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Employee Matters

February 14, 2007

The facts about domestic partner benefits at UW–Madison

Q: What benefits does the university offer to the domestic partners of UW–Madison employees?

A: Once an employee has established a domestic partnership, the partner is eligible for the following employee benefit plans:

  • Individual & Family Group Life Insurance
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D)
  • Spectera Vision Care Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Employee Reimbursement Accounts (ERA) — they are eligible if the domestic partner receives more than half of his/her financial support from the UW–Madison employee and resides with the employee.

In addition, the following UW–Madison employees are eligible to use sick leave to care for a domestic partner during an illness:

  • Unclassified employees;
  • Nonrepresented classified employees;
  • Classified employees covered by the State Engineering Association, United Professionals for Quality Health Care, Wisconsin Professionals Employees Council and Wisconsin Science Professionals bargaining units.

The following employees are currently not eligible to use sick leave to care for a domestic partner:

  • Classified employees covered by the CRAFTS (Wisconsin State Building Trades)
  • Wisconsin Educational Association Council
  • Wisconsin State Employees Union
  • Professional Employees in Research Statistics and Analysis bargaining units

A comprehensive list of which benefits programs are available for domestic partners of UW–Madison employees can be found at Domestic partner benefits.

Q: How does an employee establish a domestic partnership for purposes of benefits eligibility?

A: To be eligible for insurance coverage as a domestic partner, the employee and his/her partner must be in an established domestic partnership of at least six months and must meet the criteria set forth in the Domestic Partner Affidavit (form number UWS-50). A domestic partner may be of the same or opposite sex. If covering a domestic partner for dental or Spectera Vision insurance, the premiums cannot be taken on a pre-tax basis.

The affidavit is required for enrollment in any insurance and the ERA program. The affidavit is not the same as the UW–Madison Declaration of Domestic Partnership Form, although the latter form may be used by UW–Madison to establish other benefits.

If a domestic partnership terminates, a Statement of Termination, UWS-51 must be completed and submitted to the Office of Human Resources along with the applicable insurance and ERA form(s). There must then be a subsequent qualifying period of at least six months before the employee can have another domestic partnership certified.

More information regarding the university’s domestic partner policy, as well as benefits and services available to domestic partners, can be found at Domestic Partner Policy.