CalPERS Opens Special Enrollment Period for Same-Sex Couples’ Health Benefits, Outperforms Investment Return Benchmark

This week CalPERS announced that it is opening a special enrollment period for certain same-sex couples to enroll their spouses and children in health benefits.  Last month the United States Supreme Court ruled that the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” was unconstitutional.  This had the effect of reducing the tax-burden on same-sex couples who pay for a dependent spouse’s health insurance.  CalPERS recognized that the decision “may cause some couples to reconsider enrolling their eligible spouses and children” in CalPERS’ health plan.  Typically newlyweds have just 60 days to enroll their new spouses.  Without this special enrollment period, those same-sex couples married in 2008 would have been unable to take advantage of the reduced tax burden by enrolling their spouses.

The special enrollment period applies to “employees and retirees who were married during the period in 2008 when California first issued same-sex marriage licenses but chose not to enroll their spouse or dependent children.”  It also applies to same-sex couples who were married in another state where same-sex marriage was legal prior to June 26, 2013.  The special enrollment period will continue through December 31, 2013.

In addition, on July 15, 2013, CalPERS announced its preliminary 2012-13 fiscal year investment performance.  CalPERS reported a 12.5% return on investments for the 12 months that ended on June 30, 2013.  That return outperformed CalPERS’ benchmark by 1.5% and was well above the long-term return necessary for CalPERS to meet current and future obligations.

By Jake White | July 30, 2013

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