University of Arkansas, on account of Supreme Court stay, pulls back from insurance coverage for same-sex couples | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

University of Arkansas, on account of Supreme Court stay, pulls back from insurance coverage for same-sex couples

Posted By on Tue, May 20, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Easy come, easy go. The University of Arkansas, which announced May 12 that it would in the future provide insurance benefits to spouses of same-sex married UA employees, has now made it clear that policy can't take effect on account of the Arkansas Supreme Court's stay of Judge Chris Piazza's May 9 marriage equality ruling.

A memorandum from UA System General Counsel Fred Harrison noted that the original memo said the policy would take effect unless a stay was granted.

Harrison's memo, dated today, said the situation is the same for all UA employees, whether married before Piazza's ruling or in the few days it was in effect until the stay last Friday.

"Otherwise, both tthe University and individuals concerned would run the risk of entering into legal relationships about important matters such as health care which later might be overturned. Also, this affords same-sex partners of University employees relying on Judge Piazza's opinion and final order and my memorandum of May 12 to obtain insurance coverage ogther than under the University's medical benefit plan. Any premiums which may have been, or will be, deducted for employees enrolling should be refunded. I also note that under University's plan no coverage would begin until June 1, 2014 and current coverage is not affected.


This is a particular problem for people who just registered for benefits. The UAMS Human Resources office, in telling them of the UA memo, said:

I am sending this via blind copy to our employees who recently added their same-sex spouses to insurance or made a new flexible spending account election.

Today the University of Arkansas System Office announced that same-sex spouses cannot be added to benefits at this time. Click here for the announcement just posted on our intranet site. It includes the letter from the UA System Office explaining this decision.

I regret that this action was taken, but can understand why it was made. Until this court case is over, the legality of your marriage in Arkansas — whether that marriage occurred here or in another state — is uncertain. We want to make sure the benefit elections you make will ‘stick’ and that your family will be assured of coverage.

I am going to hold your benefit forms until June 20, in the hopes that this case is resolved by then and we can proceed with your benefit changes. But if that doesn’t occur, let me know if you want the forms back or if it’s okay for me to shred them. Then once this is resolved and the University gives the thumbs up, please be sure to visit our office again to complete new forms.

Thank you for your patience!

Please note the advice that a person legally married in another state may not be viewed as such in Arkansas. This is the part of the Arkansas marriage prohibition that simply cannot withstand court challenge.

Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • Charter school accountability: Non-existent in Arkansas

    A state audit finds charter school spending violated state law, but the state Education Department says it has no responsibility for ensuring proper management of charter schools. Say what?
    • Mar 5, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation