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Who is eligible for coverage?
Any faculty or staff member who is already eligible for benefits from the University of Toledo are also eligible for Domestic Partner Benefits. To be eligible for domestic partner benefits at UT, the University employee must submit an appropriate enrollment form(s) and an affidavit attesting that the employee and domestic partner are:
At least 18 years of age, competent to enter into a contract; and
Each other’s sole domestic partner and intend to remain so indefinitely and are emotionally and financially responsible for each other’s common welfare; and
Not legally married to another individual; and
Not related to each other by blood in a manner that would bar marriage in the State of Ohio; and
In a relationship that has been in existence for twelve (12) consecutive months or more, and has shared a residence for twelve (12) consecutive months or more; and
Has allowed at least twelve (12) to pass since the termination of any previous domestic partnership.
If you and your partner meet these criteria, you may add your partner to appropriate benefit plans. Enrollment in health care and life insurance coverage is subject to an open enrollment period or special enrollment date based upon qualifying events.
Will these benefits also be available to those with opposite-sex partners?
When do I enroll?
Generally, there are three times when you can add your partner to your benefits at the University of Toledo:
As a newly hired or newly eligible faculty or staff member (within 31 days of date of hire),
After experiencing an eligible job status or family status change (mid-year status change) within 31 days of change
During the Annual Open Enrollment period.
An initial open enrollment period will be held for those who want to apply for such coverage from February 17, 2006 through March 10, 2006.
Can I cover my partner's children under my benefits coverage?
Eligible dependent children of the domestic partner of a University employee are also eligible for healthcare, dependent life, and fee waiver according to the established University procedure, healthcare and life insurance benefit plan documents, and/or applicable bargaining agreements.
How do I apply for domestic partner benefits?
To apply for domestic partner benefits a Domestic Partner Affidavit must be completed, required supporting documentation must be provided, as well as, applicable enrollment forms. The following steps should be taken:
Request a Domestic Partner Packet from the Human Resources office or obtain the packet via the Human Resources website
Consult an attorney and tax advisor concerning any legal obligations that may be created by the affidavit.
Complete the affidavit and have it notarized.
Submit the applicable benefit enrollment form (s), notarized affidavit and required supporting documentation to Human Resources Office (Attention: Benefits, MS 205) for review.
A copy of the approved affidavit will be returned to you only upon request.
How would offering Domestic Partner coverage be beneficial?
Offering domestic partner benefits will be beneficial in recruiting recruitment and retaining valuable faculty and staff. We seek to maintain a competitive edge. Nine of our peer institutions already offer domestic partner benefits. Forty-two of the sixty members of the Association of American Universities already have a program of domestic partner benefits. Over 150 universities offer domestic partner benefits including Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Ohio State, Miami University, Ohio University, Cleveland State University and Youngstown State University and Stanford. We also want to demonstrate our commitment to diversity by offering a benefits program that is consistent with the University of Toledo’s Nondiscrimination Policy. Lastly, the University is responding to its employee’s requests.
What benefits are included?
The following benefits will be extended to eligible University employee’s domestic partner and the partner’s eligible children:
Medical, prescription, vision, and dental insurance upon payment of the applicable premium
Dependent life insurance upon payment applicable premium
Tuition fee waiver
Access to the programs, service and facilities of the University
The following employee leaves will be modified to include time off for domestic partners of University employees and their eligible family members:
Family and Medical Leave Act
What will it cost me to cover my partner and his or her children?
Example 1 – If medical benefit with a calculated cost to the University of $360/month is provided to a domestic partner, not meeting the dependent qualification test under IRC regulations, and the employee’s monthly deductible from their check is $150; the monthly taxable portion to the employee is $210 ($2,520 annually). The annual amount will be included on the employee’s W-2.
Example 2 – A domestic partner takes a four hour undergraduate class at the University under the fee waiver program. The Fair Market Value of the program (based on 05/06 tuition rates) of $1,071.64 ($267.91/hr X 4) is taxable and included on the employees annual W-2. Only the portion covered by fee waiver is taxable (imputed income), any lab or tech fees are not as the employee or the domestic partner is required to pay this. The fee waiver portion will be included on the employee’s W-2.
Example 3 – A domestic partner who utilizes the Rec-Fit Program provided by the University. The fair market value is taxable and will be included on the employee’ W-2.
|Benefit||Domestic Partner and/or Eligible Child(ren) do NOT meet the definition of a Tax Qualified Dependent||Domestic Partner and/or Eligible Child(ren) meet the definition of a Tax Qualified Dependent|
|Medical Benefits||Taxable||Not Taxable|
|Tuition Fee Waiver||Taxable||Not Taxable|
|Access to Programs, Services, and Facilities||Not Taxable if at Fair Market Value is reimbursed to University||Not Taxable in certain circumstances|
Do I have to pay taxes on the benefits?
It depends. You need to speak with your tax advisor to get complete information, but some of the costs of providing domestic partner benefits may be considered taxable income by the IRS. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has determined that the University’s cost of providing benefits for domestic partners and their children who do not meet the IRC Section 152 definition of qualified dependents is considered ordinary or “imputed income” and is, therefore, subject to taxes.
The University must report the fair market value (FMV) of an employee’s domestic partner benefits as wages or “imputed income” to the Internal Revenue Service resulting in increased taxable gross income for federal, state and city (where applicable) income taxes, as well as, for FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes withheld from the employee’s paycheck.
What is imputed income?
In general, imputed income is the difference between the cost of providing a fringe benefit to you with and without the cost of covering your domestic partner.
Why is imputed income taxable to me and not to a married employee?
Under federal tax law, certain fringe benefits provided to employees are not taxable. For example, health insurance benefits provided by an employer are not taxed to an employee, as long as the benefits are for the employee, the spouse or dependents of the employee. Because a domestic partner is not a spouse, the value of the benefit is taxed to the employee unless the domestic partner also qualifies as a dependent under tax law.
What if my partner and I terminate our relationship?
Employees who have obtained domestic partner benefits must notify the University within thirty (30) days of the termination of the relationship by submitting a “Termination of Domestic Partnership” form. The form is available upon request from the Human Resource office or via the Human Resource website.
How much will it cost the university to offer these benefits?
Surprisingly, it will not cost the University much. By far, the largest costs would result from extending health insurance benefits, but research by Mercer Human Resource Consulting shows that typically well less than 1% of faculty and staff members use same sex domestic partner benefits, if available. The University of Toledo currently pays about $18 million a year in health insurance benefits.