An apparatus and method for splitting and combining optical beams with reduced contact loss and electrical isolation. In one embodiment, an apparatus according to embodiments of the present invention includes a first optical waveguide section disposed in semiconductor material. The apparatus further includes second and third optical waveguide sections symmetrically disposed in the semiconductor material proximate to an end of the first optical waveguide section. First and second insulating gap regions are disposed in the semiconductor material between the first and second optical waveguide sections and the first and third optical waveguide sections, respectively, such that there is a first evanescent coupling between first and second optical waveguide sections across the first insulating gap region and there is a second evanescent coupling between the first and third optical waveguide sections across the second insulating gap region. The first, second, and third waveguide sections are electrically isolated.