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New York -- Wal-Mart Stores will offer health insurance benefits to its U.S. workers' domestic partners, including those of the same sex, starting Jan. 1, 2014. Wal-Mart sent a postcard to its associates on Monday to tell them about the change. The chain also informed workers that it plans to begin offering vision care to its eligible employees and their dependents.
The chain defines domestic partners as same-sex or opposite sex spouses, and unmarried partners who are not legally separated who have lived together for at least 12 months, are not married to anyone else, are in an exclusive relationship and plan to continue sharing a household indefinitely, the Associated Press reported.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which had denied federal benefits to gay couples married under state law.