July 1, 2013
Following last Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, Section 3, the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced on Friday, June 28, 2013, that it would now be “able to extend benefits to Federal employees and annuitants who are legally married to a spouse of the same sex.”
Although promising additional information on “a broader range of issues” in the future, OPM offered immediate Guidance on health insurance (FEHB); life insurance (FEGLI); dental and vision insurance (FEDVIP), long term care insurance (FLTCIP); flexible savings accounts (FSA); and the ability of retirees to elect a survivor annuity if they have married following retirement.
Where applicable, OPM has created a special, new 60-day open enrollment period running from June 26, 2013 until August 26, 2013.
The OPM guidance to agencies can be read here.
In another development that is already affecting many lives, the Department of Homeland Security has clarified that U.S. citizens in same-sex bi-national marriages are now eligible to apply for green cards for their spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.
Federal employees with questions or who encounter problems can contact GLAD’s InfoLine at (800) 455-GLAD, or firstname.lastname@example.org.