all employers who offer spousal coverage, less than half (43%) say they offer coverage to same-sex spouses. About as many (41%) say they have not encountered this issue, while a smaller share (16%) say they do not offer same-sex spousal coverage.