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Same-Sex Domestic Partner Benefits

Eligibility - Legally Married or Qualified Tax Dependent

  • The same sex
  • Legally married and/or qualified tax dependent

Children of the same-sex domestic partner of a University employee are also eligible for benefits if the following condition is satisfied:

  • The child is a biological or adopted child or legal ward of the domestic partner

Eligibility for medical insurance for all dependent children terminates when the child reaches his or her 26th birthday.

If you are legally married and will be covering your same-sex spouse on any Purdue benefits, please contact Human Resources at 765-494-6522 or ratclifc@purdue.edu as soon as possible.  Human Resources can work with you to ensure that your benefits are set up properly through the EBenefits online enrollment system. 

You will need to provide a copy of your marriage certificate as documentation of your dependent's eligibility, which can be uploaded directly into the EBenefits enrollment system.  Upon receipt of the marriage certificate, you will be offered benefit plans through the University at the same pre-tax premium rates applied to spouses as dependents on the plans for the 2014 plan year.

Complete the Certification of Tax-Qualified Dependents form if your same-sex domestic partner and/or children of same-sex domestic partner are eligible as your legal tax dependent as defined by IRS Section 152.

Eligibility - Non-Legally Married SSDP

To be eligible for same-sex domestic partner benefits at Purdue, the University employee must submit an affidavit attesting that the employee and same-sex domestic partner are:

  • The same sex.
  • Not legally married to anyone.
  • Eighteen (18) years of age or older.
  • Not related by blood closer than would bar marriage in the state of Indiana.
  • Mentally competent to consent to contract.
  • Each other's sole same-sex domestic partner and intend to remain so indefinitely and are emotionally and financially responsible for each other's common welfare.
  • In a relationship that has been in existence for twelve (12) consecutive months or more, and have shared a residence for twelve (12) consecutive months or more.

Children of the same-sex domestic partner of a University employee are also eligible for benefits if the following condition is satisfied:

  • The child is a biological or adopted child or legal ward of the domestic partner

Eligibility for medical insurance for all dependent children terminates when the child reaches his or her 26th birthday.

Affidavit for Same-Sex Domestic Partner Non-Legally Married Benefits

To apply for same-sex domestic partner benefits a Domestic Partner Affidavit must be completed:

  • Download the Domestic Partner Affidavit.
  • Complete the Affidavit and submit it to Purdue Benefits, Freehafer Hall or your regional campus Human Resources office.

Employees may then apply for same-sex domestic partner benefits throughout the year; however, enrollment in benefit plans is governed by the same enrollment periods as those for a spouse and/or children of the employee.

Applications for same-sex domestic partner benefits and information provided in the Affidavit of Domestic Partnership will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by business necessity and the law. For example, documents may be disclosed in response to a court order, subpoena, or public records request. Additionally, the University will need to share information with University administrators to make appropriate payroll and tax deductions and with third parties with whom the University contracts for benefits programs.

Benefits and Policies for University Employees

The following benefits will be extended to same-sex domestic partners of University employees and their eligible children:

  • Medical insurance (including vision plan)
  • Fee remissions
  • Dependent life insurance
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)
  • Access to the programs, services and facilities of the University

Use of flexible spending accounts by same-sex domestic partners and/or their eligible children who are not IRS tax qualified dependents of the employee is not allowed by IRS.

The following employee leaves will be modified to include time off for same-sex domestic partners of University employees and their eligible family members:

  • Bereavement leave
  • Family illness leave
  • Leave similar to the federally mandated Family and Medical Leave Act

Benefit Plan Enrollment

Medical Plans and AD&D

Enrollment in the University's medical plans and AD&D is limited to an annual Open Enrollment period and mid-year changes are restricted to thirty-one (31) days following the date on which a same-sex domestic partner or child of the same-sex domestic partner becomes newly eligible.

Dependent Life Insurance

New employees have thirty-one (31) days from their date of hire to enroll for dependent life insurance. To apply for dependent life insurance after this time period, employees must provide evidence of insurability for each dependent for whom dependent life insurance is sought.

Fee Remissions

Employees may apply for fee remissions for their same-sex domestic partner and/or a child of a same-sex domestic partner.

Termination of Same-Sex Domestic Partner Relationship

Employees who have obtained same-sex domestic partner benefits must notify the University within thirty-one (31) days of the termination of the relationship by submitting a Termination of Domestic Partnership form or by providing a legal divorce decree.

Eligibility for benefits for the former same-sex domestic partner and his or her children ends on the date of the termination of the relationship. An employee's failure to notify the University of the termination of the same-sex domestic partner relationship may result in liability for claims paid for ineligible services and disciplinary action including cancellation of the employee's medical and other insurance and up to and including termination of employment. Additionally, failure to timely notify the University of the termination of the relationship jeopardizes COBRA equivalent health care continuation coverage for the former same-sex domestic partner and dependents.

COBRA

The University will provide such equivalent coverage to domestic partners and their children under the same circumstances as for an employee's spouse and children. Domestic partners of University employees and their children must apply for COBRA equivalent benefits within sixty (60) days of the date that eligibility for medical insurance ends.

Tax Issues

Employees who are considering applying for same-sex domestic partner benefits (including medical insurance and fee remissions) should be aware that this might have significant tax consequences. This brief description is not intended as tax or legal advice but rather to alert employees of the potential tax ramifications. Due to Internal Revenue Code provisions, the “fair market value” of certain benefits will be considered as taxable income to the employee. Under federal law, domestic partners do not share the same status and corresponding tax benefits as those of a legal spouse. The University must report the fair market value of certain same-sex domestic partner benefits as wages to the Internal Revenue Service. Additionally, the University is required to make additional tax withholdings from the employee's paycheck. The following table indicates the taxability of certain benefits to the employee:

BenefitSSDP and/or Eligible
Child(ren) do NOT meet the definition of a Tax Qualified Dependent
SSDP and/or Eligible
Child(ren) meet the definition of a Tax Qualified Dependent, including legally married
Medical Benefits Taxable Not Taxable
AD&D Taxable Not Taxable
Fee Remissions Taxable Taxable
Access to Programs, Services, and Facilities Not Taxable Not Taxable

Because this area of tax law is still developing, and because the situation of every employee is different, the University strongly encourages employees to consult with a tax advisor before applying for same-sex domestic partner benefits.

Legal Issues

Applying for same-sex domestic partner benefits may create legal obligations and have legal consequences. For this reason, the University encourages employees to seek legal advice before applying for same-sex domestic partner benefits.

Further Questions

Questions about same-sex domestic partner benefits may be directed to Purdue Benefits, Freehafer Hall or your regional campus Human Resources office.