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Becoming a Parent
Health Insurance


Insurance Continuation & Adding a Child to your Health Insurance Plan

If you receive UW paid health insurance and you meet Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) eligibility requirements, you will receive employer-paid health insurance coverage, except for premiums or copays, for up to 12 weeks of FMLA covered parental leave, even if you are on leave without pay.

If you receive UW-paid health insurance, your health insurance will continue while you are in pay status even if you do not meet FMLA eligibility requirements. You are considered to be in pay status while using annual leave, sick leave, compensatory time, or your personal holiday. You will remain responsible for any insurance premiums or copays for your health care plan. If you have a limited amount of paid leave, you are allowed to spread out (intersperse) your use of paid leave by using eight hours of leave in a month for up to four months so that your health insurance can continue during those months. See the Parental Leave page for information about your leave eligibility and for help in determining how much paid leave you are likely to have when your parental leave starts.

If you do not have sufficient paid leave to cover your absence and you are not FMLA-eligible, you will have to self-pay to continue health insurance coverage.

Dependent Children & Insurance Eligibility

The term “dependent child” includes the following:

If you are a UW faculty or staff member who is enrolled in a medical and/or dental plan, your eligible dependents can be enrolled in the same plan you are. If you have previously waived your own UW health insurance coverage, you cannot enroll your dependents. You can enroll yourself at the next open enrollment, or with a qualifying change in family status. Qualifying changes in family status regarding children are:

Coverage for newborns and newly-adopted children can begin at the date of birth. It can also begin the date you assume legal responsibility for the child’s support in anticipation of adoption. There are important deadlines for adding dependents to your health insurance plan, so act quickly. You can add a dependent child to your health insurance plan:

*If adding the child increases the premium, the subscriber must submit the appropriate enrollment form no later than 12 months after the date of birth. Subscriber may not change plans or add a spouse outside the 60-day special open enrollment. Retroactive premiums will be due back to the date of birth.


Plan for Health Insurance Coverage While On Leave

If you are not eligible for FMLA covered leave, and you will not have enough paid leave to maintain your health insurance coverage, see the self-pay page.

Consider asking your department's administrator, payroll coordinator, or leave specialist to help you to determine your leave balances and FMLA eligibility.

Start Your Child's Health Insurance Coverage

Decide if you want to add your child to your UW health insurance plans and, if so, when. This decision may depend on what other health insurance coverage your family may have. To add a newborn or newly adopted/placed child to your health insurance plan:


Contact the Benefits Office if you have any questions about eligibility, or about the process of adding a dependent child to your health insurance coverage. Contact your Human Resources Consultant for additional help.

View the Benefits Eligibility for Dependents page.

Learn about pre-tax deductions for eligible dependents through the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP).

Becoming a Parent

A prospective parent is generally covered by the FMLA if the employee has worked for UW or the State of Washington at least 60 % FTE for at least one year, and has not already used the annual 12 week FMLA leave entitlement.

Specifically, a prospective parent is covered by the FMLA if the employee has 12 months of cumulative state service, has worked for the state for at least 1,250 hours, including overtime, in the 12 months immediately preceding the date the FMLA leave will begin. and has not already used the current year's 12 week FMLA leave entitlement.