SSDP and Sponsored Dependents - Human Resources at Ohio State

SSDP and Sponsored Dependents

The Ohio State University provides access to high-quality benefits for you and your dependents, including same-sex domestic partners (SSDP) and grandfathered sponsored dependents.  You may be able to make certain benefit elections due to a qualifying status change. Learn more about dependent eligibility and definitions of SSDP and sponsored dependents.

Sponsored dependents must remain continuously enrolled in coverage. The employee will be responsible for contributions for their sponsored dependent for the entire plan year, unless the sponsored dependent provides proof of other coverage or is deceased. Sponsored dependent health plan coverage is only available to individuals who were enrolled in sponsored dependent medical coverage as of December 31, 2016. Dental and vision coverage is only available to those sponsored dependents who are already enrolled in an Ohio State medical plan.

To add your same-sex domestic partner to your benefits or change your coverage to your partner’s benefit program, you must complete an Affidavit of Same-Sex Domestic Partnership for Health and Life Insurance. All changes to your health insurance enrollment must be made during annual open enrollment or within 31 days of a qualifying status change.

Eligibility and Verification
In general, to qualify as a medical dependent, the SSDP and/or his or her children must meet all of the following requirements annually:

  • You must provide more than one-half of their support for the calendar year; and
  • They must be a member of your household for the calendar year; and
  • Your home must be their principal place of residence for the calendar year.

After enrollment, you will be required to verify your dependents’ eligibility. Learn more about dependent eligibility verification. Failure to provide required documentation will result in coverage termination for the dependent(s) not verified.

Tax Implications
If your SSDP and/or his or her children are enrolled in one of the university’s health plans, the employee contributions for SSDP health coverage are deducted from your pay on an after-tax basis, and university contributions for that health coverage are treated as taxable income to you each pay period.

The only exception is if your SSDP and/or his or her children qualify as your “medical dependents” under the Internal Revenue Code. In that case, your employee contributions for SSDP health coverage are treated as pre-tax contributions, and university contributions for that health coverage are excluded from your taxable income.

For an SSDP and/or his or her children who qualify as your medical dependents, you must submit an Affidavit of Dependency for each dependent each plan year.

Consult with your tax advisor or attorney to determine the tax-qualified status of your SSDP and/or his or her children.

You may submit claims to your existing HC FSA for your SSDP and/or his or her children if they meet the IRS definition of a medical dependent. In that case, eligible expenses incurred by the SSDP and/or his or her children are eligible for reimbursement under the HC FSA. As with health coverage, you must complete an Affidavit of Dependency annually for each medical dependent.

You may designate or change your life insurance beneficiary at any time by designating a beneficiary.

If your same-sex domestic partner meets the dependent eligibility requirements, you may purchase Dependent Group Life Term Insurance (DGLTI) and/or Voluntary Group Term Life Insurance (VGTLI) for your partner and his or her children. The university’s Affidavit of Domestic Partnership will be required.  Enroll within 31 days of the qualifying status change. If your same-sex domestic partnership ends, your partner and his or her children are no longer eligible for Voluntary Group Term Life Insurance (VGTLI) and Dependent Group Term Life Insurance (DGTLI). You must terminate the coverage using the Dependent Group Term Life Insurance Enrollment Form.

Upon beginning or ending a domestic partnership, you may wish to review your retirement plan beneficiary designation. Check with your retirement system or provider regarding changes to your beneficiary.

Tuition assistance benefits are available to an eligible faculty and staff member’s same-sex domestic partners and the dependent children of their same-sex domestic partners. See Tuition Assistance for more information, including information on the tax treatment of this benefit.

Children of a faculty or staff member’s same-sex domestic partner are eligible for enrollment at the university’s Child Care Program.  A Certificate of Domestic Partnership is required.

Discount Programs coordinated through the Office of Human Resources apply to same-sex domestic partners of Ohio State faculty and staff.

Staff and faculty who are eligible for FML and sick leave may apply leave for situations affecting their domestic partner and dependents. Refer to Family and Medical Leave Policy 6.05 for more information.  A Certificate of Domestic Partnership is required.

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.

Are you changing your bank account? If so, make sure to update your direct deposit information at Employee Self Service.

SSDP
Should your relationship with your same-sex domestic partner end, or you no longer meet all of the requirements specified in the Affidavit of Same-Sex Domestic Partnership for Benefit Coverage, you are no longer considered to be domestic partners for purposes of eligibility under the university’s benefit plans. You must complete and submit an Affidavit of Termination of Same-Sex Domestic Partnership and change your health elections within 31 days of the effective date. You cannot file another affidavit with the same or different partner for at least six consecutive months from the termination filing date.

Sponsored Dependent 
Should your sponsored dependent obtain other coverage or pass away, your sponsored dependent should be removed from your benefit plans. You must provide proof of other coverage or a death certificate along with a complete Health Plan Election Form within 31 days of the effective date.