On September 20, University of Central Missouri passed domestic partner benefits for the University’s health care plan. This plan is similar to the rest of the universities in that open enrollment begins this month and is in place starting in 2014.
Dr. Amber R. Clifford-Napoleone, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Curator of Nance Collections at University of Central Missouri, said, “Those of us who have worked to gain the extension of health care benefits for domestic partners at UCM [University of Central Missouri] are very happy with this development. Not only does it mean that UCM families will be supported regardless of their marital status, it also represents an important recognition of GLBTQ faculty and staff at the university by extending domestic partnership to same-sex couples. I, for one, am pleased that the Board of Governors, Faculty Senate and Administration has elected to show its support for all of the families in the UCM community."
Missouri State University’s policy changed earlier this week employee benefits now include the updated definition of a “Sponsored dependent” which includes, among other requirements, those who have shared the same permanent residence and the common necessities of life with the employee for at least the previous 12 months.
Dr. Holly Baggett, a professor in the history department at Missouri State University, concluded, “I could not be prouder of Missouri State University and the passage of domestic partner benefits. As someone who fought for over a decade simply to get ‘sexual orientation’ in the nondiscrimination policy, I see this progress as truly historic. The university has not always been a welcoming place for the LGBT community. Today I honestly feel, for the first time, a truly valued and equal member of the MSU community.”
The latest university in Missouri to follow suit is Truman State University. Today in a letter to Truman State employees, Dr. Troy Paino, President of Truman State University, said “I am pleased to announce the addition of Adult Dependent insurance benefits beginning January 1, 2014.” The benefits will also be extended to children of the Adult Dependent. The addition is something that Paino had asked Human Resources to start working on a few months ago.
“We applaud each of these universities for their inclusive health plans. These universities now join other private universities in Missouri and Fortune 500 employers have known for a long time; recognizing the value and worth of individual employees, including LGBT employees, is good business,” concluded A.J. Bockelman, Executive Director of PROMO.