When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Windsor that the federal government is required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in states that allow such marriages, benefits managers started dialing 911.

In an article posted on the Sutherland Asbill & Brennan website, attorneys Vanessa Scott, Carol Weiser, Joanna Myers and Mikka Gee Conway offer considerable guidance on how to amend a benefits plan to meet the implications of Windsor.

Their 10 tips should be read with the understanding that forward-looking plan managers will be anticipating that same-sex marriages will sooner or later be part of the domestic law landscape and will revise their plans accordingly. One major issue currently centers on the state in which a same-sex marriage was performed vs. the state where a same-sex couple resides. But again, assume that residence will eventually prevail for those couples married elsewhere.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.