Jim Sullinger: JCCC first local government in Kansas to extend health benefit to domestic partners, homosexuals

Prime Buzz:

For the first time in its history the Johnson County Community College is extending health benefits to domestic partners as well as legal spouses.

College officials said the application deadline for claiming these benefits ended recently and seven employees signed up their domestic partners. Five of the seven were same-sex partners.

That’s a benefit that employees at the state’s six universities don’t get.

They participate in the state’s insurance program administered and negotiated by the Kansas Healthcare Commission for all eligible state employees.

Under state regulations, only legal spouses are eligible for coverage. Under a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2005, same-sex marriage is prohibited. Consequently, same-sex partners cannot be considered legal spouses.

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