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Issues

Employee Benefits

Offering benefits to same-sex married spouses of employees sends a message that a firm values all of its employees equally. An employer in Illinois is not required to enroll same-sex spouses in a benefit plans, unless that employer allows other employees to enroll their spouses as well. However, Illinois employers are required to offer equal benefits to all employees with same-sex or different-sex spouses.

If an employer’s insurance policy allows for coverage for a married different-sex spouse of a policyholder, it must also provide for the same coverage for a same-sex married partner of the policyholder. On that same note, if a policy covers dependent children of a married policyholder in a different-sex marriage, it must also cover children of a policyholder in a same-sex marriage. In addition to this requirement, employers may choose to offer other benefits such as tuition assistance, bereavement leave, relocation expenses, adoption assistance, and many other benefits.

Neither the federal government nor the State of Illinois will tax you on the value of health benefits your employer provides to your spouse.