Health Benefits

Expanded Domestic Partnership Definition Impacts Health Benefit Enrollment

California Senate Bill 30 amended the Family Code definition of domestic partner, effective January 1, 2020. The amendment eliminated the following requirements:

  • Individuals entering into a domestic partnership be of the same sex.
  • At least one partner be age 62 or over for opposite sex domestic partnerships.

Senate Bill 30 no longer limits domestic partnerships to certain individuals. Under the new definition of a domestic partnership, any couple over the age of 18 is eligible to establish a domestic partnership. The Secretary of State will start registering Declarations of Domestic Partnership effective January 1, 2020. Upon registration, the Secretary of State’s office will provide a Declaration of Domestic Partnership document.

Entering into a domestic partnership is a qualifying event to add the domestic partner and domestic partner’s children to your CalPERS health plan. However, enrolling a domestic partner is not a qualifying event to change health plans.

To add a domestic partner to your CalPERS health plan, you must provide a copy of the approved Declaration of Domestic Partnership, the domestic partner’s Social Security number, and a copy of their Medicare card, if applicable. To add your domestic partner’s child, you must submit a copy of their birth certificate naming your domestic partner as the parent.

You must submit requests within 60 days of registering the domestic partnership. The health coverage will become effective the first day of the month following the date the request is received.

If you are adding a dependent to your health plan and are an active employee, please contact your employer. If you are adding a dependent and are a retiree, contact CalPERS at 888 CalPERS (or 888-225-7377).