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Getting married or forming a domestic partnership 

Getting married or forming a domestic partnership 

Please note: The IRS recognizes same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, as married for federal tax purposes. Learn more about how the ruling affects your tax status and City/SHA benefits.

Step 1 - Enroll in medical/dental/vision coverage

You have 30 days after the marriage date or the date you formed your domestic partnership to enroll your new spouse or domestic partner in City-sponsored medical, dental and vision coverage. Coverage begins on the date of the marriage or the date the domestic partnership was formed. If you miss this deadline, you can enroll your new spouse or domestic partner at the next open enrollment period in the fall. To enroll your new spouse or domestic partner, you must complete and submit:

  • A Benefits Change Form and
  • A Affidavit of Marriage/Domestic Partnership Form

If your same-sex spouse or domestic partner (and their children) are not tax dependents under IRS tax code, there are tax consequences based on the value of the medical, dental and vision coverage.

Step 2 - Review your life insurance needs

Within 30 days of the marriage/domestic partnership you can:

  • Elect Supplemental Group Term Life coverage for your spouse/partner if you are currently enrolled in Supplemental GTL.
  • Change your AD&D coverage from individual coverage to family coverage if you currently have individual AD&D coverage.

You must wait until Open Enrollment to:

  • Purchase Basic Group Term Life (GTL) Insurance if you are not already enrolled.
  • Purchase Supplemental Group Term Life Insurance for yourself if you do not currently have it.
  • Increase Supplemental Group Term Life coverage.
  • Purchase family AD&D coverage if you do not already have individual coverage.
  • You may enroll in Supplemental Long Term Disability (LTD) coverage if you have not already done so. Because you will be enrolling after you are first eligible, any LTD benefits will be subject to a 24-month pre-existing condition limitation. Disability insurance is not available for family members.

Step 3 - Review your Long Term Care.

Your new spouse/partner can enroll in Long Term Care at any time.

Step 4 - Update your beneficiary information

Update beneficiary information for your Life, AD&D, HAIG insurance and SHA Beneficiary. If you've forgotten who you selected as beneficiary, contact Human Resources. Send updated personal information to Human Resources Department except for Retirement and Deferred Compensation. For Retirement beneficiary, please contact the Washington State Retirement System at 800.547.6657 and for Washington State Deferred Compensation; contact them at 800.423.1524. Remember to also consider the beneficiary information for any other personal life insurance and financial accounts you may have.

Step 5 - Change personal and tax withholding information

You may need to change the amount of taxes withheld from your paycheck by submitting a new W-4 statement to Human Resources Department.

Step 6 - Emergency Contact

You may also want to update your emergency contact information by submitting Personal Change form to Human Resources.