SCOTUS Ruling on Same Sex Marriage

Aetna has recently extended their enrollment deadline for same sex couples based on the recent Supreme Court ruling.

On June 26, 2015, SCOTUS "...decided that all states must license a marriage between two people of the same sex and honor marriages licensed in another state.  As a result of this ruling, fully insured health plans offered by Aetna in all states now cover same sex spouses the same way they cover spouses of the opposite sex."

According to Aetna, this applies to their policyholders as follows:

  • Members who were legally married on or after June 26, 2015 will have 31 days from the date of marriage to enroll their same-sex spouses.
  • Members who were legally married prior to June 26, 2015 but were not allowed to enroll their same-sex spouses in their fully insured plan now have until August 28, 2015 to enroll their spouses.
  • There will be no special enrollment period for members who were married prior to June 26, 2015 who were allowed previously to enroll their same-sex spouse.
  • Members who miss an enrollment deadline, will need to wait for the next open enrollment period, or experience a qualifying event, before adding their spouse.

The changes outlined above only apply to those currently with Aetna plans.  If you participate in a self-funded plan, you should consult with your legal counsel since they can decide how to handle eligibility for same-sex spouses.
Aetna also stated: "This ruling does not impact domestic partnership benefits.  If, however, a group wishes to make a change to domestic partnership benefits, and state law allows it, we will make the change at renewal.  Groups may still have the option to choose whether they cover employee spouses, but if they cover some spouses, they must cover all."

The updates listed above are likely similar across all health insurance carriers, but feel free to call or contact us here in order to ask specific questions on your own plan.