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Marriage Certificate Requirement increasing in frequency for all?


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My understanding is that in years past HR departments would not ask for Marriage Certificates.

When Marriage Equality became legal, some departments started to ask only same-sex couples for their Marriage Certificates, which ultimately was determined to be discriminatory and not a recommended practice.

Any thoughts if HR departments are now asking for Marriage Certificates from all new hires these days?  This would be mostly related to setting up their medical benefits with spouse coverage included.

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Many employers, acting as an administrator of a group health plan (whether with or without health insurance), seek some evidence that a person a participant seeks to cover as one’s spouse is the participant’s spouse.

If a plan provides coverage for a same-sex spouse, one convention is to ask (or not ask) for certificates equally for same-sex and opposite-sex marriages.

Some plans recognize a declaration of informal or common-law marriage. If a plan recognizes an uncertificated marriage, one convention is to recognize it equally regarding same-sex and opposite-sex marriages.

Increasing numbers of plans use dependent-eligibility audits to catch a range of frauds.

Peter Gulia PC

Fiduciary Guidance Counsel

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

215-732-1552

Peter@FiduciaryGuidanceCounsel.com

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On 6/3/2022 at 1:19 PM, TPApril said:

My understanding is that in years past HR departments would not ask for Marriage Certificates.

TPApril, before Obergefell, some employers had partner benefits, i.e. as a plan provision. Same or opposite sex. After Obergefell, some of those employers went back to covering only married partners. This may be part of what you are thinking of.

Luke Bailey

Senior Counsel

Clark Hill PLC

214-651-4572 (O) | LBailey@clarkhill.com

2600 Dallas Parkway Suite 600

Frisco, TX 75034

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3 hours ago, Luke Bailey said:

TPApril, before Obergefell, some employers had partner benefits, i.e. as a plan provision. Same or opposite sex. After Obergefell, some of those employers went back to covering only married partners. This may be part of what you are thinking of.

Luke - thank you but that's not it.  Just curious if there has been a trend for employers to ask all new employees for marriage certificates.

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