A proposal to give health benefits to "adult designees" such as siblings, long-term roommates and unmarried partners in Salt Lake County stalled again Tuesday.
Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson pulled her proposal to offer adult designee benefits from the County Council's Tuesday agenda, and said the issue will likely come up again in "a matter of weeks." Council members have stalled on voting on the proposal or some form of it for about 2 1/2 years.
Wilson tried to extend health benefits to unmarried partners in July 2005, but it failed on a party-line vote.
She then retooled the proposal and instead of focusing solely on health benefits for domestic partners, Wilson wants to broaden the program to "adult designees" such as siblings, long-term roommates and parents of county employees.
Wilson tailored her plan to be like Salt Lake City's. In 2006 the city started offering health insurance benefits to "adult designees" of city workers who live in the same household but are not married to the employee.
The city's program defines an adult designee as anyone over age 18 who has lived in the city worker's household for a year and is either financially dependent upon the city worker or has financial interdependence with that person. An "adult designee" could be a sister or brother, a parent, a romantic partner or friend. The ordinance also applies to the designee's children.
Wilson is trying to schedule a presentation by city officials to the County Council on the successes and possible failures of the adult designee program there.Wilson said she wants to change the county's health-care plan to reflect the changing face of county employees: According to recent Census data, 45 percent of all Salt Lake County adults no longer fit the typical family model. She said if the county keeps health benefits as is and limits it to those who fit the mold, "the county may be excluding nearly half of its employees."
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