A friend who works for the federal government alerted me to a memo she received from the Office of Personnel Management informing federal employees about “the opportunity for same-sex domestic partners to apply for coverage under the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)”:
OPM issued a proposed regulation on September 14, 2009 to allow same-sex domestic partners to apply for coverage under the FLTCIP. The final regulation was published in the Federal Register today (June 1, 2010). The final regulation is unchanged from the proposed regulation. It adds a new section (5 CFR 875.213) expanding the definition of “qualified relative” to include same-sex domestic partners of eligible Federal and U.S. Postal Service employees and annuitants. Like all “qualified relatives,” same-sex domestic partners will be subject to full underwriting.
We believe allowing same-sex domestic partners to apply for FLTCIP coverage will help agencies address the family needs of a diverse workforce and enhance the Federal Government’s ability to compete with the private sector for talent.
Emphasis added. Seems the government is following the lead of the private sector. As we have often reported here, an increasing number of private corporations offer benefits to same-sex partners of employees.
The documentation requirements are pretty lax: “Eligible individuals will need to provide documentation (a ‘declaration’) that they meet the definition of ‘domestic partnership.'” This declaration is the only required documentation. Now, to be sure, I think this is a pretty lax requirement, I understand that many states still do not recognize domestic partnerships (or civil unions) as I believe they should. Perhaps, they should require proof of such registry for states which allow such registration.
That said, this is definitely a step in the right direction and commend the Administration for moving forward on this.
And this isn’t the only action the federal government is taking on behalf of same-sex couples. Glenn Reynolds alerts us to this report, WSJ: IRS Grants Gay Couples Equal Tax Treatment Despite DOMA.