The same-sex partners of gay and lesbian federal workers can start applying for long-term health-care insurance on July 1st according to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
This new option will not apply to male and female domestic partners. According to the notice in the Federal Register, this will not apply to opposite sex domestic partners because "they may obtain eligibility to apply for Federal long term care insurance through marriage, an option not currently available to same-sex domestic partners."
Here are the requirements as listed by OPM:
- Eligible individuals must provide documentation that they meet the definition of "domestic partnership."
- This documentation is in the form of a Declaration of Domestic Partnership. No documentation other than the Declaration form is required.
- An employee or his/her same-sex domestic partner must file the declaration with the employee’s agency (or to the appropriate retirement system for annuitants).
- Agencies must indicate receipt on the form, provide a receipted copy to the employee for his/her records, and file the form in the employee’s Official Personnel Folder or its equivalent.
- Agencies do not have to ask for proof of the partnership.
- Agencies and applicants should not send the Declaration form to the FLTCIP insurer or administrator.
- On the application for FLTCIP coverage, the eligible individual will attest that he/she has submitted (either directly or through his/her partner) a form affirming the domestic partnership to the partner’s employing agency or retirement system.
Readers who are interested can access an updated copy of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) underwriting application and the Declaration of Domestic Partnership at www.ltcfeds.com. The FLTCIP administrator, will begin accepting applications from same-sex domestic partners immediately but the earliest that coverage can be effective is July 1, when the regulations become effective.
Couples will not be required to provide further proof of the relationship, OPM said, because that "would impose a greater burden on domestic partners than other qualified relatives."