Expanding Insurance for Dependants

Last week the Federal Government issued proposed regulations for Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Program enrollees.

Expanding upon the Affordable Care Act’s insurance provision for dependents until the age of 26 (42 U.S.C. § 300gg-14(a)), the proposed regulations will afford the same coverage for FEHB-enrollee children of same-sex domestic partners.

The regulations also allow children of same-sex domestic partners to be covered family members under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).

The proposed regulations provide in part:

(1) A child is considered to be a family member eligible to be covered by the enrollment of an enrolled employee or annuitant or a former employee or child enrolled under § 890.1103 of this part if he or she is— (i) A child born within marriage; (ii) A recognized natural child; (iii) An adopted child; (iv) A stepchild; or (v) A foster child who lives with the enrollee in a regular parent-child relationship.

(2) Meaning of stepchild. For purposes of this part, the term ‘‘stepchild’’ refers to the child of an enrollee’s spouse or domestic partner.

(3) Meaning of domestic partner. For purposes of this part, the term ‘‘domestic partner’’ is a person in a domestic partnership with an employee, annuitant, former employee or child enrolled under § 890.1103 of this part.

(4) Meaning of domestic partnership. For purposes of this part, the term “domestic partnership’’ is defined as a committed relationship between two adults, of the same sex, in which the partners— (i) Are each other’s sole domestic partner and intend to remain so indefinitely; (ii) Maintain a common residence, and intend to continue to do so (or would maintain a common residence but for an assignment abroad or other employment-related, financial, or similar obstacle); (iii) Are at least 18 years of age and mentally competent to consent to a contract; (iv) Share responsibility for a significant measure of each other’s financial obligations; (v) Are not married or joined in a civil union to anyone else; (vi) Are not a domestic partner of anyone else; (vii) Are not related in a way that, if they were of opposite sex, would prohibit legal marriage in the U.S. jurisdiction in which the domestic partnership was formed; (viii) Provide documentation demonstrating fulfillment of the requirements of (i) through (vii) as prescribed by OPM; and (ix) Certify that they understand that willful falsification of the documentation described in subparagraph (viii) of this section may lead to disciplinary action and the recovery of the cost of benefits received related to such falsification and may constitute a criminal violation under 18 U.S.C. 1001.

The entire proposed regulations can be viewed here.

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