A host of new federal benefits for same-sex married couples

WASHINGTON – The federal government announced changes today that include allowing same-sex married couples to take part in group life insurance programs, long-term care insurance and retirement benefits.

Health insurance was always available, “But they paid a price for it,” says CBS business analyst Jill Schlessinger. “It was considered an employee benefit, and they were taxed for it. Now, married under the law, you no longer have that tax.”

Federal employees have 60 days to decide whether to make immediate changes to their benefits. They can also make changes during the next open enrollment period.

But one caveat for all of these changes, from Schlessinger: “If you were married in the District or in Maryland, and then you decide to move to Virginia, where there is no marriage equality, it’s not clear how that’s going to be treated.”

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