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House and Senate Announce Same Sex Benes

Senate Announcement

Announcement from the House below.  

 

Benefits Update for Legally Married Same Sex Couples

From: The Chief Administrative Officer of the House
Sent By: CAOCommunications@mail.house.gov
Date: 7/9/2013

Dear Members, Resident Commissioner, Delegates, House Officers, and Staff:

As a result of the June 26, 2013, Supreme Court ruling on Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), federal benefits have been extended to legally married same-sex spouses (including children and step-children) of federal employees and annuitants.

According to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), federal employees in legal same-sex marriages have until August 26, 2013, to apply for or update their federal benefits.

Details of the coverage changes and instructions to apply for or update your coverage are located on HouseNet, click here. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Office of Payroll & Benefits at 202-225-1435.

Sincerely,

/s/

Dan Strodel

Chief Administrative Officer

Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB)

Employees with an existing Self and Family plan do not need to make any changes to their enrollment but must notify their health plan provider of their newly eligible family members.  Coverage for a same-sex spouse will begin immediately upon notification to their FEHB carrier.  For employees electing Self and Family for the first time, benefits will be effective on the first day of the month after the enrollment request has been received. Changes can be made to coverage via the online Employee Benefit Information System (EBIS) on HouseNet.

Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)

Employees may now add coverage for a same-sex spouse and any newly eligible children under Option C (family coverage) by using Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Election Form SF 2817. The SF 2817 can be found in EBIS under “Forms” or on HouseNet under the forms library (https://housenet.house.gov/forms).

Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)

Legally married same-sex spouses are now eligible family members under a Self and Family enrollment or a Self Plus One enrollment.  If an employee currently has coverage and would like to add coverage for a same-sex spouse and any newly eligible children, they should call BENEFEDS at 877-888-3337 to make the necessary enrollment changes. Marriage is not an event that permits a new FEDVIP enrollment. Employees and annuitants who are not currently enrolled in FEDVIP will not be allowed to enroll in a FEDVIP plan until the annual Open Season.

Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)

All legally married same-sex spouses can now apply for long-term care insurance under FLTCIP. Same sex spouses of employees will have until August 26, 2013, to apply for FLTCIP coverage with abbreviated underwriting.  Outside of this time period, same-sex spouses can apply for FLTCIP at any time, but with full underwriting.  To apply for FLTCIP coverage, call 1-800-LTC-FEDS (1-800-582-3337)/TTY 1-800-843-3557.

Federal Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAFEDS)

Employees who are enrolled in FSAFEDS may request reimbursement for eligible health care expenses incurred by a legally married same-sex spouse or related child. In addition, childcare for a child of an enrollee’s same-sex spouse is eligible under a Dependent Care FSA. Any changes made to the account must be consistent with the life event. In this case, newly eligible spouses and/or children may result in an increased, but not a decreased, election. If an enrollee does not change his or her election before August 26, 2013, he/she must wait until the annual Open Season or another Qualifying Life Event to make an enrollment change. To add coverage call FSAFEDS at 1-877-372-3337/TTY 1-800-952-0450.

Retirement/Survivor’s Benefits

Same-sex spouses of retired or retiring employees are eligible for survivor annuities.  All retirees will have until June 26, 2015, to inform OPM they are legally married and now qualify to elect changes to their retirement benefits.

If you have any questions about the information provided, please contact the Office of Payroll & Benefits at 202-225-1435.

James F. Butler 
Payroll & Benefits Manager 
Office of Payroll & Benefits 
Office of the Chief Administrative Officer 
U.S. House of Representatives 
B215 Longworth House Office Building 

202-225-1435 (Office)