Children of Federal Workers’ Same Sex Partners Eligible for Health Insurance Under New Regulation
According to a recent article in the Federal Times, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) published a new regulation last week extending eligibility for FEHB and FEDV insurance benefits to children of same sex domestic partners employed by the federal government.
Under the new regulation, these children will be categorized as “step-children” since regulations do not currently recognize the children of one individual in a domestic partnership to be the legal progeny of the other partner. This measure would affect many of the estimated 34,000 federal workers currently living in committed domestic partnerships.
“This is a big step forward in the march toward equality for all federal workers,” said NFFE National President William R. Dougan. “It should be common sense to cover employees’ children – biological or otherwise. It is very encouraging to see this principle being put into action. We thank OPM Director John Berry for his continued leadership on this issue.”
This latest change is just the latest in a series of benefit expansions for same-sex domestic partners over the past several years. In 2010 the administration permitted employees to add their partners to long-term care insurance and make their children eligible for childcare subsidies and services.
Though great progress has been made, there is still more work to be done. The Federal Employees Domestic Partner Benefits and Obligations Act (H.R. 3485/S. 1910) is the comprehensive legislative solution that LGBT federal employees need to achieve full benefit equality. To learn more about the legislation, and NFFE’s efforts to pass it through Congress, click here.