Important News for State Employees // UPDATED JULY 2, 2015

TSEA June 27, 2015 Comments Off on Important News for State Employees // UPDATED JULY 2, 2015
Important News for State Employees // UPDATED JULY 2, 2015

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that all marriages are to be treated equally nationwide.

This includes the ability for same-sex couples to be lawfully married in all 50 states, and marriages from any other states shall be recognized and treated equally under the law.

This ruling could impact benefits eligibility for some of our members.

“Our Association will monitor the enrollment opportunity for all our members,” TSEA President Bryan Merritt said. “One of the benefits of being a TSEA member is the courteous assistance of our Employee Compensation & Benefits Department. These changes could impact life and health insurance as well as other benefit products.”

We encourage members to be aware of the deadlines associated with qualifying events. Governor Haslam has committed to direct the departments to work as expeditiously as possible to facilitate changes.

The TSEA office is already inundated with requests to help with the buyout, retirement questions, and other issues. Please be patient and our staff will work with you as quickly as possible.

If you have questions regarding your benefits, please direct those questions to the Employee Compensation & Benefits division of TSEA or email [email protected].

UPDATED // July 2, 2015

Supreme Court Ruling on Constitutional Right to Same-Sex Marriage

Benefits Administration is accepting and processing insurance applications from same-sex legally married couples.

Applicants will have 60 days to apply from the later of:

  • the marriage date, or
  • the date of the Supreme Court ruling – June 26, 2015 (for those whose marriages occurred prior to the ruling in states where the marriage was legally authorized)

Applications will be processed according to the same standards used for all married couples, which includes documentation requirements, notifications, etc.

If the application is outside the initial eligibility period, or if the employee is requesting to add other eligible dependents along with the spouse, the usual rules regarding enrollment by special qualifying event or open enrollment will apply.

Additional information on eligibility and enrollment can be found in our Plan Documents, available at

Coverage effective dates:

As stated on the enrollment change application, for those adding a new dependent – spouse, the effective date is the date of marriage OR first day of the month following marriage.

For those applicants who have 60 days from the date of the Supreme Court ruling to apply for coverage, they can make the coverage effective date the date of the decision on June 26. They would have to pay the full month of premium for the added spouse and/or dependents. Or they can make the coverage effective date the first day of July.

Members can also add eligible spouses and dependents during the annual enrollment period in the fall.

If you have questions, you can call the Benefits Administration Service Center at 1-800-253-9981, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central.

A reminder, the BA Service Center will be closed on Friday, July 3 due to the Fourth of July holiday.