Double Spouse Credit

When married employees (or domestic partners in certain situations) both work for The University of Iowa in benefits-eligible positions (or when one spouse works for The University of Iowa and one works for another State of Iowa agency), they may want to take advantage of the Double Spouse Credit (DSC).

The Double Spouse Credit involves adding The University of Iowa contributions for Health Insurance and/or Dental Insurance from one employee to the benefits of the spouse. Depending on each couple’s individual situation and benefits choices, this may (or may not) be advantageous.

The Double Spouse Credit option begins the first of the month following a qualifying event or at open enrollment.

Double Spouse Credit is different depending on the employee types involved.

When both employees are Faculty, Professional and Scientific (P&S), Merit Supervisory Exempt (MSE), or Merit Confidential

Double spouse couples who elect the Double Spouse Credit are paired together for health and dental insurance benefits purposes.  One person carries both health & dental insurance plans, while the other person has neither option available to them on their enrollment (because they can be covered on the spouse’s plans). 

Each spouse will receive a general benefit credit and the opportunity to select from life insurance options and voluntary pre-tax elective benefits such as Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance and/or a flexible spending account/s.

Electing the Double Spouse Credit gives these couples their choice of one employee/spouse or family health and dental insurance plan at no out-of-pocket cost.

If you want to use the Double Spouse Credit option, complete the Request for Double Spouse Credit (pdf) application form and return it to the University Benefits Office.

You only need to do this once - this will remain in effect until you notify the Benefits Office to cancel.

Members of a double spouse couple who elect the Double Spouse Credit are not eligible to claim individual status for health or dental insurance coverage.  Double spouse couples are only eligible for a Health or Dental insurance Shared Savings Credit if they both waive coverage.  You will need to contact the Benefits Office if you wish to do this.  

When one employee is Merit and the other is Faculty, P&S, Merit Supervisory Exempt, or Merit Confidential

Double Spouse Credit is not available. 

When both employees are Merit employees eligible for the State of Iowa health plans

When spouses are both employed by the state, at the option of the couple, one family plan may be elected. Employees cannot be covered as both an employee and a dependent under the state’s health and welfare benefit plans. Employees have four coverage choices under the health plans:

  1. Each spouse may enroll separately in single coverage.
  2. One spouse may enroll in single coverage and the other spouse may enroll themselves and dependent(s) other than their spouse in family coverage. The spouse selecting single coverage may not be listed as a dependent on the other spouse’s family plan.
  3. One spouse may elect to waive coverage and the other spouse may enroll themselves, their spouse and dependent(s) in family coverage.
  4. Both spouses may use the double-spouse family coverage option. One spouse would be the contract holder and one being the contributing spouse.

The DSC option will eliminate any out-of-pocket costs to you for a Family health insurance plan.

You may choose to use the DSC option for dental insurance also. This option is only beneficial if you are covering a child or children in addition to yourself. If there are no children being covered, it is less expensive for each spouse to choose a single plan.

If you want to use the Double Spouse Credit option, complete the application form and return it to the University Benefits Office. Complete the  Merit Staff Double Spouse Application Form (pdf).

You only need to do this once - this will remain in effect until you notify the Benefits Office to cancel.

When one employee is an employee of The University of Iowa, and one is an employee of another State of Iowa agency

Double Spouse Credit is not available. 

When both are employed graduate students

Graduate students at The University of Iowa who also hold a University appointment of at least 25% time, or a fellowship of at least $9,500 per year, and are registered for classes, are eligible to receive a contribution from the University toward the cost of health and dental insurance coverage.  

You can take the Double Spouse Credit, and it will generally be advantageous for you.

If you wish to apply for DSC, please complete an Employed Graduate Student Plan Enrollment Form 2013-2014 (pdf) or Employed Graduate Student Plan Enrollment Form 2014-2015 (pdf) and be sure to check the Spouse is Grad Student with Assistantship box.

DSC would be available for domestic partners in this situation.

Postdoctoral fellows/scholars and temporary staff

DSC is not available.

House staff

DSC is not available for those on the “HOUSE STAFF classic plans”.

DSC IS available when:

Both employees are House staff on the UIChoice benefits

or

Where one is House staff, on UIChoice and one is Faculty, P&S, Merit Supervisory Exempt, or Merit confidential, then DSC is available and would make a family health and dental plan available at no cost to you.

The issue of Double Spouse Credits can be complex. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact the Benefits Office.

Benefits Office

Campus address
120 USB
U.S. mailing address
The University of Iowa
University Benefits Office
120 University Services Bldg.
Iowa City, IA 52242-1911
Phone
319-335-2676
877-830-4001
FAX
319-335-2776