Domestic Partnership

You may cover your same or opposite sex domestic partner as your dependent for the purpose of health insurance coverage. A domestic partnership, for eligibility under the plan, is one in which you and your partner are 18 years of age or older, unmarried and not related in a way that would bar marriage. You must be living together, involved in a lifetime relationship and financially interdependent. At the time of application, you must have been in the partnership for six months.

You must submit a total of three (3) separate types of proof, one (1) proof of Cohabitation Duration and two (2) proofs of Financial Interdependence.

Please submit clearly unaltered original documents and one copy of the original documents. The original documents will be returned to you.

Proof of Six Months Cohabitation

You must submit one (1) proof that you and your partner have resided together for at least six months. The proof may be one document with both names or two separate documents that show the residence of each partner. The following are some of the items that can be used:

Auto registration, bank statement, driver's license, mailed insurance benefits statement, mailed joint membership statement with address, lease agreement listing both parties, a mortgage agreement including both parties, passport, pay check stub, tax return, telephone bill, utility bill.

Proof of Financial Interdependence

You must submit two (2) proofs of financial interdependence of at least six month duration. Below is a list of acceptable proofs (at least one of the two items must be from List A).

List A

Joint obligation on a loan, Joint ownership of your residence, Joint renter's or home owners' insurance policy, Joint responsibility for child care, Joint ownership of lease or motor vehicle, joint ownership or holding of investments, mutually granted durable power of attorney, both listed as tenants on the lease of shared residence, mutually granted authority to make health care decisions-i.e. health care power of attorney, shared a household budget for the purpose of receiving government benefits.

List B

Joint bank account, joint credit or charge card (s), status as authorized on the partner's bank account, credit card or charge card, other proof establishing economic interdependence.

The application will need to be signed by a Notary.

Spousal Eligibility

For the purpose of providing dependent documentation for spousal benefits, eligibility of a same-sex marriage performed in a legal jurisdiction (Massachusetts, Canada, Spain, South Africa, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway and California), will be recognized. The enrollee must submit a copy of the marriage certificate; as well as a copy of the spouse’s birth certificate and social security card.

Although these dependents are recognized as spouses by the New York State Health Insurance Plan, enrollees may still be subject to imputed income for the value of the benefits provided to the spouse, if the spouse does not meet the qualifications as a dependent under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code Section 152. In cases where a spouse does meet these qualifications, a Dependent Tax Affidavit (PS 425.3) must be completed by the enrollee and submitted with the application in order to avoid tax on the value of the benefit.

Pretax or After-Tax Biweekly Deductions

IRS regulations do not allow tax-exempt status for domestic partner benefits, unless the domestic partner is a dependent under IRS rules. Premiums for family coverage that includes a domestic partner, who is not a dependent, will be paid on an after-tax basis. The portion of the premium for individual coverage can remain on a pretax basis.

Domestic Partner Coverage as Taxable Income

Under the IRS rule, the fair market value of the health insurance benefits is treated as income for tax purposes. Under the Pre-Tax Contribution Program, the employee's extra cost for domestic partner coverage cannot be paid with pre-tax dollars. Ask your tax consultant how enrolling your domestic partner will affect your taxes.

How to Report That a Domestic Partnership or Same-Sex Marriage Has Ended

If the partnership ends, you must notify your agency Health Benefits Administrator and end coverage for the domestic partner. Your domestic partner may be able to continue coverage under COBRA.

There will be a one-year waiting period from the termination date of your previous partner's coverage before you may again enroll a domestic partner.

When Coverage Changes or Ends

Special circumstances, such as changes in your payroll status, may affect the continuation of coverage for you and your partner. Make sure that your health insurance coverage is correct. Immediately contact your Benefit Office when your work or payroll status changes.

For a Domestic Partnership packet, please contact the Benefits Office at (631) 632-6165.

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