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November 28, 2007

College Insures Pets, Not Partners!

Palm Beach Community College offers qualifying employees discount group medical insurance for their pets.  See PalmBeachPost Article here.  This is a nice benefit--I have three cats myself and I certainly could use some discount pet insurance. 

However, the same school does not provide domestic partner coverage.  So, in other words, if you are gay, you can insure Fluffy but not your life companion.  Great!

Of course, only two public colleges currently provide domestic partner benefits in Florida (Univ. of Florida and Florida International Univ.), however, how many colleges provide pet benefits?

In fact, permitting any employee (gay or straight) to cover a domestic partner on his or her insurance would not cost the college a dime, according to the PalmBeachPostArticle, as the college only pays premiums for the employee his or herself (okay, it may cost a dime, as indicated by an earlier article written about the University of Florida's plan, which costs about $500,000 to 1 million).

But what does this have to do with the law, you ask?  Well, Florida legislators have unsuccessfully introduced bills in the past to prohibit the use of state funds for domestic partner benefits.  Also, many counties in Florida have passed laws granting domestic partner benefits to state employees.

Now, I love my three cats, I really do.  But, there is no comparison between the health of my pet and the health of my  partner.  If both my cat and my spouse became sick on the very same day and I only had time to rush one of them to the doctor--guess who it would be?  Sorry Fluffy--you'll have to wait.

-SRB

November 28, 2007 in Employment Discrimination | Permalink

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