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Kansas Opens State Workers’ Health Plan to Same-Sex Spouses

Associated Press - July 7, 2015 3:19 pm

Sedgwick County commissioners are considering asking the state to bar people in the U.S. illegally from a federal nutrition program.

The health insurance plan for Kansas state government workers is allowing married gay and lesbian couples to obtain coverage for their spouses.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment spokeswoman Sara Belfry says the health plan began accepting coverage applications Tuesday.

The department’s policy change follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month legalizing same-sex marriage across the nation. Kansas had banned gay marriage.

Gov. Sam Brownback said last week his administration was reviewing the ruling and studying its implications before extending benefits to same-sex married couples.

Belfry says the legal review led the department to open the state employees’ health plan to gay and lesbian spouses.

The state employees’ health plan covers about 104,000 people. Belfry says the state isn’t sure how many more will be added.

City of Salina