Iowa Domestic Partner Benefits laws & HR compliance analysis

Iowa Domestic Partner Benefits: What you need to know

In 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that a state statute limiting civil marriage to opposite-sex couples is unconstitutional, allowing same-sex couples to marry in Iowa (Varnum v. Brien, 763 NW2d 862 (Iowa 2009)). The U.S. Supreme Court subsequently issued a decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all states and requiring all states to recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other jurisdictions (Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S.Ct. 2584 (2015)).
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Self-funded health insurance plans governed by Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) are subject to federal law.
The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down as unconstitutional Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined “marriage” as only between a man and a woman (United States v. Windsor, 133 S.Ct. 2675 (2013)). The ruling requires equal treatment under federal law of spouses in legally recognized same-sex and opposite-sex marriages. Therefore, employee benefits regulated by federal law, such as ERISA and federal income tax law, generally must provide equally for those in same-sex and opposite-sex marriages. There may be narrow exceptions under ERISA that permit self-funded plans to exclude coverage for employees’ same-sex spouses, but such exclusions may subject an employer to discrimination claims.
Fully insured health plans are subject to state laws. Therefore, employers offering employees state-regulated coverage are required to offer coverage to employees' same-sex spouses on the same terms offered to employees' opposite-sex spouses. Likewise, health plans sponsored by state public sector employers are subject to state law and are required to cover same-sex spouses on the same basis as ...

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Iowa Domestic Partner Benefits Resources

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