Last month, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) proposed a rule pertaining to children of a parent who is in a domestic same-sex relationship with a federal employee receiving health insurance coverage through federal programs. The proposed regulation would allow gay federal employees to cover the children of their partners under the federal health insurance plan.
OPM is currently in the process of accepting and reviewing public commentary on the rule’s implementation. All comments must be received within 60 days of proposal. While there is no deadline for publication of the final rule, regulations typically become effective 30 days after they are issued.
Those interested in taking advantage of the rule once it is enacted should be aware of the following facts:
- Under the proposed rule, children of same-sex partners of federal employees would be eligible for benefits unavailable to the same sex-partners themselves.
- Children would be eligible for health insurance coverage under both the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Program.
- Children would be eligible for coverage regardless of whether or not they have been legally adopted by the federal employee.
- Under federal health program regulations amended by the proposed rule, any federal employee who fails to establish that insuring their partner’s child qualifies for favorable tax treatment under applicable tax laws is subject to taxation on the fair market value of the coverage.
Currently, federal employees can obtain coverage for the children of their same-sex partners only if they adopt the children. Second-parent adoption is available statewide in 18 states and D.C.
You can learn more about your family health insurance coverage options by reviewing free quotes for a variety of plans from different carriers via the instant quote engine found at www.gohealthinsurance.com.