University of Arkansas again rolls out insurance coverage for same-sex partners | Arkansas Blog

University of Arkansas again rolls out insurance coverage for same-sex partners

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It ought to take this time. The University of Arkansas distributed a memo today advising employees that same-sex spouses may enroll in health, dental and vision insurance plans.

You may recall they tried this briefly after Judge Chris Piazza's marriage equality ruling in May 2014, then were forced to put the policy on hold after the Arkansas Supreme Court stayed Piazza's ruling a few days later. The Arkansas Supreme Court never ruled on the case. But Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court did, declaring same-sex marriage a national right. Because of that the UA moved forward again with the coverage.

Presumably, this should become commonplace throughout government at all levels. Legal marriage in states that had banned it should also open doors to many new private benefits.

The UA memo:
In light of the Supreme Court ruling Friday, June 26, 2015, concerning same sex marriage, the University of Arkansas is now allowing employees to enroll their same sex spouses in UA health, dental & vision insurance plans. Employees have 31 days from a marriage date to add their spouses and any new step children to their health, dental & vision insurance plans. This now applies to same sex marriages as well.
Employees with same-sex spouses who have been married for more than 31 days will have until July 27, 2015, to add same-sex spouses and any eligible step children to their UA health, dental and vision plans. The steps for adding same-sex spouses are:

· Complete the necessary enrollment forms and provide a copy of the marriage certificate and birth certificates of any step children you are adding.

· Turn in enrollment forms and documentation to Human Resources, 222 Administration Building, no later than 7/27/2015. Forms can also be faxed to 479-575-6971.

· Employees can find the enrollment forms on the New Employee Benefits Enrollment section of Human Resources website. Go to HR’s website at http://hr.uark.edu and click on Benefits at the University and then Benefits Overview. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on New Employee Benefits Enrollment. Forms are also available in Human Resources, 222 Administration Building.

· This special enrollment period will not allow employees not currently enrolled to enroll in health, dental or vision coverage.

The first day of the following month rule will apply here as it does with all other additions of spouse enrollments. Employees adding same sex spouses and any step children who turn in their forms and documentation to Human Resources by 6/30/2015 will have coverage effective 7/1/2015. Those who turn in their forms 7/1/2015 – 7/27/2015 will have coverage effective 8/1/2015.

We also want to remind employees enrolled in UA health coverage that the new premiums based on six different salary tiers will go into effect July 1, 2015. You will have the new premiums deducted from your July 31, 2015, check. Note, if you are less than 100% appointed, your premiums will be based on your 100% equivalent salary. You can find the new premiums on both the New Employee Benefits Section of Human Resources website and the Medical Coverage section. You can see the effect on your take-home pay on webBASIS, http://webbasis.uark.edu. Go to My Pay and then Future Pay. Click on the Gross Pay for the 7/31/2015 Pay Date.

If you have any questions, contact Human Resources at hrbenf@uark.edu.

Richard Ray

Benefits Director

University of Arkansas




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