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Employer-sponsored healthcare benefits for domestic partners

April 22, 2014

In March 2013, among all civilian workers, 72 percent had access to employer-sponsored healthcare benefits, and virtually all of those workers could extend those benefits to their spouses; this compares with 32 percent of workers who had access to healthcare benefits that could be extended to unmarried same-sex partners, and 26 percent who had access that could be extended to unmarried opposite-sex partners.


Percentage of workers with access to employer-based healthcare benefits for spouses and unmarried partners, by selected characteristics, March 2013
Worker characteristicBenefits generally available to spousesBenefits available to unmarried same-sex partnersBenefits available to unmarried opposite-sex partners

All workers


Management, professional, and related




Sales and office


Natural resources, construction, and maintenance


Production, transportation, and material moving


Full-time workers


Part-time workers


Unionized workers


Nonunionized workers


The availability of health benefits that can be extended to an employee’s domestic partner varied by certain worker characteristics. For example, nearly 40 percent of full-time workers had access to health benefits for same-sex domestic partners, compared with 12 percent of part-time workers. Among the major occupation groups, 44 percent of workers in management, professional, and related occupations had access to health benefits for same-sex domestic partners, compared with 32 percent for sales and office occupations and 20 percent for service occupations.

These data are from the National Compensation Survey – Benefits program. To learn more, see "Employer-sponsored benefits extended to domestic partners," by Elizabeth Ashack, Beyond the Numbers, March 2014. Employees are considered to have access to a benefit plan if it is available for their use, regardless of whether they choose to enroll.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Employer-sponsored healthcare benefits for domestic partners on the Internet at (visited August 14, 2020).


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