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Information on Health Coverage for Employees with Same-sex Spouses/Partners

For more than 10 years, Smith College has offered health insurance and other benefits to same-sex domestic partners and their families. In doing so, the college provides equitable access to quality health insurance for employees and their families.

However, employees covering same-sex partners have been taxed at a higher rate than employees covering opposite-sex partners. Currently, the federal Defense of Marriage Act precludes employees from paying for a domestic partner’s insurance with pre-tax dollars. In addition, the college’s portion of insurance payments for the domestic partner is taxed to the employee as imputed income.

Beginning with the bi-weekly pay period that ends on April 6, 2013, the college is implementing a plan to make health insurance benefits affordable equally to those with same-sex partners and their families. This will be accomplished by a “gross-up” of wages of employees in same-sex partnerships who currently have their spouses or families enrolled in health insurance. Human Resources will be communicating directly with affected employees. Additionally, this policy will be communicated to all employees at the next benefits open enrollment period.