LA: Same-Sex Health Insurance For State Workers' Spouses

BATON ROUGE (AP) — The health insurance program for Louisiana state employees, retirees and some public school systems is taking applications for coverage for same-sex spouses and their dependents.

         Those who were married before June 26 — the date that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that marriage is a fundamental right for all Americans — have until Aug. 11 to apply, according to the Office of Group Benefits. Those married on or after that date have 30 days after the marriage to apply for coverage for spouses and dependents.

         The Office of Group Benefits opened the enrollment period July 10. The Retired State Employees Association sent out a notice about the enrollment period Tuesday.

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         Applications must be faxed or postmarked by Aug. 11. Coverage for newly enrolled dependents will begin on Aug. 1 for couples married before June 26.

         For those married on or after June 26, coverage for spouses and dependents is effective on the date of the marriage, if the application is made on time.

         Employees and retired employees should send the Office of Group Benefits a letter asking for the coverage and include documents to verify the relationship. That means a copy of the marriage certificate to add a spouse. If adding a spouse's dependent children, they need copies of the children's birth certificate as well as one of the marriage certificates.

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