University System Offers Updates on Same Sex Spouse Benefits

When the United States Supreme Court announced last month that same sex couples would be legally recognized within all 50 states, questions about practical matters such as healthcare coverage soon followed.

Georgia Tech Human Resources has been sharing updates from the University System of Georgia (USG), which is responsible for working with vendors, updating plan documents, and setting the timeframe for implementation.

From July 13 to September 1, 2015, employees will be able to enroll their same sex spouse in the University System of Georgia benefits plans. Employees who marry after June 26, 2015, will be able to enroll their same sex spouse in the benefits coverage by following the family status change procedures already in place for the USG benefits plans.

The USG Human Resources office is working with each of its vendors, as well as legal counsel, to identify and update its plan documents to reflect the change. Coverage information and enrollment instructions will be available on July 13.

“Any large-scale change requires a great deal of collaboration and communication,” President G.P. “Bud” Peterson said. “I appreciate the work our System representatives have taken on behalf of our employees, working in partnership to make these benefits available to all.”

The Supreme Court’s decision also aligns with Tech’s desire to enhance financial security for its employees and remain competitive for top talent in the marketplace.

“The Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality opens the door for Georgia Tech to act upon one of the recommendations from the Task Force on Family-Friendly Policies,” said Institute Diversity Vice President Archie Ervin. “Because partner benefits are critical in recruiting and retaining the most qualified employees, the Task Force’s recommendation was for the Institute to find a way to extend benefits to same-sex partners, which was not legal in Georgia until now. Thanks to this landmark Supreme Court decision, we can move forward with providing benefits to married same-sex partners in accordance with the University System of Georgia.”  

Employees can visit the USG's main benefits page for information about the system office’s progress in implementing the change, and should continue to check it for the most up-to-date benefits enrollment information related to the ruling. Ongoing updates will also be cross-posted to Georgia Tech Human Resources’ website.

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