Eligible Dependents are Defined as:
- Your legal spouse of the opposite or same sex
- Your common law spouse of the opposite or same sex (affidavit required)
- Your domestic partner of the opposite or same sex (affidavit required)
- Your child* up to the end of the year in which they turn age 26
- Your child* age 26 or older, who is enrolled in an accredited educational institution as a full-time student
- Your disabled child* age 26 or older, who is unmarried, claimed as a dependent on your tax return and who is receiving benefits from Medicare or the social security administration due to disability.
A child is defined as your natural child; stepchild or domestic partner’s child; legally adopted child or child placed in your home for the purpose of adoption; your foster child; your child for whom you have legal guardianship; or your natural child for whom a court orders to be covered.
Eligible children may be covered through 12/31 of the year in which they reach age 26 without tax implications. Coverage for children who are full-time students or disabled can continue as long as they continue in that status; however, there are tax implications for those who do not qualify as tax dependents per IRS rules.
Dependent Eligibility Verification
The University of Iowa collects information to verify dependents enrolled in our health and dental plans meet the eligibility guidelines for plan coverage. In order to cover your spouse, domestic partner and/or dependent child(ren), action is required on your part. You are required to submit documentation to University Benefits to verify their eligibility within two weeks from the time you add your dependent(s) to health and/or dental coverage. If complete documentation is not received within two weeks, your unverified dependent(s) will be removed from coverage and cannot be added without a qualifying event.
Dependent Eligibility Verification Process
You will be notified by email when documentation for a newly added dependent is required.
- Please go to Employee Self Service and locate the Verify Dependents link.
- Dependents for whom documentation is required will be listed as well as a detailed list of documents required to verify eligibility based on dependent type.
- Documents should be uploaded through Employee Self Service, physical copies will not be accepted by University Benefits.
- Please follow the instructions in Employee Self Service to add and submit documents.
All required documents must contain a date, employee name, and dependents name. You may block out personal information such as Social Security numbers, account numbers, and financial information.
Please visit the Required Documentation List (pdf)
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the University of Iowa collect documentation to verify dependent eligibility?
The University of Iowa is sensitive to the rising costs of healthcare for its employees and feels verifying dependent eligibility is necessary to help make sure its health benefit plans are compliant with state law, competitive, and cost effective. This program also helps the University of Iowa manage overall plan costs, which benefits all employees.
The documentation required contains sensitive information. Is this process secure?
Protecting personal information is a priority to the University of Iowa. When submitting your tax documentation, only the top portion which includes the names of the employee, spouse, and any dependent child(ren) is required. Please mark out Social Security Numbers, as well as any financial information on documents.
All documents are securely stored for 90 days following submission. Upon expiration of the retention period, all documents and electronic files will be securely destroyed. Only University of Iowa employees directly involved in the dependent verification process will have access to these documents.
How will I know if my information has been accepted and my dependents are verified?
Once your documentation has been submitted through Employee Self Service, it will be reviewed by University Benefits. You will receive a confirmation email when your dependent(s) is verified. If further documentation is required, you will be contacted by email.
What happens if I do not submit all required documents by the verification deadline?
You are required to submit documentation to University Benefits to verify their eligibility within two weeks from the time you add your dependent(s) to health and/or dental coverage. If complete documentation is not received within two weeks, your unverified dependent(s) will be removed from coverage and cannot be added without a qualifying event.
May I provide paper copies of my documents to University Benefits or my HR representative?
No. To provide documentation for your unverified dependent(s), please go to Employee Self Service and locate the Verify Dependents link. Dependents for whom documentation is required will be listed as well as detailed list of documents required to verify eligibility based on dependent type. Documents should be uploaded through Employee Self Service, physical copies will not be accepted by University Benefits. Please follow the instructions in Employee Self Service to add and submit documents. For assistance, contact University Benefits at email@example.com.
The University of Iowa reserves the right to require documentation to substantiate a dependent's eligibility status at any time.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has determined that if an employer allows employees to insure dependent children past the age of 26 who do not qualify as the employee’s tax dependents, there is a value that must be added to the employee’s taxable salary when reporting income earned on the annual W-2. More information can be found on the Taxable Health and Dental Insurance page. The university requires information for children over the age of 26 on an annual basis (twice a year for students) to confirm eligibility due to student or disabled status as well as tax dependent status.
There are also potential tax implications for covering a domestic partner. The Domestic Partner Information page contains more information.
Dual University of Iowa employed spouses/partners and any children may not double insure each other or dependents under the plans where the University contributes towards the cost of the plans. This includes the health, dental, and AD&D insurance policies - an individual may only be included once under these policies.
At retirement, if you leave coverage under the University health and/or dental insurance plans, you cannot return to purchasing the coverage at a later time. If you drop coverage at the time of retirement, or if you maintain coverage for a period of time in retirement and then drop it, you cannot return to the university coverage. The exception is if you are covered by another employer's plan.
ABOUT OUR SITE: The information presented on our website describes only the highlights of the plans and does not constitute official plan documents. Additional terms and conditions apply. If there are any discrepancies between the information contained herein and the official plan documents, the plan documents will govern.