Spouses of some same-sex Missouri couples will be able to get state health insurance and get survivor benefits from the state retirement system because of a Kansas City circuit judge’s ruling a week ago that clears the way for state government to recognize the marriages of same-sex Missouri couples married in states that recognize same sex marriages as legal.
Communications Director Mia Platz with the Consolidated Healthcare Plan that covers state employees says the valid marriage license is all that’s needed for same-sex spouse coverage. But same-sex marriage licenses issued in Missouri are not considered valid because the state constitution defined marriage as taking place between a man and a woman.
MOSERS, the Missouri State Employees Retirement System, will allow qualified employees who retire now to add their spouses for survivor benefits. But Executive Director Gary Findlay says the coverage won’t apply to any of the couples married in St. Louis who are state workers. for the same reason cited by Platz.
The retirement system is not yet allowing already-retired same-sex couples to sign up for survivor benefits. Findlay says the program has lawyers considering the legality of retroactivity.