The announcement came after Judge Max Cogburn, Jr., a District Court Judge in North Carolina, ruled the state’s law prohibiting same-sex marriage unconstitutional on Oct. 10, according to a press release from UNC spokeswoman Karen Moon.
Coverage can begin as early as Nov. 1 for same-sex marriages performed before Oct. 13. Marriages performed after Oct. 13 will be regarded as qualifying events, the same policy as for opposite-sex marriages.
Ashley Nicklis, senior director of benefits and work/life programs in human resources, said health care benefits are not the first benefit for same-sex spouses to receive through UNC.
“UNC-Chapel Hill has historically offered coverage to partners under our dental, life and (accidental death and dismemberment) plans,” she said in an email.
Nicklis said the ruling on Oct. 13 allowed health benefits to be offered for same-sex spouses.
“When Judge Cogburn issued his order on Friday overturning the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, it opened the door for us to begin offering the state employees’ benefit packages — including health insurance — to same-sex spouses,” she said.
Nicklis said there are no changes to the benefit plans themselves — the only difference is the plans now allow same-sex spouses to receive coverage.
“This applies not only to legal marriages performed in North Carolina but in other states as well,” Nicklis said.