U.S. Office of Personnel Management Scrambles For Cover Over The FEHB – AETNA Pet Insurance Debacle

The U.S. Department of Personnel Management sent out a late day Press Release concerning the story that was printed this morning regarding the fact that Aetna was offering Federal Employees Pet Insurance. stories that were reported this morning.  (Obviously someone is reading the LGBT Blogs)

“Stories claiming that the federal government offers pet insurance to federal employees, and juxtaposing that benefit with the fact that the federal government cannot under current law provide health insurance benefits to federal employees’ domestic partners are grossly inaccurate. While Aetna is a participating carrier in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), the pet insurance product offered by Aetna is not a federal benefit, nor has it been listed as a benefit in any OPM prepared or reviewed materials. Aetna, on its own initiative, offers a variety of discount products to its members, including gym memberships, weight loss programs, eyewear, vitamins, etc. Pet insurance is one of these products.

“Aetna has apologized for using the reference to FEHBP in its communication on this discount program. OPM regrets that Aetna’s error is being cited by some as evidence that same-sex domestic partner health insurance benefits for federal employees are not a priority by OPM and the Administration. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“The Obama Administration believes in granting equal rights and benefits to gay and lesbian federal employees as demonstrated by the President’s strong support of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, which will provide full benefits to same-sex partners of federal workers. The Director of OPM has testified in both the Senate and the House in favor of its passage.”

OPM doesn’t seem to mention WHY Federal Employee’s received email stating that FEHPB Members with AETNA could get a discount on Pet Insurance through official business Federal email accounts if AETNA took it upon itself to do this.  But hey, they are just trying to cover some asses here

As for “the President’s strong support of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act” I suppose his “strong support” is why it, like ENDA is sitting stagnant in Congress.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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