Special Enrollment Period for Currently Married, Same-Gender Spouses Effective Immediately

Insurance carriers currently provide health care coverage to same-gender spouses who were married in jurisdictions that recognize same-gender marriage.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on June 26, 2015, requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples and recognize same-gender marriages performed in other states. As a result of this court ruling, all employers must hold a special open enrollment period for same-gender spouses and eligible dependents who were not previously enrolled.

Recommendations:

  • Begin the special enrollment period July 22, 2015 and continue through August 20, 2015.
  • The effective date of coverage for newly enrolled spouses will be no earlier than June 26 or the date of the marriage if it occurred after June 26.
  • After the special enrollment period is over, normal enrollment process rules apply and spouses can be added when a qualifying event occurs and are treated the same as an opposite-gender spouse. Note: Same-gender couples must be legally married to add a spouse to their coverage.

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