Alhambra Married Couple Says Employer Denied Spousal Health Insurance Because of Sexual Orientation

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Judith Dominguez, left, and wife Patricia Martinez of Alhambra, shown in an undated photo, say Colorado-based Cherry Creek Mortgage refused to provide them spousal health insurance coverage because of their sexual orientation. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

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An Alhambra couple has filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against a former employer, alleging the company refused to provide spousal health insurance coverage because of their sexual orientation and rescinded previous coverage, leaving them with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills.

Judith Dominguez, 59, began working as a loan originator for Colorado-based Cherry Creek Mortgage at a branch office in Diamond Bar in 2016 and enrolled herself and her wife, Patricia Martinez, 55, in the UnitedHealthcare plan offered by the company. The couple had been covered for most of the year when, in November, Dominguez submitted her annual re-enrollment “employee + spouse” forms.

The company told Dominguez it would not allow the women to re-enroll in a spousal plan “because Cherry Creek covers ‘spouses who are in a legal union between one man and one woman,’” according to the lawsuit, which the couple filed Thursday in federal court in downtown Los Angeles.

The company also told Dominguez it was retroactively canceling Martinez’s coverage from March 2016 onward, according to the suit.

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