United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Same-Sex Marriages and Group Health Benefits

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    May 24, 2016 10:00:00 AM

From 2013 to 2015, a series of Supreme Court cases and government updates have changed the landscape of the way employers must consider same-sex spouses in relation to employee benefits.

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Topics: DOMA, same sex marriage, Defense of Marriage Act, group benefit eligibility

IRS Proposed Regulations Recognize Same Sex Marriage

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Oct 29, 2015 12:00:00 PM

In June 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v Hodges that the 14th Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex, and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state. The IRS has issued proposed regulations to reflect that holding, which will impact married couples, employers, sponsors, and administrators of employee benefit plans and executors.

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Topics: ACA, IRS, same sex marriage, Danielle Capilla, Obergefell v Hodges

U.S. Supreme Court Finds Same Sex Marriage Is Protected by the 14th Amendment

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Jul 9, 2015 12:00:00 PM

RingsThe Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v Hodges, that the 14th Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex, and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state. The decision was reached 5-4. Justice Kennedy delivered the majority opinion and was joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.

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Topics: Section 125, same sex marriage, group health insurance, Group health plans, U.S. Supreme Court, Danielle Capilla, change in status event, definition of spouse, Obergefell v Hodges

Definition of "Spouse" Updated for FMLA

Posted by: Linda Rowings    Mar 26, 2015 12:00:00 PM

The Department of Labor has issued an updated definition for “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to make compliance with FMLA easier for both employers and employees. The new regulations will be effective on March 27, 2015, and will define “spouse” as a husband or wife, which refers to a person “with whom an individual entered into marriage as defined or recognized under state law.” The governing state law is that of the “celebration state” or where the marriage took place. Residency of the employee or the state of the employer will no longer have any bearing on the definition of “spouse” for purposes of FMLA. This change means that the same criteria for determining whether an employee is legally married will apply to both benefits and FMLA eligibility determinations.

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Topics: FMLA, same sex marriage, spouse, common law marriage, Family and Medical Leave Act

FMLA and Same-Sex Spouses

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jul 8, 2014 3:10:00 PM

Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that limits the definitions of "marriage" and "spouse" to opposite sex marriages and spouses is unconstitutional. Since then, the Department of Labor (DOL), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have issued several notices that provide that, for purposes of federal taxes and employee benefits, a person legally married to a same-sex person in any state or foreign country is considered married even if he or she moves to a state that does not recognize same-sex marriages.

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Topics: FMLA, health insurance exchanges, private insurance exchange, health marketplace, employee wellness, PPACA, retirement, small group employers, same sex marriage, gay marriage, benefit communication, benefit consultants, benefit management, compliance with health care reform, employee health, group health insurance, healthcare consumerism, health plan compliance, health reimbursement account, insurance solutions, medical plan, self funded health plans, Group health plans, small business, family medical leave, leave of absence, fmla abuse