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Spouses in same-sex marriages now eligible for HISD benefits

2015 July 8
by HISD Communications

A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling made same-sex marriage legal in all U.S. states. In light of this decision, the following changes are being made to HISD’s health benefits plan:

  • Employees married in the past 31 days in a same-sex marriage will now be recognized as a qualified life event change and will be treated the same as opposite-sex marriage life event requests. HISD Benefits is still working on programming issues, so employees needing to make a life-event change due to a same-sex marriage will need to contact HISD Benefits Service Center at 877-780-4473 for assistance in making the life event change. It is important that you contact the HISD Benefits Service Center by the 31st day of the marriage in order to make appropriate benefit changes, such as covering a new spouse. Otherwise, the benefit changes can only be made during the next open enrollment period or upon the occurrence of another special enrollment event. HISD Benefits is working quickly to address the programming issues so that employees can make benefit changes online due to same-sex marriage life events.
  • At this time, employees married to a same-sex spouse in another state for more than 31 days will need to wait until the next annual enrollment period to make any benefit changes. However, the HISD Benefits Office is still actively reviewing this matter further to see if an allowance can be made since they have not had the ability to add their spouse and/or dependents from that marriage to the HISD benefit plans prior to the recent Supreme Court decision. The district is awaiting further information from government agencies on this issue. We anticipate that the government will issue guidance in the near future allowing for a special enrollment period for spouses who fall within this category. Employees whose situation this applies to are encouraged to provide their contact information to HISD Benefits Service Center at 877-780-4473 so the district can provide immediate notification if allowed to accept enrollment during the plan year.

Any dependent who is added to the HISD benefits plans (medical, dental, or vision) will be subject to the ongoing dependent verification process. Beginning in 2015, HISD employees are required to provide appropriate documentation supporting the relationship when adding dependents for all life events and during annual enrollment. For additional information, please call the HISD Benefits Service Center at 877-780-4473.

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