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Same-Sex Newlyweds Enroll for State Employee Benefits

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With same-sex marriage now the law in Florida, a lot of new husbands and wives will be able to join their spouse's state of Florida insurance plan.

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Marriage qualifies as a life-changing event under the state's plan, so enrollees won't have to wait for the open enrollment period to add their spouses. But the window to do so is from now to March 6.

That's only about 60 days.

Mark Pudlow is a spokesman for The Florida Education Association. The union represents 140,000 Florida teachers.

He says they have already had a number of calls looking for help updating benefits, and even though there is only a short window for members to enroll, they still may have a bit of a wait.

"We're urging everybody to be patient. You're dealing with 67 school districts in the state of Florida and you know sometimes things don't move as quickly as everybody expects," he said.

But Pudlow added local leaders will keep watching to make sure the state's 67 local school districts aren't taking longer than they should.

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M.S. Butler joined WUSF in October, 2014 after becoming the first recipient of the Stephen Noble Intern Scholarship. A Bay Area resident since 1999, he became a full-time student at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg in Fall 2012.He has written articles for the school newspaper The Crow’s Nest covering topics ranging from seasonal flu shots to students carrying guns on campus.