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 from Xerox HR Solutions will be mailed to your home address. Please follow the instructions in the packet and submit the required documentation by the due date to avoid losing this 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.
Ohio State leads other public and private entities in offering transitional work as a benefit to employees. Our short-term disability program 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 building a family friendly work environment on its quest to become an employer of choice. University leaders understand that work life initiatives are a fundamental strategy to improve faculty and staff satisfaction, commitment, performance and retention.
President’s Cabinet approved a proposal in March 2006 to include lactation rooms in all newly designed and constructed buildings on campus and supported the “zone approach” to increase the current number of lactation rooms. A zone approach involves identifying locations across campus where new lactation rooms will be created.
Increasing lactation spaces around campus:
- Aligns with the work life philosophy to support faculty, staff, and students as they pursue greater integration of work and personal life.
- Supports the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendation that mothers nurse for 12 months to maximize the benefits of breastfeeding. As an employer with a world class medical center, it is important that we promote health practices in the best interest of the child and mother.
- Resolves issues created by current open space work environments that are not conducive to the privacy required for breastfeeding.
- Decreases absenteeism/presenteeism rates; working mothers with healthier babies as a result of breastfeeding will be more productive.
- Increases employee commitment to and engagement with the university;
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. View a full list of lactation spaces around Ohio States’s campuses.
Faculty and staff eligible to participate in a university-sponsored medical plan are eligible for adoption assistance. If you adopt a child, the university reimburses up to $5,000 per child. Use the Adoption Assistance Reimbursement Request Form to request reimbursement for eligible adoption-related expenses upon placement of a minor child in your home.
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 (see Unpaid Leave Policy). These policies and services 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 the 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.
Several direct deposit educational savings plans available to parents. See Education Savings Programs on Ohio State’s Payroll web site for more information.
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.