HHS expands Medicare options for same-sex couples

Thursday's announcement applies to same-sex couples enrolled in private Medicare Advantage plans.

When seniors in Medicare Advantage need to enter a nursing home, they have the option to choose the same nursing home where their spouse resides. 

Because of DOMA's definition of marriage, that choice was previously available only to opposite-sex couples. But the HHS said that because of the court's decision, all married couples would now have the same option when choosing a nursing home.

“Today, Medicare is ensuring that all beneficiaries will have equal access to coverage in a nursing home where their spouse lives, regardless of their sexual orientation,” Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a statement.