An exhaustive analysis of the lifetime costs a committed gay couple faces compared to those of a heterosexual marriage finds that, in the worst case, the gay couple pays out nearly $470,000 extra. The study by the New York Times assumed the couples were together until one partner died, were college-educated and raised children. Some variables:
- Health insurance: Nearly half—$212,000—of the worst-case price tag comes here, in that one partner isn’t covered by the other’s insurance, and had to buy coverage.
- Estate taxes: Where heterosexual married couples can transfer assets without paying these taxes, same-sex couples, even married ones, get stuck with hefty bills.
- Childbearing: Beside the costs of insemination, adoption or surrogacy, many gay couples choose to move to a state that allows the second partner to adopt the child.
- Income tax: One area where gay couples benefit, because of the so-called marriage penalty. In the analysis’ worst case, the gay couple paid $15,000 less in taxes; in the best case, $112,000.