Dependent Eligibility

The benefits available to you and your family reflect UC’s commitment to offering high-quality, affordable options for your family’s health, financial and educational needs. A benefits-eligible UC employee may elect to enroll his/her spouse, domestic partner and/or children in UC's benefits plans.  For most benefit plans dependent coverage begins when employee coverage begins.

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All employees will be required to provide documentation (such as birth and marriage certificates) for dependents to be covered under UC's medical and dental plans or for tuition remission purposes.  Refer to the Dependent Verification tab for more information.

Click on the tabs for more information about dependent eligibility. Review this information to help you Choose Well.

Questions?  Please email benefits@uc.edu.

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Use the detailed information below to determine if your spouse/domestic partner and children are eligible for UC’s medical, dental and vision coverage.*

Spouse

Person of the same or opposite gender to whom an employee is legally married.

Domestic Partner

Same or opposite gender qualifying domestic partner.

Child

Employee's natural, step, or adopted child under age 26.

Children of an employee's domestic partner are not eligible for Medical, Dental, Vision, Life or Personal Accident Insurance coverage or tuition remission benefits.

An employee's child of any age if disabled prior to reaching the Plan's limiting age and who is incapable of self-sustaining employment due to mental or physical disability.  The child must meet all of the qualifications of a dependent as determined by the IRS.

Other children under the Plan's limiting age may be eligible for coverage if an approved court order or legal guardianship exists.

If an employee is under a court order to provide health insurance for a dependent (such as a court order to provide child support), the employee must enroll that child in dependent coverage.

*If a spouse/domestic partner is eligible for medical coverage through his/her employer, declines his/her employer plan and is enrolled on a UC medical plan a monthly surcharge will apply.

For newborns, coverage begins at 14 days of life for the Personal Accident Insurance Plan.  For more information go to Life and Accident Insurance.

Spouse

Person of same or opposite gender to whom an employee is legally married.                         

Domestic Partner

Same or opposite gender qualifying domestic partner.

Child

Employee's unmarried natural, step, or adopted child under age 19.  Children may be continued beyond age 19 if a full-time student and the employee's tax dependent (under the age of 25 for AAUP; under the age of 23 for all others).  It is the employee's responsibility to notify the Benefits Department when his/her dependent ceases to meet the Plan's definition of eligible dependent.

Children of an employee's domestic partner are not eligible for Medical, Dental, Vision, Life or Personal Accident Insurance coverage or tuition remission benefits.

Not all employee groups are eligible for dependent tuition remission.  Refer to the Tuition Remission page for eligibility information. 

Spouse

Person of same or opposite gender to whom an employee is legally married.              

Domestic Partner

Same or opposite gender qualifying domestic partner.

Child

Employee's unmarried natural, step, or adopted child who is claimed as a tax dependent or, if not a tax dependent, the employee's unmarried child for whom he/she provides more than half of his/her financial support (documentation and affidavit required).  The employee is required to submit a tuition remission application and provide proof of dependency once each academic year. 

Children of an employee's domestic partner are not eligible for Medical, Dental, Vision, Life or Personal Accident Insurance or tuition remission benefits.

The first time an employee requests tuition remission for a dependent he/she must submit verification documents (unless documents are already on record) in addition to the annual academic year tuition remission application:

  • Spouse- submit copy of marriage certificate
  • Domestic Partner- see documents under domestic partner eligibility tab
  • Child- birth certificate

Questions regarding tuition remission?  Click here: Tuition Remission

An employee may cover his/her domestic partner, opposite or same sex, under UC's benefits including Medical, Dental, Life, Personal Accident Insurance, and Tuition Remission. 

To cover a domestic partner, the following criteria must be met:

  • Employee and his/her domestic partner must share a permanent residence (unless residing in different cities, states, or countries on a temporary basis)
  • Employee and his/her domestic partner must be each other's sole domestic partner; have been in the relationship for at least six (6) months; and intend to remain in the relationship indefinitely
  • Neither employee nor domestic partner can be currently married to or legally separated from another person under either statutory or common law
  • Employee and his/her domestic partner must be responsible for each other's welfare
  • Employee and his/her domestic partner must be at least 18 years of age and mentally competent to consent to this contract
  • Employee and his/her domestic partner cannot be related by blood to a degree of closeness that would prohibit marriage in the state in which he/she legally resides
  • Employee and his/her domestic partner must be financially interdependent

In order to add your domestic partner to UC’s benefit coverages, you must demonstrate financial interdependency for a period of six (6) months or more. Financial interdependency may be demonstrated by the existence of at least three (3) of the following documents. The documents must include BOTH the employee’s name and the domestic partner’s name. A notarized Affidavit is also required.

  • Joint ownership of real estate property or joint tenancy on a residential lease
  • Joint ownership of an automobile
  • Joint bank or credit account
  • Joint liabilities (e.g., credit cards, loans, renter’s insurance)
  • A will designating the domestic partner as the primary beneficiary
  • A retirement plan or life insurance policy beneficiary designating the domestic partner as primary beneficiary
  • Dated and notarized copy of a Domestic Partner Registry from a City, State or County

 The Affidavit is available here.  

The checklist below will help you gather and identify the needed documents before submitting to UC HR for validation. You must also provide the effective date of the domestic partner status.

Children of an employee's domestic partner are not eligible for Medical, Dental, Vision, Life or Personal Accident Insurance or tuition remission benefits.

Taxes and Domestic Partner Coverage

The premiums paid by the employee for coverage of a domestic partner for Medical, Dental, Life, and Personal Accident Insurance are paid on an after-tax basis.  The premiums for the employee and his/her dependent children for Medical and Dental insurance are paid on a before-tax basis.

Domestic Partner Affadavit
Domestic Partner Checklist

The value of the Medical and Dental insurance for a domestic partner is considered taxable under IRS rules for federal, state, and local taxes.  The value (cost) of an employee-only plan minus the premium paid for a domestic partner is the amount on which the employee will be taxed.  For Life Insurance and Personal Accident Insurance, the premium is paid on an after-tax basis with no taxability of the value of the coverage for a domestic partner. 

The value of undergraduate and graduate tuition remission for a domestic partner is taxable to the employee.  The taxes will be deducted from the employee's paycheck for the undergraduate and/or graduate courses taken.

Termination of Domestic Partner Status

Employees covering a domestic partner are responsible for notifying the Human Resources Department in writing within 31 days of any of the following events.  Email benefits@uc.edu if:

  • Change in circumstance that would make a domestic partner ineligible for coverage under the terms of the University's plans; or
  • Employee terminates the domestic partnership

Once a qualifing status change in the domestic partnership occurs and the domestic partner is no longer eligible for coverage, the employee may not cover another domestic partner for at least six (6) months.

The University of Cincinnati requires all new hires and newly eligible employees to verify eligibility for their enrolled dependents.  In January of each year individuals who enrolled for coverage during the prior calendar year (as a new hire) or added a dependent during UC’s annual enrollment period will be contacted by HMS Employer Solutions (HMS) and asked to provide verification documentation including marriage and birth certifications.  Failure to provide complete documentation by the specified deadline will result in coverage termination for any dependent(s) not verified.

1. Why does UC require employees to provide dependent verification documents?

  • The University of Cincinnati is sensitive to the rising costs of health care and feels that the verification process is necessary:
    • In order to control premium and claim costs, insurance dollars should only be paid for eligible dependents.
    • Dependent verification is an important tool to maintain enrollment accuracy and prevent fraud.

2. What is the definition of eligible dependent?

  • Spouse:  A person of the same or opposite gender to whom an employee is legally married (for same sex couples: married in a state that recognizes such marriages).    
  • Domestic Partner:  Same or opposite gender qualifying domestic partner.
  • Child:  The employee's natural, step, or adopted child under age 26.
    • The employee's child of any age if disabled prior to reaching the Plan's limiting age and who is incapable of self-sustaining employment due to being mentally or physically handicapped.  The child must meet all of the qualifications of a dependent as determined by the IRS.
    • Other children under the Plan's limiting age may be eligible for coverage if approved court order or legal guardianship exists.

3. What type of documents am I required to submit?

  • Documents include such items as marriage certificates, birth certificates, and copies of other documents that validate current relationship.

4. Where do I send the documents?

  • Employees will be contacted by HMS Employer Solutions and should submit documentation as requested.

5. Will exceptions be made to allow my ineligible dependent to obtain coverage?

  • No. Only dependents eligible for coverage according to the plan's eligibility rules will be covered.

6. Will I be reimbursed for the cost of obtaining these documents?

  • No.  Any charges for making or obtaining copies of documents is the employee's responsibility.

7. If I am unable to provide verification documents for a dependent, will I have an opportunity to add that dependent to my coverage in the future if I can prove eligibility?

  • Yes, however, employees will be required to wait until the Plan's Annual Enrollment period unless the individual's eligibility status changes because of a qualifying event (e.g. a child is adopted, marriage, etc.) Documentation will be required at the time of enrollment.

8. What if I have additional questions?

  • Employees can call UC Human Resources at 513-556-6381 or email benefits@uc.edu for additional questions.

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