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Adler-Gill Measure Would Help Domestic Partners With Health Benefits

TRENTON – The Senate today approved a bill, sponsored by Sens. John H. Adler and Nia H. Gill, to make sure all public entities in New Jersey are authorized to offer health benefits to domestic partners.

The landmark Domestic Partnership Act enacted last year in New Jersey contains a potential loophole because it only authorizes the extension of health benefits to domestic partners working for public entities enrolled in the State Health Benefits Plan, said Senator Adler, D-Cherry Hill.

Senator Gill said the measure, S-2167, clarifies that dependent health benefits coverage to a domestic partner may be offered by all municipal and county governments, local boards of education and county colleges.

“We’re reaffirming our commitment to provide the same opportunities for gay couples that are available to everyone else,” Senator Adler said.

“It’s just common sense to afford the same authorization to all government agencies who want to give health benefits to same-sex couples and unmarried senior citizens who live together,” Senator Gill said.

Without explicit authorization, some entities like Camden Community College, were reluctant to offer domestic partnership benefits, Senator Adler said.

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