Important Benefits Update: Enrollment Period Opened to Extend Benefits to Same-Sex Spouse, Children

November 24, 2014 at 10:27 am

Because of recent federal court rulings on same-sex marriages, the University of South Carolina and South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) are holding an enrollment period for subscribers who have valid, out-of-state same-sex marriages that predate November 18, 2014.  At this time, subscribers may add insurance coverage for their same-sex spouses and children of their same-sex spouses through December 19, 2014.  A subscriber who enters into a valid, same-sex marriage in South Carolina or another state after November 18, 2014, will have the usual 31 days from the date of marriage in which to add coverage for his or her spouse or stepchild.

To enroll a same-sex spouse, individuals eligible for insurance coverage through the state must complete the appropriate Notice of Election form (FTE and grant positions or temporary positions) and return it, along with a copy of one of the following, to the USC Benefits Office or your campus Human Resources Office:

  • Marriage license
  • Page 1 of the couple’s federal tax return with the financial information marked out
  • The Common Law Marriage Affidavit

To enroll a child of a same-sex spouse, a long-form birth certificate is required in addition to the documentation proving the same-sex couple is married.  Same-sex spouses and the children of same-sex spouses will be eligible for health, dental, vision and Dependent Life coverage through PEBA beginning November 18, 2014.

For a timely enrollment, the effective date of coverage will be November 18, 2014 or the date of marriage, whichever is later.  Please note that after December 19, 2014, changes in coverage for same-sex spouses and the children of same-sex spouses will be allowed only during open enrollment, which occurs every October, or within 31 days of a special eligibility situation, such as a marriage or a loss of other coverage.

For more information about the enrollment period, please contact the USC Benefits Office at 777-6650 or your campus Human Resources Office.