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Medical/Dental Insurance
for Qualified Domestic Partners (QDPs)
of Faculty, Staff & Librarians

Employer-Provided Insurance for QDPs and Children

The University of Washington provides insurance coverage to qualified same- and opposite-sex domestic partners and their children in accordance with the provisions of the Washington State Public Employees Benefits Board regulations.

A Qualified Domestic Partnership (QDP) is one in which two people are registered as domestic partners with the Secretary of State for the State of Washington and meet the following criteria:

Registering as a QDP

To register as a domestic partnership, complete and submit the Declaration of State Registered Domestic Partnership form.

Children of QDPs

"Children" means your biological children, stepchildren, legally-adopted children, children for whom you have assumed a legal obligation for total or partial support in anticipation of adoption, children of your qualified domestic partner, and children specified in a court order or divorce decree.

Insurance-related Tax Issues for QDPs

Entering into a domestic partnership may have tax consequences for you depending on your partner’s/child(ren)’s eligibility as dependents under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 152. If your partner and/or child(ren) do not qualify as eligible dependents under IRC 152, the University must report the cost of the insurance that University provides for them and the insurance contributions you make as wages on your statement of taxable income (W2 form). The value of this benefit is subject to Federal Income, Social Security and Medicare taxes. The University of Washington must deduct and withhold these taxes from your paycheck based on the market value of the coverage, called “imputed income.” In addition, the portion of the employee-paid pre-tax paycheck deduction that pays for this coverage is also subject to Federal taxation.

These additional taxes will be deducted each pay period from your paycheck, with one exception. We cannot start the QDP taxes until the January 25 paycheck each year because we need the data update from the state about any Open Enrollment changes before we can verify the amount of taxes to take. This single pay period delay at the start of each year also gives us the time to review the prior paycheck and eligibility, and make adjustments for changes in enrollment, separations, and other factors, which means fewer retroactive adjustments to your pay. This delay means that on the last check of the tax year on December 24, we have to catch up for the last deduction in the tax year. All tax adjustments must be completed by employers prior to running the annual W-2 tax documents.

The University determines IRC 152 eligibility based on the Declaration of Tax Status form that you complete at the time you enroll in an insurance plan, or at the time you change your enrollment due to a qualifying life event.

For more information, see 2015 Tax Issues Related to PEBB Domestic Partner Insurance.

Confidentiality of Records

All information related to a domestic partnership is treated as confidential within legal limits. The University may be required to disclose certain information in response to a court order, subpoena, or a public records request. When the University responds to a public records request all non-work related personal information is removed before releasing a record.


Starting Health Insurance Coverage for QDPs and/or Children of a QDP

Complete these required forms to enroll:

Make a copy of all completed forms, and mail or deliver these to the UW Benefits Office.

You will receive a notification letter upon enrollment, and again on a quarterly basis.

If you need assistance, please use the Benefits Help/Email Portal to get answers to your questions or send an email to UW Benefits.

Waiving Insurance Coverage or Adding Insurance Coverage at a Later Date

You have the option to provide health insurance coverage for your QDP and/or children. If you do not enroll your domestic partner or your domestic partner's child(ren) upon your initial employment or during the annual open enrollment period, you will not be able to enroll them at another time unless a qualifying life event occurs.

If you do not enroll your domestic partner in life insurance within the first 60 days of the initial eligibility date, he/she may be subject to evidence of insurability and possible denial of coverage.

Ending a QDP

At the time of initial insurance eligibility, the Health Care Authority will send to your address of record, a COBRA information packet. This packet includes an agreement that you will notify the Benefits Office if the domestic partnership no longer meets all of the qualifying criteria. COBRA-equivalent coverage is available for the non-employee partner and/or his/her children.


Information about optional benefits:


Effective January 2001, the PEBB extended medical, dental, and life insurance coverage to same-sex domestic partners. Effective January 2010, the PEBB further extended coverage to include opposite sex partners if at least one partner is age 62 or older. Both same-sex and opposite-sex partnerships must be registered with the Secretary of State. The PEBB took into consideration the fact that same-sex partners have no current legal options to marry, whereas opposite-sex domestic partners have this option. The PEBB indicated its interest in continuing to pursue this benefit for all partners, but only with additional funding from the legislature. The UW will continue to work to extend benefits to employees in opposite-sex domestic partner relationships as well.

After the certification of Washington State Referendum 71, new laws about domestic partnerships took effect on December 2, 2009 and January 1, 2010. These laws are contained in Chapter 521, Laws of 2009 (E2SSB 5688), available for downloading at the Legislature’s Web site,

Disclaimer: The information on this page does not substitute for official plan documents. If there is a conflict between the information on this site and an official plan document, the official plan document will govern. Refer to the Benefits Forms & Publications page.

Plan availability and eligibility may change depending on your employment status and/or actions of the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA), the agency that purchases and coordinates health insurance benefits for public employees, including employees of the University of Washington, through the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) program.

Medical & Dental
Insurance Topics

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