Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program: Expiration of Coverage of Children of Same-Sex Domestic Partners; Federal Flexible Benefits Plan: Pre-Tax Payment of Health Benefits Premiums: Conforming Amendments. Final rule.
Fed Regist. 2018 Jul 12;83(134):32191-3
Authors: U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
On October 30, 2013, OPM published final regulations in the Federal Register to expand coverage for children of same-sex domestic partners under the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program and the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). The regulation allowed children of same-sex domestic partners living in states that did not allow same-sex couples to marry to be covered family members under the FEHB and the FEDVIP. Due to a subsequent Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all states, OPM published an interim final regulation on December 2, 2016, that created a regulatory exception that only allowed children of same-sex domestic partners living overseas to maintain their FEHB and FEDVIP coverage until September 30, 2018. OPM recognized that there were additional requirements placed on overseas federal employees that did not apply to other civilian employees with duty stations in the United States making it difficult to travel to the United States to marry their same-sex partners. Understanding that we have provided agencies with additional time for compliance given that overseas federal employees may not have been able to marry immediately following the Supreme Court decision, OPM is issuing a final rule removing references to domestic partners and domestic partnerships from the regulations. Based on the Supreme Court decision and the two additional year’s lead time for domestic partners overseas to marry, the current language in the CFR is not needed and may be somewhat confusing. There is no change in coverage for children whose same-sex partners are married.
PMID: 30020578 [PubMed – in process]