40 percent of private industry workers had access to health benefits for same-sex partners in 2018
June 24, 2019
When BLS first collected data in 2011 on benefits for the unmarried domestic partners of workers, many states still prohibited same-sex couples from marrying. In 2011, 29 percent of private industry workers and 33 percent of state and local government workers had access to healthcare benefits for unmarried same-sex partners. In 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that U.S. states and territories and the District of Columbia must recognize the marriages of same-sex couples the same as the marriages of opposite-sex couples. We have continued collecting data on benefits for unmarried domestic partners after the Supreme Court ruling. Larger shares of workers in 2018 had access to healthcare benefits for unmarried same-sex partners than in 2011. In 2018, 40 percent of private industry workers and 48 percent of state and local government workers had access to these benefits.
|Year||Same-sex partners, private industry||Opposite-sex partners, private industry||Same-sex partners, state and local government||Opposite-sex partners, state and local government|
The share of workers with access to healthcare benefits for unmarried opposite-sex partners also increased from 2011 to 2018. Thirty-sex percent of private industry workers had access to healthcare benefits for unmarried opposite-sex partners in 2018, compared with 25 percent in 2011. In state and local government, 44 percent of workers in 2018 had access to healthcare benefits for unmarried opposite-sex partners, compared with 28 percent in 2011.
These data are from the National Compensation Survey — Benefits program. Data on benefits for unmarried domestic partners are available in Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2018. The article Employer-sponsored benefits extended to domestic partners explains these data in more detail.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 40 percent of private industry workers had access to health benefits for same-sex partners in 2018 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/40-percent-of-private-industry-workers-had-access-to-health-benefits-for-same-sex-partners-in-2018.htm (visited July 18, 2019).
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