Thomas Dowling Quoted in St. Louis Post Dispatch Article About Mercy Hospitals extending same-sex benefits to employees.
Stinson Leonard Street partner Thomas Dowling was quoted in the January 21st issue of the St. Louis Post Dispatch newspaper on a recent story entitled 'Mercy Health mulling option to extend same-sex benefits to employees.'
The story discusses the recent press on Mercy's consideration of extending same-sex benefits to its more than 40,000 employees in seven states, including Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. Officials with the Chesterfield-based health system said they are weighing the move to comply with President Barack Obama’s health law and other federal programs.
Legal experts, including Tom Dowling, however say it's open to interpretation whether certain federal laws and regulations apply in Mercy's case. “There is no mandate on the health care side that you have to provide coverage to a same-sex spouse under the (Affordable Care Act),” said Tom Dowling.
Dowling is based in Stinson Leonard Street's Kansas City, MO office in the firm's Employee Benefits Group. His practice focuses on the creation, ongoing administration and regulatory compliance of health and welfare benefit plans for public, private and tax-exempt organizations. He is the primary attorney responsible for advising clients on Health Care Reform implementation and compliance. Tom represents employers, banks, insurers and administrators on matters relating to health plans, health FSAs, HSAs and HRAs, including regulatory compliance related to claims and payment processing services. He has extensive experience designing wellness programs to comply with HIPAA, GINA and the ADA.