Jones bill would eliminate benefits to unmarried couples

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Rick Jones has introduced legislation to ban health insurance benefits for domestic partners of state employees unless the couple is married.

“Under Governor Granholm, unmarried people were allowed to apply for state benefits like married couples,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “It opens up the system to the possibility of fraud and abuse of Michigan taxpayer dollars.”

State law currently allows benefits for domestic partners of state employees and their dependents as long as they live together.

Senate Bill 534 would prohibit a public employer from providing medical benefits for an individual currently living with a public employee unless the individual is married to the employee or a dependent of the employee.

Jones said that a child of a state employee would still get health insurance under the bill; it only impacts benefits for the unmarried domestic partner.

“If you are a state employee with a girlfriend or boyfriend and you want them to get state benefits, then make a commitment and get married,” Jones said. “If you want it, put a ring on it.”

SB 534 has been referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee for consideration.