Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina canceled the family insurance policies of gay and lesbian couples in the state, explaining that the policies are meant for married couples.
Those policies were sold to 20 same-sex couples through the federal insurance marketplace.
The language in those policies, including the terms “spouse” and “opposite sex,” are geared towards opposite-sex married couples, said state Insurance Department spokeswoman Kerry Hall.
"I was so taken aback by it; I was speechless," said Al Hinman, who moved to Durham from New York last year. "It was wrong, and it shouldn't have happened that way. For 24 years we've been on the same insurance with a few gaps."
Gay-rights advocates point out that BCBS offers domestic partner benefits to employees.
The insurance company is offering the gay couples individual plans for now. In 2015, BCBS says it will offer a family plan for gay couples.
Hinman said the individual policies for his husband and himself actually dropped their premium about $68 month in comparison to their family plan.