Enrolling a Domestic Partner

Health insurance benefits are available to RFCUNY employees who have a domestic partner. Domestic partnership is defined as two people, both of whom are 18 years of age or older, neither of whom is married to anyone or related by blood in a manner that would bar their marriage in New York State, who have a close and committed personal relationship, who have registered as domestic partners, and have not terminated the domestic partnership.

Enrolling a domestic partner and a domestic partner's eligible child(ren) in health benefits entails a change from Individual coverage to Employee and Spouse or Family coverage, whichever is appropriate. If any dependent children of an employee’s domestic partner are added to the employee’s health plan coverage at the same time the employee is including their domestic partner, the appropriate documentation of their eligibility must also be submitted with the application form (i.e. birth certificate).

To enroll a domestic partner in health insurance, the following documentation is required:

  • A copy of the Domestic Partnership Registration Certificate (NYC resident), or
  • A copy of the notarized Alternative Affidavit of Domestic Partnership (non-NYC resident), and
  • A notarized statement of financial interdependence, with corresponding documents, and
  • A health insurance carrier enrollment form

On the health insurance carrier enrollment form, for either Type of Activity or Requesting Status Change, write "Domestic Partnership" and indicate the date of registration in the space allocated for the Date of Event. Provide all other requested information concerning the domestic partner in the space allocated for Spouse Information.

Registering a Domestic Partnership

To include a domestic partner on available benefits, it is necessary to register the domestic partnership with the New York City Clerk's Office (NYC residents) or the appropriate office in the city or county in which the employee lives (non-NYC residents), or if none exists, execute an Alternative Affidavit of Domestic Partnership depending upon the employee’s residency.

An employee may not register a domestic partner if the employee has terminated a previously registered partnership in the past six (6) months. An employee may not submit claims for a domestic partner unless the employee has completed a registration and health insurance enrollment form.

Employees who are residents of New York City must present a copy of the original and notarized Certificate of Domestic Partnership issued by the City Clerk and the Statement of Financial Interdependence to the Research Foundation.

Employees who are non-NYC City residents must present the original and notarized Alternative Affidavit of Domestic Partnership and the Statement of Financial Interdependence to the Research Foundation.

Payroll health insurance deductions will reflect the domestic partnership coverage according to regulations. The tax consequences of providing health benefits to a domestic partner are subject to the guidelines of the Internal Revenue Code and may result in additional taxable income. There may also be legal consequences.  The Research Foundation assumes no responsibility other than to provide the named benefits for a duly registered partner.

Tax Dependency

Coverage for an employee’s domestic partner is considered imputed income by the IRS. This means that the cost of covering an employee’s domestic partner is taxable to the employee for both the employee paid portion and the employer paid portion of the employee’s health insurance premium. If the employee’s domestic partner is the employee’s tax dependent, the employee will not be taxed on the premium. If the employee’s domestic partner is a tax dependent, complete and submit the Domestic Partner Certificate of Tax Dependency form.

Under IRS rulings, if an employee’s domestic partner is not a "dependent" within the meaning of the Internal Revenue Code, the amount paid by an employer attributable to coverage of a domestic partner, which is in excess of the amount for such coverage paid for the participant, is treated as part of the participant's gross income for Federal tax purposes. Consequently, unless an employee has indicated and provided proof to the Research Foundation that the employee’s domestic partner is the employee’s dependent (e.g., a copy of a recent tax return), the value of this benefit must be included as income in the employee’s Federal tax return for the applicable year. State and local tax treatment of the amount in question will vary among jurisdictions. Consult the applicable laws and/or a tax professional to determine how the amount should be treated.

Tax dependency forms must be completed, signed and forwarded to:

Research Foundation of The City University of New York
Attention: Human Resources
230 West 41st Street, 7th Floor 
New York, NY 10036

Termination of Domestic Partnership

To terminate a domestic partnership, two Termination of Domestic Partnership forms must be completed separately by the employee and the domestic partner. The forms, along with proof of termination from the city or county agency in which the domestic partnership was registered, must be forwarded to RFCUNY. By filing the termination form with the Research Foundation, the employee must be mindful that another Statement of Domestic Partnership cannot be filed until six months have passed.

The former domestic partner may be eligible for a continuation of health insurance benefits under COBRA regulations. Also, the New York City Clerk's office must be informed that the domestic partnership has been terminated. 

Essential Forms

Medical, Dental, & Vision Benefits Forms