Zuleyma Tang-Martinez, Founders Professor of Biology, who has been at the University of Missouri St. Louis for more than 36 years, added, “This is something we have fought for and waited for, for more than 20 years. I am thrilled that the university has finally recognized that granting domestic partner benefits levels the playing field for all its employees and will also enhance the university’s ability to attract the best national and international scholars, regardless of their sexual orientation. This was the right thing to do, but long overdue.”
The health care system that is being offered to all eligible couples is called a “Plus One” plan. This plan states that any cohabitants meeting specific criteria will be eligible to receive the same benefits as spouses of the University of Missouri system employees. The University of Kentucky instituted the same plan and University of Missouri will be modeling after their success and praises of the system.
“Part of the University of Missouri System’s mission is to advance the health of the people of Missouri. As a University of Missouri Curators Board member, I believe this addition to our health and welfare benefits will help faculty and staff be more productive and will help recruit and retain those of high quality,” concluded Former Senator Wayne Goode and chair of University of Missouri Curators Board Chair.
In 2012 the Williams Institute, at the request of State Representative Stephen Webber (D-Columbia) and PROMO, issued a report on the cost of adding health care benefits for University of Missouri employees. While other studies will often claim 3-5% of the workforce of a public employer will utilize such benefits, often the implementation rate is closer to .25% of employees. The report detailed the implementation cost to cover another adult in a household is relatively low.
A.J. Bockelman, Executive Director of PROMO, concluded “This is a great step forward. When employees can provide basic care for those they love, it is a win-win situation for both the employer and the employee.”