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Spectrum Health to offer same-sex partner health insurance benefits in 2015

Spectrum Health website

Same-sex partners of Spectrum Health employees can get health insurance coverage starting in 2015.

Legally married gay employees and same-sex couples who can demonstrate they are in a committed relationship will be able to opt for health insurance for their spouses and partners. The couple's children will also be eligible.

The new insurance  coverage will begin in January.

A Spectrum Health spokesperson declined to be interviewed. but he told the Grand Rapids Press the new policy is important for employee recruitment and retention.

He also said it is the right thing to recognize diverse family situations and is part of the health system's inclusion and diversity strategy.

According to its website, Spectrum Health is the largest employer in West Michigan, with more than 21,000 employees.

-- Virginia Gordan,  Michigan Radio Newsroom