What Every State Employee Should Know

Effective July 1, PA Employee Benefit Trust Fund eligible employees can extend their health benefits to domestic partners (same sex or opposite sex), according to Louis Marven, director of administration and youth programs, LGBT Community Center Coalition.

 

Benefits include:

Medical (HMO and PPO Only)

Prescription Drug

Dental

Vision

Hearing Aid

Many employers allow employees to extend benefits to cover domestic part­ners. A majority of Fortune 500 compa­nies, including Chevron, Coca-Cola, Eastman Kodak, Google, Home Depot, AT&T Inc., Nike and The Walt Disney Co. extend such benefits. A dozen sig­nificant Pennsylvania companies do so. Among them are Aramark, CIGNA, Comcast, Erie Insurance, Lincoln National, Mellon Financial, PNC Financial Group, Unisys and Rite Aid. Additionally, with this program, Pennsylvania joins 15 states – Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington – in allowing employees to extend health benefits to domestic partners.

To Apply
An employee may certify that another person is their domestic partner if they provide at least three of the following items:

Domestic partnership agreement as recognized by a governmental entity

Deed or lease evidencing common ownership of real property or a com­mon leasehold interest in property

Evidence of joint title to a motor vehicle

Driver’s license listing a common address

Proof of joint bank accounts or credit accounts

Proof of designation as a beneficiary for life insurance or retirement bene­fits or beneficiary designation under a partner’s will

Assignment of durable power of attorney

To apply for domestic partner bene­fits, employees should contact their human resource office and complete:

Employee Enrollment/Change Form (PEBTF-2)

PEBTF Domestic Partnership Verification Statement and Application for Health Benefits Form (PEBTF-12)

(Please note that the CDHP will not be available for domestic partnerships because the tax laws governing the associated Health Reimbursement Account will not permit its use in the majority of cases.)

Employees may apply for coverage beginning May 1 for an effective date of July 1, 2009. HR offices will not have the necessary forms prior to May 1, 2009.
 
Dependent Children
Coverage for domestic partners’ dependent children is also available. Children must reside in the household of the employee and domestic partner and documentation is required. Your local human resource office or the PEBTF can answer questions about covering these depen­dents.

Tax Implications
Health benefits provided to domestic partners are considered taxable income under federal and state laws. Additional information on the tax implications will be provided at enrollment and is posted on PEBTF’s website: www.pebtf.org.

Retirement
Employees who qualify for the Retired Employees Health Program (REHP) may continue coverage for domestic partners and dependents upon retirement. REHP benefits include medical and prescription drug only.

Termination of Domestic Partner Coverage
If a partnership ends, the employee must notify their local human resource office within 60 days and must complete:

Employee Enrollment/Change Form (PEBTF-2)

Individual Domestic Partnership Termination Statement Form (PEBTF-13)

At that time, a HIPAA notice and COBRA continuation of coverage notification will be mailed to the former domestic partner so that they may elect COBRA coverage if needed. Employees are responsible for reporting changes in a timely manner and are responsible for any claims incurred when dependents are not eligible for such benefits.

Additional information about domestic partner coverage may be found on the PEBTF website, www.pebtf.org, under News.

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