The U.S. Supreme Court's decision overturning same-sex marriage bans in the four remaining states that had them will ease the administrative burden on benefits managers at companies that offer insurance coverage to spouses and partners.

That's the view of consulting firm Aon Hewitt. While states-rights advocates like Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia have railed against the same-sex and premium subsidy rulings by the court, for human resources managers, such rulings offer a sense of consistency and stability, Aon Hewitt said. Already, 77 percent of employers with employee health plans offer same-sex partner coverage already, Aon Hewitt said.

However, the ruling, which overturned bans in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, could cause some employers to drop or increase the cost-sharing of spousal coverage if they are concerned about having to cover a substantially higher number of spouse/partners.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.