Civil unions law adds complexity to benefits plans in NH

New Hampshire Business Review
May 11, 2007
Although ERISA preempts state laws that relate to benefits, laws relating to insurance are not preempted. As a result, it is expected that the New Hampshire Insurance Department will rule that if an employer offers medical insurance coverage for married employees, the civil union law requires the employer to offer similar coverage to those in a civil union. But employers that provide self-insured medical, dental and other benefits to employees are not subject to the same state insurance laws because ERISA does cover them. Therefore, they will not be obligated to provide the same coverage to employees in civil unions as they do to married employees — although they could do so on a voluntary basis. [link]