The Office of Personnel Management has released final regulations to extend Federal Employees Health Benefits and Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program eligibility to child-
ren of same-sex domestic partners of Appropriated Fund Civilian Employees and annuitants. Under the regulation, children of same-sex domestic partners are considered stepchildren for purposes of FEHB and FEDVIP. Implementing guidance will be issued shortly.
Effective Jan. 1, employees who live in a state that does not allow same-sex couples to marry will be able to sign a domestic partnership certification allowing the employee to cover the children. This regulation does not change benefit eligibility for same-sex domestic partners – only children. Employees who live in a state that allows same-sex couples to marry must be legally married in order to cover the same-sex spouse's children.
This change in regulation allows employees to make changes to FEHB and FEDVIP outside of open season as a qualifying life event. Again, specific implementing instructions will be forthcoming and will be shared once issued by OPM. o