Bob and Jennifer have been living together for years. They have a joint checking account and their home and other assets are also jointly titled; clearly a situation where they are committed “domestic partners.”
Jennifer and Bob have both had coverage through her employer but in February, she is losing her job.
This situation illustrates a couple of points worth remembering.
In most cases, Plan Sponsors have the option of allowing benefits for domestic partners. In this case, Jennifer’s employer obviously permitted that option. But Bob’s employer does not.
Neither of them however, will “fall through the cracks.”
Bob’s loss of coverage is a “qualifying event,” meaning he can come into his employer’s plan as a single. Jennifer’s loss of coverage results in a “Special Election Period (SEP)” when she can buy her own single coverage directly through insurers (or through The Marketplace), where generally, coverage for domestic partners is not allowed.