KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Catholic Charities In Washington, D.C., Limits Spouses’ Health Insurance

The Washington Post: Employees at Catholic Charities were told Monday that the social services organization is changing its health coverage to avoid offering benefits to same-sex partners of its workers. ... Starting Tuesday, Catholic Charities will not offer benefits to spouses of new employees or to spouses of current employees who are not already enrolled in the plan. A letter describing the change in health benefits was e-mailed to employees Monday, two days before same-sex marriage will become legal in the District."

"Catholic Charities, which receives $22 million from the city for social service programs, protested in the run-up to the [city] council's December vote to allow same-sex marriage, saying that it might not be able to continue its contracts with the city, including operating homeless shelters and facilitating city-sponsored adoptions" (Wan, 3/2).

The Post published the letter from President and CEO Edward J. Orzechowski to the staff, which included this paragraph: "We sincerely regret that we have to make this change, but it is necessary to allow Catholic Charities to continue to provide essential services to the clients we serve in partnership with the District of Columbia while remaining consistent with the tenets of our religious faith."

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