Because the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prohibits recognition of same-sex partnerships, the federal government treats health insurance benefits provided through a same-sex spouse’s or domestic partner’s employer as income and taxes them. The federal government does not tax these benefits as income for different sex couples. When a California employer provides reimbursement to its employees for this federal tax, often referred to as a “gross-up,” California taxes this reimbursement as additional income.
Assembly Bill 362, LGBT Health Insurance Parity, would cover people in a same-sex partner relationship who work for public entities, such as the City or County of San Francisco, or private sector companies that choose to reimburse their employees for federal taxes they pay on benefits received for their partner and dependents.
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