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AG Hood: State worker benefits now available to spouses in same-sex marriages

By TED CARTER

The same-sex spouses of Mississippi’s state and school employees are eligible for worker benefits such as health insurance immediately, Attorney General Jim Hood says.

Hood set the date of eligibility at June 26, 2014 – the day the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the right of same-sex couples to marry in all states.

The state has set a 60-day open-enrollment period for spouses to obtain the coverage, said Chuck McIntosh, spokesman for the Department rtment of Finance and Administration, the state agency that administers worker benefits to state and public school workers.

The DFA had been awaiting guidance from Hood on whether to make the benefit signups retroactive or immediate or force spouses in same-sex marriages to wait until the fourth quarter open enrollment.Under Hood’s interpretation, marriage of any sort is a qualifying event.

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