Frequently Asked Questions: Domestic Partner

I have already filed beneficiary forms naming my current same-sex spouse. Do I need to complete them again due to the new ruling?

No.  You do not need to complete new forms, but it is important to regularly review your beneficiary forms to ensure they reflect your wishes.  A relationship change does not invalidate a previously filed beneficiary form.

Do I need to complete beneficiary forms to designate my legally-married same-sex spouse as my beneficiary?

No.  Beneficiary forms are not required if the order of precedence meets your needs:  

Order of Precedence:  If there is no beneficiary designated, to your widow or widower; if none, to your child or children, with the share of any deceased child distributed among descendants of that child (a court will usually have to appoint a guardian to receive payment for a minor child); if none of the above, to your parents in equal shares or the entire amount to your surviving parent; if none of the above, to the executor or administrator of your estate;  if none of the above, to your other next of kin as determined under the laws of the state where you lived.

If you wish to designate a different order, you must complete Designation of Beneficiary forms.  If you do complete Beneficiary forms, it is your responsibility to keep them up-to-date to reflect your current wishes.

Can I elect a survivor annuity for my same-sex spouse?

Yes.  Legally married same-sex spouses of retiring employees are now eligible for a survivor annuity.  Retirees who are in legal same-sex marriages will have two years from the date of the Supreme Court’s decision (i.e., until June 26, 2015) to inform OPM that they have a legal marriage that now qualifies for recognition and elect any changes to their retirement benefits based on their recognized marital status.  

Can my same-sex spouse receive coverage under FLTCIP?

Yes.  Legally married same-sex spouses of current employees and active members of the uniformed services have 60 days following their marriage date to apply for FLTCIP coverage with abbreviated underwriting.  After 60 days, applications will be subject to full underwriting. To apply for coverage, contact the Long Term Care Partners directly at 1-800-582-3337.

Can I request reimbursement for eligible health care expenses incurred by my legally married same-sex spouse and eligible child(ren)?

Yes.  An employee who is enrolled in FSAFEDS may request reimbursement for eligible health care expenses incurred by a legally married same-sex spouse or eligible child. In addition, childcare for a child of an enrollee’s same-sex spouse is eligible under a Dependent Care FSA. Questions should be directed to FSAFEDS at 1-877-372-3337/ TTY 1-800-952-0450.  

Is my same-sex spouse eligible for coverage under FEDVIP?

Yes.  Legally married same-sex spouses are now eligible family members under a Self and Family enrollment or a Self Plus One enrollment. Current enrollees can make changes to their coverage options during the annual Open Season, or after a Qualifying Life Event.

Is my child that is incapable of self-support eligible to be covered under Option C-Family?

Yes. Your unmarried dependent child age 22 or over is eligible to be covered under Option C if he/she is incapable of self-support because of a physical or mental disability that existed before the child reached age 22.  

The criteria for determination are the same as those for the FEHB Program and FEDVIP. If you have already established eligibility for your child under the FEHB Program, you do not need to establish eligibility again under FEGLI.  To continue your child's eligibility under Option C once he/she reaches age 22, you must submit a doctor's certificate about your child's disability.  For additional information, contact the Benefits Office at 301-496-24046.

I am already enrolled in Option C. Are my newly eligible same-sex spouse and children automatically covered?

Yes.  Legally married same-sex spouses and eligible children of legal same-sex marriages are automatically covered.

In addition to my Basic coverage, can I elect Optional coverage?

Yes.  All legally married same-sex spouses and children of legal same-sex marriages are now eligible family members under the FEGLI Program.  This means that employees may add coverage for a same-sex spouse and any newly eligible children under Option C. Optional coverage can only be elected during Open Season or if you have a Qualifying Life Event. FEGLI offers three types of Optional coverage:

  • Option A (Standard) has a $10,000 value.
  • Option B (Additional) equals one to five multiples of your annual basic pay (after rounding up to the next $1,000).
  • Option C (Family) provides coverage for your spouse and eligible children. Again, you can choose one to five multiples of coverage. Each multiple is equal to $5,000 (up to a $25,000 maximum) for your spouse and $2,500 (up to a $12,500 maximum) for each eligible child.
Can I enroll during the annual Open Season?

Yes.  Each year, Open Season runs from the Monday of the second full workweek in November through the Monday of the second full workweek in December.

I have Self Only FEHB coverage, how do I add my same-sex spouse to my plan?

You must submit a Health Benefits Election Form, SF-2809, along with supporting documentation to support eligibility to the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch (BPLB), Bldg 31/Rm B3C23.  Your election will be effective at the beginning of the first pay period after your enrollment form is received in BPLB.

I have Self and Family FEHB coverage, what do I do to add my same-sex spouse to my plan?

Notify your health carrier that you have a newly eligible family member. Coverage for your same-sex spouse will begin immediately. Your carrier may request supporting documentation to verify eligibility.

Is my same-sex spouse entitled to coverage under FEHB?

Yes, same-sex spouses are now eligible family members under a Self and Family enrollment.  In addition, the children of same-sex marriages will be treated just as those of opposite-sex marriages and are eligible family members according to the same eligibility guidelines. This includes coverage for children of same-sex spouses as stepchildren.