Guidance Issued For Civil Union Partnership Benefits

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The NJ Department of Banking and Insurance has issues an Advisory Bulletin to insurance carriers that issue contracts in New Jersey that provide health insurance to employees and their dependents concerning civil union partners. According to the Bulletin, insurance contracts that offer dependent coverage should be amended to provide coverage to civil union couples. Coverage should not be deferred until the plan renewal date. Carriers should provide an opportunity to employees to make an election to cover a dependent acquired through civil union in the same manner as the opportunity would be provided to cover a dependent acquired through marriage.  The Bulletin also informs insurance carriers that unlike the Domestic Partnership Act, which afforded employers an option to elect whether to add coverage for domestic partners, the Civil Union law does not afford that same option.  (Click here to read Bulletin)

In a related matter, the NJ Attorney General issued written advice to the State Registrar of Vital Statistics concluding that same-sex marriages entered legally in another state or nation are valid in New Jersey.  (Click here to read guidance)