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Domestic Partner Benefit Coverage

This publication outlines the advantages of registering your domestic partner with Tulane University, the process by which you may register your partner at Tulane University, and the procedure for obtaining certain fringe benefits.

1. What is a Domestic Partnership?

A Domestic Partnership is defined as two individuals of the same gender who live together in a long-term relationship of indefinite duration, with an exclusive mutual commitment in which the partners agree to be jointly responsible for each other's common welfare and to share financial obligations. The Partners may not be related by blood to a degree of closeness that would prohibit legal marriage in the state in which they legally reside.

2. What are the advantages of registering my domestic partner with Tulane University?

If you are a benefits-eligible employee, your partner may obtain health, dental, and life insurance coverage, and certain other fringe benefits. If you are eligible for tuition wavier benefits for your dependents, eligibility may extend to your domestic partner as defined by the tuition waiver policy.

3. How and when may I register my domestic partner?

You can register a domestic partner at any time. A Statement of Domestic Partnership form is available from the Benefits Office. You and your partner will be asked to sign the affidavit that must be accompanied by the required documentation defined on the face of the statement. After your registration has been reviewed and your documentation approved, you will receive a copy of the Statement signed by a representative of the Tulane University Benefits Office.

4. How do I benefits coverage for my domestic partner?

If you are a new employee who is eligible for benefits, you can enroll your domestic partner at the same time you enroll yourself, provided that you register your domestic partner and the University approves your registration. Once the University has accepted your registration, you have 30 days from that date to enroll your partner in your benefits coverage. Otherwise, you must wait until the next announced Open Enrollment Period.

5. What is the cost of adding my domestic partner to my health, dental, vision, and life insurance plans?

Monthly payroll deductions for benefits coverage are the same as those for employees who cover spouses and dependent children. Check with the Benefits Office for current costs.

6. What are the tax consequences of adding my domestic partner to my benefits?

The employee contribution for the portion of medical, dental, and vision insurance premiums attributable to the domestic partner cannot be made on a pre-tax basis due to IRS regulations.

7. Am I eligible to participate in a Healthcare Flexible Spending Account?

You may participate in the Healthcare FSA but expenses for your domestic partner may  not be reimbursed. 

8. How do I obtain a Tulane ID Card for my domestic partner?

A registered same sex domestic partner can obtain a Family Member ID Card, just as spouses do. After registering with the Benefits Office, an ID card will be issued to your domestic partner by Human Resources

9. How can my domestic partner obtain a Reily Membership and library privileges?

Consult the Reily Membership Office at 865-5431 for details. Registered same sex domestic partners have library privileges. Present your ID card to use the libraries.

10. How can my domestic partner take advantage of Tuition Waiver benefits?

In accordance with the Tuition Waiver Policy, tuition benefits are available to domestic partners. After your domestic partner registration is approved, obtain the tuition waiver form from Human Resources and submit the completed form to Human Resources along with the proper documents by the deadlines.

11. Are children of my domestic partner eligible for benefits?

Yes, under the same criteria as the non-Domestic Partner spouse. Please review plan literature for more details.

12. Are there tax consequences if my domestic partner uses Tuition Waiver benefits?

Yes. As with health and dental benefits, the Internal Revenue Code does not extend non-taxable educational assistance (Tuition Waiver benefits) to domestic partners. The University must include the full value of the tuition benefits used by your domestic partner in your income, and taxes will be withheld accordingly. Tuition Waiver benefits for your dependent children will qualify for non-taxable educational assistance.

13. What happens to my domestic partner's medical coverage if I should leave the University?

If you meet the eligibility rule to continue medical benefits after you leave the University, you will not be able to continue to cover your domestic partner under the University's Medical, dental and vision plans.

14. What else should I consider?

You are encouraged to speak with a tax advisor before enrolling your domestic partner. You may name anyone as a beneficiary on group life insurance. It is not necessary to register a domestic partner to name him or her as the beneficiary. With regard to the Tulane University Retirement Plan or Supplemental Tax Deferred Annuity Plan, if you are not legally married, you may name anyone as your beneficiary. If you are legally married, you must name your spouse for at least 50% of the account. Change of beneficiary forms for TIAA-CREF and Fidelity are available from the Benefits Office.

15. What happens if my partner and I end our relationship?

You must file the form "Statement of Termination of Domestic Partnership" with the Tulane University Benefits Office. You may not file a subsequent Statement of Registration of Domestic Partner until 12 months have elapsed from the date of filing of the Statement of Termination of the previous relationship. (The University will waive the 12 months waiting period only if another Affidavit is filed for the same partner.) You must notify the Benefits Office in writing within 31 days of the date the relationship ends. Your former domestic partner will no longer be eligible for any benefits privileges, and you must remove your former domestic partner from all University benefit plans. Former domestic partners will not be eligible to continue health, dental, and/or vision benefits under COBRA.

For all questions concerning benefit coverage, consult the Benefits Department of the Workforce Management Organization. You may make an appointment by calling (504) 865-5280.





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