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Senate Staffers Alerted to Extended Benefits in Wake of DOMA Decision

Senate staffers were given instructions Tuesday on updating their federally issued benefits policies if they are in legal same-sex marriages, according to an email obtained by CQ Roll Call and in accordance with last week’s Supreme Court decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.
Same-sex marriage is legal in the District of Columbia, which means it is very likely a significant group of staffers with spouses or children will have their families entitled to benefits that were not available to them days ago. The letter follows:
From: PAY&BENEFITS (Disbursing)
Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2013 02:33 PM
Subject: Extension of Federal Beneftis to Legally Married Same-Sex Spouses and their Families

      This is a MASS email to Senate Staff.  Please DO NOT reply.  The mailbox is not monitored.

On June 26, 2013 the Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.  Therefore, numerous Federal Employee Benefits may now be extended to legally married same-sex spouses and (step)children.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is giving Federal Employees in legal Same-Sex Marriages until August 26, 2013 to update their federal benefits and same-sex spouses of federal employees to apply for Long Term Care Insurance coverage with Abbreviated Underwriting.

Please see the Memorandum From OPM
providing Guidance on the Extension of these Benefits and a more detailed explanation.

To make a change to:

Health and Life Insurance

Make changes with the Disbursing Office

Dental and Vision Insurance

Make changes directly with FEDVIP
     (877) 888-3337

Long Term Care Insurance

Enroll directly with LTCFEDS
    (800) 582-3337

Flexible Spending Accounts

Make changes directly with FSAFEDS
      (877) 372-3337

Please also note that OPM states “additional guidance regarding these and other benefits will be coming soon.”

The Disbursing Office will update Senate Staff as new guidance is issued.

If you have any questions, please call the Employee Benefits Section at (202) 224-1093.

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