Marriage

Marriage

If you are newly married, take a moment to review your employee benefits, and make any changes that this happy event might require.

Visit the OPM Life Events webpage, review and/or update your insurance coverage for your healthcare (FEHB), dental and vision (FEDVIP), life insurance (FEGLI), long term care insurance (FLTCIP), and flexible spending account (FSAFEDS).

Be sure to keep your designation of beneficiary forms up-to-date for Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI), and Unpaid Compensation. If you don’t submit designation of beneficiary forms, survivor benefits will be paid based on a statutory order of precedence.

Contact your Component Benefits Officer with any questions.

NOTE: You have a 90-day period beginning 31 days before and ending 60 days after a marriage or other qualifying life event to change your FEHB, FEDVIP, FSAFEDS, or FEGLI enrollment. For more information on enrollment eligibility by qualifying life event, visit the OPM Life Events webpage.

Name Change

You can change your name in your personnel file in two simple steps:

  1. Provide a copy of the marriage certificate with your new name to your human resources office.
  2. Notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) of your new name, available by phone at 1-800-SSA-1213.

Address Change

If your address changes, use the Employee Personnel Page (EPP) to change your address in your records.

Tax Withholding

If you need to adjust your federal, state, or local tax withholding due to a change in marital status, the information provided in the sections below can help.

Federal Taxes

Use the Employee Personnel Page (EPP) to change marital status, the number of exemptions, the amount of additional deductions, file a W-4 form, or file an exemption from withholding.

State Taxes

Use the Employee Personnel Page (EPP) to change your state tax withholding in the state in which you currently reside.

NOTE: You may NOT use the EPP if you move to another state and you need to file the initial state withholding form, file an exemption from state withholding, or claim more than 10 exemptions. If you have moved to another state, or would like to make other changes to your state filing status that you may NOT make on the EPP, contact your human resources office.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

Use the Employee Personnel Page (EPP) to change your bank or financial institution for EFT. To implement the change, you need to provide the financial institution's routing number, your account number, and the type of account (checking or savings). These can be obtained from your financial institution.

NOTE: We recommend leaving your old account open until all funds have been transferred to the new account.

Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB)

Adding a spouse to your health insurance plan is simple. If you already have a Self and Family plan, simply notify your insurance carrier that you wish to enroll your spouse. The carrier may require that you submit a copy of your marriage certificate.

If you are currently enrolled in a Self Only plan, you’ll need to switch to a Self Plus One or a Self and Family plan by completing and submitting the Health Benefits Election form (SF-2809) and a copy of your marriage certificate.

NOTE: You have a 90-day period beginning 31 days before and ending 60 days after the date of marriage to enroll in FEHB or make a change to your current enrollment.

Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)

To add your spouse to your dental and vision plan, you must first switch your plan to either Self Plus One or Self and Family coverage. Once you’re enrolled in an appropriate plan, you can add your spouse to the plan.

Change your plan and enroll your spouse or dependent online at benefeds.com or by calling (877) 888-3337.

NOTE: You have a 90-day period beginning 31 days before and ending 60 days after the date of marriage to enroll in FEDVIP or make a change to your current enrollment.

Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS)

To enroll in a FSAFEDS flexible spending account, you must also be eligible to enroll in the FEHB Program. Your requested change must be consistent with your marriage, and you cannot enroll or increase your election(s) after October 1st of any calendar year (you must wait until the next annual Federal Benefits Open Season).

To enroll in a flexible spending account or to change your enrollment, contact FSAFEDS at (877) 372-3337, or visit the FSAFEDS website.

NOTE: You have a 90-day period beginning 31 days before and ending 60 days after the date of marriage to enroll in FSAFEDS or make a change to your current enrollment.

Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Policy (FEGLI)

As a DHS employee with a spouse, you can increase your FEGLI coverage and/or choose coverage under the Family Option. If you currently have Basic coverage, you may select Option B, which will allow you to add as many multiples as you have additional family members (spouse and eligible children), up to five multiples.

If you select Option C, you may designate up to five multiples, regardless of the number of eligible family members you have.

You must submit the Life Insurance Election form (SF-2817) along with a copy of the marriage certificate to your human resources office.

NOTE: You have a 90-day period beginning 31 days before and ending 60 days after the date of marriage to enroll in FEGLI or make a change to your current enrollment.

Designating a Beneficiary (FEGLI)

If you’d like to designate your spouse as a beneficiary, complete and submit a new Designation of Beneficiary form to your human resources office.

Visit the OPM website to access Designation of Beneficiary forms and instructions.

NOTE: You have a 90-day period beginning 31 days before and ending 60 days after the date of marriage to enroll in FEGLI or make a change to your current enrollment.

Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)

Your spouse may apply for FLTCIP coverage using the Abbreviated Underwriting Application. For more information about FLTCIP, contact Long Term Care Partners at (800) 582-3337, or visit the FLTCIP website.

NOTE: You have 60 days from the date of your marriage to apply using the Abbreviated Underwriting Application. After 60 days, your new spouse may still apply, but he or she must use the Full Underwriting Application.

Additional Resources (EAP)

DHS components provide Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that offer a number of additional resources for employees who are married:

  • Financial and Legal Consultation
  • Face-to-Face Counseling -- Free professional and confidential assistance for a variety of life events and challenges

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) providers vary by component. Visit the Employee Assistance Programs page to find contact information for your component's EAP provider.

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