Eligibility Changes for Same-Sex Domestic Partners - Human Resources at Ohio State

Eligibility Changes for Same-Sex Domestic Partners

The Ohio State University Board of Trustees approved changes in same-sex domestic partner benefits at its meeting June 9, 2017.

Following the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage, the university is able to offer benefits to spouses of employees in both opposite- and same-sex marriages.

This change means the university is consistent in its benefits eligibility for both opposite-sex and same-sex domestic partners.

As a result, new participation in health care coverage, dependent tuition assistance and dependent life insurance for same-sex domestic partners and children of same-sex domestic partners will not be available beginning January 1, 2018, and these benefits will no longer be offered to same-sex domestic partners and their children in 2019.

To provide a transition period, existing participants who meet all other plan eligibility requirements may maintain these benefits throughout 2018.

Existing participants who meet the following standards and all other plan eligibility requirements may maintain these benefits throughout 2018:

  • To maintain health care and dependent life insurance coverage, same-sex domestic partners and their children must be enrolled on December 31, 2017.
  • Same-sex domestic partners and their children who receive dependent tuition assistance for the autumn 2017 semester will be eligible to receive assistance for any academic term in calendar year 2018.

All same-sex domestic partners and their children will cease being eligible to receive a dependent tuition benefit starting in spring semester 2019.

As part of its commitment to diversity and inclusion, the university has strived to provide adequate health care coverage opportunities for employees with same-sex domestic partners who were not able to legally marry. Eligibility for dependent tuition assistance and dependent life insurance was later added for same-sex domestic partners and their children.

In June 2015, a U.S. Supreme Court decision required all states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to recognize same-sex marriages validly performed in other states. As a result, Ohio State is able to provide equal access to benefits for employees in both opposite- and same-sex marriages.

Ohio State has never provided subsidized medical coverage or other benefit coverage opportunities to opposite-sex domestic partners due to the existing opportunity to legally marry. Ohio State is not able to add subsidized health care coverage and dependent tuition assistance for opposite-sex domestic partners without significantly increasing overall benefit plan costs.

If your marital status with your same-sex domestic partner changes, contact HR Customer Service at (614) 292-1050 or hr@osu.edu within 31 days for information on how to update your benefits. Additional information can also be found on the Marital Status Change page.