From the Hotline: Adding Domestic Partners to Plans in FL

Question: What is considered a best practice information relating to adding domestic partners to benefits plans in the state of Florida?  (Our benefits carrier allows for domestic partners to enter the plan).

Answer: What we see most often as it relates to documentation for adding domestic partners to benefits plans is that employers follow the same process as they would for adding opposite sex married spouses to plans.  So if the employer requires a copy of a marriage certificate/divorce decree for married couples, then they would require an affidavit of domestic partnership/dissolution document.    And typically within the enrollment materials there is a strong statement the employee signs stating that all of the information provided on the form (including dependent information) is factual.

Most employers don’t ask for copies of same housing and/or utility arrangements or other documentation that shows that the domestic partners live together.

Florida does not have a current domestic partnership law or guidelines for benefit plan documentation for domestic partners.  However, there is a bill before the Florida Senate (CS/SB 196: Domestic Partners) that is still in the proposal stage with a proposed implementation date of July 1, 2013.  There is no requirement in this bill to offer benefits to domestic partners in Florida but the bill as proposed will formalize the process for registration of domestic partners.  You can track this at http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2013/0196.