Life Insurance for Same Sex Couples

The most important way for a same sex couple to financially protect their spouse and their children is through life insurance.

Currently, there are 17 states that allow same sex marriage in the U.S. and that number is likely to improve over time.

But, if you are a gay couple and are considering using life insurance as a viable means to provide for your loved ones, you should also know that not all life insurance companies treat same sex partners the same as heterosexual couples due to financial statute variances.  Underwriting for same sex situations, especially from a financial underwriting perspective is still evolving, primarily because legislation relative to taxation et al, are still developing.

How Much Life Insurance Do Same Sex Couples Need?

The amount of life insurance a same sex couple requires can be substantially different from a heterosexual couple and may also depend on the state in which you live.

The reason is because both state and federal laws can vary quite significantly and are constantly changing.  This is another excellent reason why you should discuss your particular needs with an independent life insurance agent.

Your life insurance needs may be different in a state which has approved same sex marriage as opposed to a state which does not recognize it.  Different needs will also apply to those couples who are in a common law relationship and to those who are married, even in those states which have approved same sex marriages.

Some of the factors that you should consider in planning how much you will need to be adequately insured include:

• Funeral and expenses
• Enough to cover all your debts and mortgage
• 
Estate and other inheritance/death taxes
• Children’s education
• 
Provide for your lost income

These are just some of the most important issues when it comes to deciding on how large a policy you will require and your objectives in using a life insurance policy, but there are others as well because each couple will have different needs.

Safe sex— inclusive of consistent condom use along with additional modes of protection and contraception —is extremely important to the prevention of disease and unwanted pregnancy but not the feature of this article per se.

So, let’s pivot to what is the latest news in the arena of sexual health.  First, it is crucial to appreciate that there are countries where sex work has been legalized.  Germany is one, the Netherlands another apparently.

Purpose: Gay and bisexual men (GBM) have poorer health outcomes than the general population. Improved health outcomes will require that GBM have access to healthcare and that healthcare providers are aware of their sexual behaviors. This study sought to examine factors associated with having health insurance and disclosure of same-sex sexual behaviors to primary care providers (PCPs) among GBM in primary same-sex relationships.

Methods: We conducted an online survey of a national sample of 722 men in same-sex couples living in the United States. Logistic regression and multinomial regression models were conducted to assess whether characteristic differences existed between men who did and did not have health insurance, and between men who did and did not report that their PCP knew about their same-sex sexual activity.

Results: Our national sample of same-sex partnered men identified themselves predominantly as gay and white, and most reported having an income and health insurance. Having health insurance and disclosing sexual behavior to PCPs was associated with increasing age, higher education, and higher income levels. Insurance was less prevalent among nonwhite participants and those living in the south and midwest United States. Disclosure of sexual behavior was more common in urban respondents and in the western United States. In 25% of couples, one partner was insured, while the other was not.

Conclusions: Having health insurance and disclosing one’s sexual behavior to PCPs was suboptimal overall and occurred in patterns likely to exacerbate health disparities among those GBM already more heavily burdened with poorer health outcomes. These factors need to be considered by PCPs and health policymakers to improve the health of GBM.

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