The U.S. Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced new tax rules which went into effect in mid-September, giving same-sex couples all of the federal rights entitled to opposite-sex couples, including workplace benefits. This announcement followed the U.S. Supreme Court striking down a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denied same-sex couples access to federal marriage benefits.
The DOMA decision has a broad effect on benefit plans and HR policies, including health coverage, access to COBRA coverage, HIPAA special enrollment opportunities, FMLA eligibility, and premium contributions taxing.
Moving forward employers will be thinking about the plans they offer and the design of their plans as payers and benefit administrators will need to make necessary adjustments to their coverage tiers and documentation requirements.
Here are five steps employers should take to ensure compliance:
1. Review Compliance Documentation
2. Clarify How Imputed Income Is Calculated in the States in Which You Operate
3. Keep an Eye Out for New Guidance
4. Educate Your Employees
5. Have a Plan to Streamline Revisions