Blues Marketplace: Special Enrollment Period for Currently Married, Same-Gender Spouses Begins Effective Immediately

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network currently provide health care coverage to same-gender spouses who were married in jurisdictions that recognize same-gender marriage.

What you need to know
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on June 26, 2015, requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples and recognize same-gender marriages performed in other states.

As a result of this court ruling, Blue Cross and BCN are holding a special open enrollment period for same-gender spouses and eligible dependents who were not previously enrolled.

Key dates and information
• This special enrollment period will start as of July 16 and continue through Sept. 1.
• The effective date of coverage will be no earlier than June 26 or the date of the marriage if it occurred after June 26.
• After the special enrollment period is over, normal enrollment process rules apply and spouses can be added when a qualifying event occurs. Note: Same-gender couples must be legally married to add a spouse to their coverage.
• The process to enroll a same-gender spouse is the same as enrolling an opposite-gender spouse.

What you need to do
If you receive questions from groups about this ruling’s effect on domestic-partner coverage, please tell them that we are assessing its effect and will let them know soon about any changes.

You can read this recent Blue Alert to help you answer questions from groups on same-gender marriage and health coverage.

Questions? Contact your Blues sales representative or managing agent.

The information in this document is based on preliminary review of the national health care reform legislation and is not intended to impart legal advice. The federal government continues to issue guidance on how the provisions of national health reform should be interpreted and applied. The impact of these reforms on individual situations may vary. This overview is intended as an educational tool only and does not replace a more rigorous review of the law’s applicability to individual circumstances and attendant legal counsel and should not be relied upon as legal or compliance advice. As required by U.S. Treasury regulations, we also inform you that any tax information contained in this communication is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer to avoid penalties under the Internal Revenue Code.

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