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SUPERSEDED - Administration Policy and Procedure

40.013:  Domestic Partner Benefits

SUPERSEDED as of September 28, 2015

Current Version

Status:Approved on October 10, 2014Signatures and dates
on archival copy
Effective:30 days after approval 
Initiated by:Colleen Bendl
Chief Human Resource Officer
Endorsed by:Stephen Golding
Vice President for Finance and Administration
Approved by:Roderick J. McDavis

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I.   Overview

This policy provides for the participation of unmarried same or opposite sex domestic partners and children of domestic partners in the Ohio University benefit plan.

Same sex couples legally married in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, a US Territory, or a foreign country that recognizes their marriage are considered married for the purposes of all university policies and benefits, and are not domestic partners.

II.   Definitions

For the purposes of this policy, "domestic partners" are two individuals of the same or opposite sex who:

  • share a regular and permanent residence; and

  • have a committed personal relationship for at least six months; and

  • can demonstrate financial interdependence; and

  • are not related by blood, not legally married, nor in a domestic partnership with anyone else.

For the purposes of this policy, the "domestic partner's immediate family" is defined by Policies 40.029 and 40.030; see also section II, subsection B in Policy 40.016.

III.   Affected Policies

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

  1. Policy 19.058

  2. Policy 24.030.

  3. Policy 40.016.

  4. Policy 40.029.

  5. Policy 40.030.

  6. Policy 40.054.

  7. Policy 40.107

  8. Policy 41.009.

  9. Policy 41.010.

  10. Policy 41.130.

IV.   Benefits

The benefits under this policy may vary according to the employment status of the employee, 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 a single individual.

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.

V.   Process

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:


Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:

  1. Faculty Senate

  2. Administrative Senate

  3. Classified Senate

  4. Deans

  5. Chief Financial and Administrative Officers

  6. Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion

  7. Executive Director of the Office for Institutional Equity

  8. Academic Chairs and Directors

Forms, References, and History

A.   Forms

The following forms are specific to this policy:

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

  2. The Affidavit of Domestic Partnership is online at http://www.ohio.edu/hr/forms/index.cfm#d.

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

B.   References

The following items are relevant to this policy:

  1. Policy 03.016, "Foundation Expenditures."

  2. Policy 19.058, "Conflict of Interest in Sponsored Programs."

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

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

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

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

  7. Policy 40.054, "Family and Medical Leave."

  8. Policy 40.107, "Nepotism."

  9. Policy 41.009, "Group Insurance for Permanent Part-Time Civil Service Employees."

  10. Policy 41.010, "Benefits for Administrative Presidential Appointees."

  11. Policy 41.121, "Reimbursement for Official Travel and Entertainment."

  12. Policy 41.130, "Employee Assistance Program."

C.   History

Draft versions of this policy that were circulated for review, their cover memos, their forms, and Reviewers' comments on them are available on the password-protected Review site, at https://www.ohio.edu/policy2/40-013/.

Prior versions of this policy were approved on:

  • May 4, 2009 (accelerated review)

  • September 9, 2008

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Dick Piccard revised this page
on October 1, 2015.

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