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SUPERCEDED Administration Policy and Procedure


40.013:  Domestic Partner Benefits

SUPERCEDED on May 5, 2009

Current Version


Status:

Approved on September 9, 2008Signatures and dates
on archival copy

Effective:

30 days after approval 

Initiated by:

Linda L. Lonsinger
Interim Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration for Human Resources
 

Endorsed by:

The Ohio University
Executive Staff

Kathy Krendl
Executive Vice President and Provost
 

Approved by:

Roderick J. McDavis
President
 

Date of Approval
Following Last Full Review:

September 9, 2008 


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Purpose

In June, 2004, the President of Ohio University authorized provision of benefits to domestic partners and children of domestic partners, as a matter of equity and fairness. This policy provides for the participation of domestic partners and children of domestic partners in the Ohio University benefit plan.


Plan


I.  Definitions

For the purposes of this policy, "domestic partners" are two individuals of the same sex who share a regular and permanent residence, who have a committed personal relationship (for at least six months), who can demonstrate financial interdependence, and who are not related by blood, legally married, nor in a domestic partnership with anyone else.

For the purposes of this policy, the "domestic partner's immediate family" is defined as his or her parents (or current or former legal guardian or other person who stands or stood "in loco parentis"), children, or siblings, and the spouses of those parents, children, or siblings.


II.  Affected Policies

The following policies are extended as necessary in order to provide for domestic partnerships as described in this policy:

  1. Policy and Procedure 24.030, "Membership and Use Eligibility for Campus Recreation Facilities."

  2. Policy and Procedure 40.016, "Educational Benefits for Employee Spouses and Children."

  3. Policy and Procedure 40.029, "Sick and Bereavement Leave for Faculty and Administrative Appointees."

  4. Policy and Procedure 40.030, "Sick and Bereavement Leave Program for Classified Employees."

  5. Policy and Procedure 40.054, "Family and Medical Leave."

  6. Policy and Procedure 41.009, "Group Insurance for Permanent Part-Time Civil Service Employees."

  7. Policy and Procedure 41.010, "Benefits for Administrative Presidential Appointees."

  8. Policy and Procedure 41.130, "Employee Assistance Program."


III.  Benefits

The benefits under this policy may vary according to the employment status of the employee (just as the benefits for spouses do), and may also involve tax implications. Medical and dental benefits for a domestic partner are not eligible for the pre-tax deduction from the employee's wages. The Internal Revenue Service has ruled that domestic partners cannot be considered a spouse for tax purposes. Thus, employers are obligated to report and withhold taxes on the fair market value of the domestic partner coverage. Fair market value of the domestic partner coverage is usually defined as the amount the employer contributes to a health plan to cover the domestic partner over and above the amount contributed for single or dependent coverage.

UHR will maintain information online, linked through http://www.ohio.edu/hr/benefits/, that indicates the fair market value under the various common circumstances, and that provides contact information for confirming the fair market value in any particular circumstance.

The domestic partner is eligible for support through the Dual Career Network.

The following benefits are available to the domestic partner and his or her children, whether they are the employee's children, or not, on the same basis as the benefits would be available to the employee's spouse or children:

  • Medical, Dental, Vision, Dependent Life Insurance, and COBRA

  • The educational benefit program

  • Membership in and use of campus facilities

  • Employee Assistance Program

The employee may take leave based on the needs of the domestic partner and the domestic partner's immediate family (as defined above), in addition to being able to take leave based on the needs of the employee's immediate family (as defined in the relevant policies, linked above) under the following categories:

  • Sick and Bereavement Leave

  • Family and Medical Leave

Flexible spending accounts are governed by IRS rules. According to those rules, an employee cannot be reimbursed through a flexible spending account for a domestic partner's health care expenses nor for the health care expenses of any children who are not children of the employee.


Policies and Procedures

In order for the domestic partner or children of domestic partners to qualify for coverage, or for the employee to take leave based on the needs of the domestic partner or the domestic partner's immediate family, the following forms need to be completed, and the required documentation sent to University Human Resources:

To remove the domestic partner or children of domestic partners from benefits, complete the following form and return it to University Human Resources within thirty (30) days of termination of the domestic partnership:


Reviewers

Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:

  1. President

  2. Executive Vice President and Provost

  3. Executive Staff

  4. Vice President for Finance and Administration

  5. Payroll Manager

  6. Faculty Senate

  7. Administrative Senate

  8. Classified Senate

  9. Bargaining Units

  10. General Counsel

  11. Policy and Procedure Review Committee


Forms

The following forms are specific to this policy:

  1. The Domestic Partner Enrollment Form is online at http://www.ohio.edu/hr/forms.cfm#d.

  2. The Affadavit of Same-Sex Domestic Partnership is online at http://www.ohio.edu/hr/forms.cfm#d.

  3. The Statement of Termination of Domestic Partnership is online at http://www.ohio.edu/hr/forms.cfm#d.


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Dick Piccard revised this file (http://www.ohiou.edu/policy/s40-013.html) on May 5, 2009.
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