Regulation

Rule would expand life insurance to same-sex partners’ children

The Obama administration is looking to extend insurance coverage to the children of same-sex couples who work for the federal government.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) proposed Tuesday to extend life insurance to the stepchildren of federal employees who are gay but live in states that do not recognize same-sex marriage. 

{mosads}The changes would affect the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program, which covers basic life insurance for government workers and their families.

“This rule expands the circumstances under which an employee experiencing a change in family circumstances may include eligible children of a same-sex domestic partner,” the agency writes in the Federal Register.

But the changes would only apply to life insurance coverage, and not health insurance.

Furthermore, the rule would not provide coverage for the children of a federal employee’s domestic partner if they live in states that recognize gay marriage but choose not to get married.

Eligibility would be determined when the federal employee has a change in family circumstances, the agency noted, and would not necessarily have to be re-examined if their situation changes.

“We recognize that the legal landscape is changing and certain states that currently do not allow same-sex couples to marry may allow them to do so in the future,” the agency wrote. “Same-sex couples may also relocate from states where they cannot marry to states where they are permitted to marry. The possibility that the relevant state marriage laws may change has the potential to create significant administrative difficulties.”

The public has 60 days to comment.

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