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Getting Hitched? Check Your Benefits First

Getting Hitched? Check Your Benefits First


With same-sex marriage now legal in California, many of the state's estimated 117,000 gay HIVers may be considering tying the knot. But AIDS experts warn that before you say 'I do,' you should check to see if and how any public benefits you receive'like those through ADAP or Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program'could be affected. Although the federal government, which pays the bulk of AIDS Drug Assistance Program and Medi-Cal costs, doesn't recognize same-sex marriages, the state of California has since mid June'and it is at the state level where your financial eligibility is determined. Marriage could dramatically boost your 'family' income, potentially squeezing you, your partner, or both out of such programs. While California is allowing couples from other states to marry in the Golden State, many other states are not recognizing same-sex marriages from other states. ADAP and Medi-Cal administrators were still debating at press time whether to evaluate California's same-sex spouses as individuals or as a couple when determining program eligibility. So before you rush to book that wedding planner, check in with your local AIDS service organization for information on how getting hitched could affect your HIV care.

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