Birth and Adoption - Human Resources at Ohio State
Birth and Adoption of a Child
Congratulations on the new addition to your family! When you welcome a child into the family, or a child becomes eligible for coverage, you can change certain benefits without waiting until the next annual open enrollment period. These life events include birth, adoption, placement for adoption or legal custody of a child (including legal guardianship).
Related Benefits, Services and Programs
You may enroll a child in your health plan via Employee Self Service within 31 days of the birth, adoption, placement for adoption or legal guardianship. You may also change to another eligible medical plan at this time. Upon enrollment, the plan covers charges from the date of the event.
Your child’s Social Security number
Your child’s Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) is requested when you enroll your child. If you have not yet obtained a Social Security number for your child, you may enroll your child and let the Office of Human Resources know when you have the number.
The easiest way to apply for a newborn’s Social Security number (SSN) is at the hospital. Remember to have both parents’ Social Security numbers handy. When the hospital representative asks you for the information needed to complete your baby’s birth certificate, tell them you want to apply for your child’s SSN. As part of Ohio’s birth registration process, the state’s vital statistics office will share your child’s information with the Social Security Administration, and the child’s Social Security card will be mailed to you.
If you don’t apply for your child’s SSN at the hospital or wish to apply for your baby’s number at a Social Security office, visit the Social Security Administration website for more information.
Verifying your child’s eligibility for benefits
After enrolling your dependent, you must verify your child’s eligibility for coverage under the Ohio State health plans. A verification packet will be mailed to your home address by Alight. Please follow the instructions in the packet and submit the required documentation via Employee Self Service prior to the due date to avoid losing your dependent’s health coverage.
You may want to consider purchasing Voluntary Group Term Life Insurance (VGTLI) or Dependent Group Term Life Insurance (DGTLI) for your child or changing the amount of life insurance you currently purchase for yourself (see Life Insurance). You may enroll in Employee Self Service within 31 days of the event.
Short-term disability provides income replacement after 30 calendar days and up to 90 calendar days for those enrolled and with an approved claim. Birth, adoption, legal guardianship and legal custody are opportunities to enroll in Short-Term Disability (STD).
A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) allows you to pay for eligible health care and/or dependent care expenses through pre-tax payroll deductions. You may elect to participate in or change the amount you contribute to your Health Care FSA and/or Dependent Care FSA by enrolling or changing elections in Employee Self Service within 31 days of the event.
The Ohio State University Child Care Program is available to faculty and staff dependents ages 6 weeks through kindergarten. There is usually a waiting list for placement in the program, so contact the center as early as possible.
Ohio State is committed to ensuring nursing mothers on campus are aware of lactation spaces as well as relevant workplace guidance and laws. Ohio State has and will continue to identify locations on campus that are ideal for a lactation room based on geographic location and/or future renovation projects. See more information, including a full list of lactation spaces around Ohio States’s campuses.
Ohio State’s family-friendly benefits include financial resources for adopting a child. The Ohio State University Adoption Assistance Plan reimburses eligible employees up to $5,000 per child for eligible adoption-related expenses after the adoption of a minor child is finalized. There is a lifetime maximum of two adoptions per eligible employee. If two adopting parents of the same adopted child are both eligible for adoption assistance, the total maximum benefit amount for that adoption is $5,000 and the maximum reimbursement applies jointly. For more information, see the Adoption Assistance benefits page.
Ohio State is committed to providing a work environment that is healthy, supportive and considerate of employees’ work and personal lives. The university’s work/life effort includes Family and Medical Leave, paid leave and unpaid leave. These leave options assist faculty and staff with better integration of their professional and personal lives to help employees feel productive, engaged and satisfied.
The Parental Care Guidebook provides information about all types of parental leaves (maternity, paternity, adoption and foster care). It details the medical benefits available and other benefit options. It concludes with issues specific to faculty, working schedule options for staff and a resource section.
You may want to review your federal and state tax withholdings and make any necessary adjustments. To make changes to your current tax withholdings, visit Employee Self Service.
Adding a child to your family is a significant life change. While this is a joyful time, you may benefit from assistance with making the adjustment. The Ohio State Employee Assistance Program offers free, confidential, professional counseling and referral services through the OSU Health Plan to help you and your family with any issues that may arise. The EAP also provides numerous other resources that may be helpful during this time, including child care resources, referrals to community resources and financial counseling.
See Save for College on the Ohio Department of Higher Education website for information on education savings plans.
The Buckeye Baby program offers free support to expectant mothers enrolled in the Ohio State Faculty and Staff Health Plan. A licensed nurse works with you to answer questions and ensure you receive needed support. Additional services – including lactation and maternal nutrition support and educational programs – is confidential and complimentary. For additional information, please see OSU Health Plan’s Buckeye Baby.