Dependent Eligibility for UI Insurance Plans

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.

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.

Double Spouse
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.

The University of Iowa reserves the right to require documentation to substantiate a dependent's eligibility status at any time.  

*New* - Dependent Verification Process

Effective January 1, 2019: 
The University of Iowa will begin to collect information to verify dependents enrolled in our health and dental plans meet the eligibility guidelines for plan coverage. If you plan to add dependent(s) during open enrollment and beyond, you will be contacted by University Benefits and required to provide documentation to verify their eligibility. More information regarding this process will be available in late 2018.  

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.

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
Monday-Friday 8am-5pm