Yup… You read the headline right.
The partners/spouses of LGBT faculty in The University of North Carolina System are not eligible for health insurance coverage under the plan currently offered by the State of North Carolina.
There had been a debate about this for sometime, at least around UNCG. No one quite knew whether you could do this or not.
Well… now we have our answer:
Gay faculty partners left uninsured
Thursday, 01 March 2007
Families of homosexual faculty not eligible for North Carolina health insurance
by JULIA MERCHANT
Intern News Reporter
Dr. Monica Pombo is an assistant communication professor at Appalachian State University with tenure. Because of her position, she should be able to take comfort in the benefits she receives as a state employee, such as health insurance coverage for herself and her family.
But unlike most of her colleagues, Pombo cannot rest assured that the university will take care of the well being of her family, at least medically.
This is because Pombo is a lesbian, and because of her sexual orientation, the fact that she and her partner have been together 19 years and have a son means little in the eyes of the
University of North Carolina system.
“The university looks at the three of us as not related,” Pombo said.
Under the health-care plan used for all state employees in North Carolina, only the legal spouse and children of an employee may be offered health insurance coverage.
Additionally, because Pombo’s partner gave birth to their son, Pombo is not viewed as his legal parent – second-parent adoptions are illegal in the state of North Carolina.
Pombo’s partner works as a grant-based researcher for the university.
She only has a job until the grant money runs out. After that, unless she has other employment lined up, she and their son will go without insurance, even though they have familial connections to a school employee.
“It drives me crazy … if I think about it, it makes me very nervous,” Pombo said of the idea that her 9-year-old son may go uninsured for any period of time.