Domestic Partner Benefit Coverage - Merit Employees

The University of Iowa offers you the opportunity to insure your domestic partner under various benefit programs, including health, dental, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance. The University contributes towards the cost of health insurance for your domestic partner.

In order to insure a partner, you must file a State of Iowa Affidavit of Domestic Partnership (which is valid for same or opposite-sex partners), or a State of Iowa Affidavit of Common Law Marriage (opposite-sex partners only) with the University Benefits Office (See Information on Common Law Marriage). You need only to complete this affidavit once and it will remain in effect until such time as the relationship ends. It is your responsibility to notify the Benefits Office if a domestic partner relationship ends. A new affidavit would have to be filed for any new relationship. After you have filled out the affidavit, you will need to use the Health and Dental insurance companies’ enrollment materials to enroll your partner.

The University is prevented by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from allowing you to pay for coverage on a before tax basis. The exception to this rule is if your domestic partner meets the Internal Revenue Service dependency guidelines, then your domestic partner may be included under the before tax program. These dependency guidelines require that the employee must provide more than 50% of the domestic partner's support and both of you must share the same household. If you feel that you meet this qualification, you must note this on your Affidavit in order to qualify for this special program. Otherwise, you and your partner will be considered separately concerning both the University contributions and for the payment of any premiums.

When the completed enrollment form has been received by the University Benefits Office, you and your domestic partner will receive identification cards for the selected health/dental insurance plans. All claims will be filed by your partner under your insurance ID number.

Children of either you or your domestic partner may be insured under any of the benefit programs providing they meet the guidelines which have been established by the insurance carrier.

If you already have your own child (or children) and you are responsible for their insurance, adding your partner and your partner’s child/children to your coverage will not result in an increased cost to you. If you are currently classified as Single for Benefits coverage, adding a domestic partner with or without a child/or children will increase your out-of-pocket costs.

If the children are you or your partner's legal responsibility, and you have the financial responsibility for them for health insurance, you will be given additional contributions from the University towards the cost of insuring these dependents. If this is the situation, you must supply the Benefits Office with copies of the appropriate paperwork such as birth certificates, adoption paperwork, or divorce decrees in order to prove this financial relationship.

The University will NOT apply the Federal COBRA regulations for your domestic partner. This means that if your domestic partner's insurance is canceled as a result of termination of your employment, ending of the domestic partner relationship, or a child of the partner no longer qualifying as a dependent, then the individual who loses the coverage will NOT be eligible to continue the insurance on a voluntary basis.

The issue of benefits for your domestic partner is complex. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact the Benefits Office directly at 335-2676. All information supplied by you and your domestic partner is kept confidential and this information is only released to the insurance carrier or to parties outside of the Benefits department which are involved in the processing of the enrollments and deductions.

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