New Rochelle city employees' domestic partners now eligible for health benefits

The New Rochelle City Council passed a vote Thursday allowing domestic partners of city employees to receive health benefits.

The new law will be effective immediately. The vote provides benefits for domestic partners who can prove they are in a committed relationship and have been living together for at least six months. Both heterosexual and same-sex couples can now benefit from the legislation, but the law is meant for couples that can?t legally marry. The mayor says New Rochelle?s law is similar to Westchester County?s, which extended benefits to its employees? domestic partners in November 2002.

To cut down on fraud, the new law only applies to city employees, not retirees. Officials warn although the law is in effect it doesn?t preclude it from being overturned in the future. In January, Eastchester overturned a similar law after four years.

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