BCBS makes prudent call for gay and lesbian households in NC

January 30, 2014 

It was a bad call that caused pain for a lot of people and fear in many others. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina in mid-January canceled 20 family policies for same-sex and unmarried couples, saying those affected would have to reapply as unmarried singles.

It seemed a bit odd because the company offers same-sex benefits to its own employees. The company has had the good sense to reverse course and now will offer the coverage.

Apparently, within the company there was consternation over the cancellations. CEO Brad Wilson, once a counsel to former Gov. Jim Hunt and a person skilled in corporate politics as well as real politics, clearly recognized a mistake had been made.He even apologized, a blue moon sort of event in corporate America.

“We should have more thoughtfully considered this decision, with full appreciation of the impact it would have on same-sex married couples and domestic partners,” Wilson said. “We’re sorry we failed to do so.”

The controversy was shortened, a smart move on the company’s part.

Health care reform was hard-won, and it unfortunately has not been without its challenges, to put it mildly. But one of its goals has been to expand coverage in a way that will benefit millions of people who don’t have insurance, thus lowering the expense for everyone.

This flare-up, however, was more about individual freedom of choice and the evolving nature of how same-sex unions and the families they produce are viewed by society at large.

The truth is, among younger people particularly, there is more tolerance and understanding of gay and lesbian relationships and rights than there has ever been.

Credit Blue Cross and Blue Shield with setting an example of its own understanding.

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