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Marriage Benefits for Same Sex Spouses

Office of the Chancellor
Dear Faculty and Staff:

I am pleased to tell you that the State of Tennessee’s Benefits Administration is now accepting and processing insurance applications from same-sex married couples.

This change applies to all eligible UT faculty and staff and is the result of the Supreme Court ruling on the constitutional right to same-sex marriage. The historic ruling helps the university take a significant step forward in our efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion on our campus.

Applicants who were married in another state prior to the ruling will be eligible to apply through August 25, sixty days from the date of the ruling. Applicants who marry after the ruling will have sixty days from the date of their marriage to apply.

The enrollment change form may be downloaded from the State of Tennessee website.

Applicants who have sixty days from the date of the Supreme Court ruling to apply may make the coverage effective on the June 26 decision date but will be required to pay the full month’s premium for the added spouse and/or dependents. Applicants may also choose to make the coverage effective date July 1.

All applications and copies of supporting documents should be returned to the UT Payroll Office, P115 Andy Holt Tower, 1331 Circle Park Drive. UT Payroll will submit the applications to the state on the employee’s behalf.

If the application is received outside the initial eligibility period, or if the employee is requesting to add other eligible dependents along with their spouse, the rules regarding enrollment by special qualifying event or open enrollment will apply.

Additional information on eligibility and enrollment can be found in the plan documents.

All eligible employees may also add their spouse and dependents during the annual enrollment period this fall.

If you have questions, you can call the Benefits Administration Service Center at 800-253-9981 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT. You may also call the UT Payroll Office at 865-974-5251 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or the UT Human Resources Call Center at 888-444-UTHR from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Jimmy G. Cheek