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Did Washington AG’s Office “Pressure” O’Reilly Auto Parts into Expanding Same-Sex Health Coverage?

WA AG Bob Ferguson
(Washington State Attorney Generals Office)

The company says they were “surprised” by Attorney General investigation announcement.

March 17th, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office announced it was investigating O’Reilly Automotive to determine if it was in violation of Washington state law concerning health-care benefits for same-sex couples.   O’Reilly Automotive operates the O’Reilly Auto Parts stores in our state.

Company officials said Wednesday in a press release they were “surprised” by the AG’s actions, as they had already been having what they called:

…”constructive dialogue and provided all of the documents and information that we felt were relevant to the issue. While we believe that O’Reilly has complied with all applicable laws, we also believe we should review and evaluate not only potential changes to the law, but, more importantly, evaluate what is in the best interest of our customers, Team Members and shareholders.”

Effective April 1st, the company plans to expand health care coverage through it’s self-funded plans for same-sex couples.  According to their press release:

(O’reilly) “.. is extending coverage under its fully self-funded health plans to same-sex spouses of otherwise eligible Team Members whose marriages are legally recognized under state law at the time and location of their marriage.”

Several of their other health-care plans already cover such couples, this will extend it to those that are self-funded, or provided “privately” by money from the company iteself.

The decision comes on the heels of a complaint filed against the company for allegedly denying coverage to a woman’s wife.   The Missouri based company operates 148 stores in Washington state.  Reports did not directly indicate if the complaint was filed in WA.

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