Policy on Domestic Partners

The College will include employee domestic partners and their dependents in its policies and qualified benefits. Among the policies and benefits this affects are health insurance, dental insurance, bereavement and family leave, tuition reimbursement and waiver benefits, and use of College facilities and services.

Criteria for Domestic Partners

To be eligible for extension of benefits as adomestic partner, the Mount Holyoke College employee and the domestic partner must complete and keep on file an "Affidavit of Domestic Partnership." The employee and the domestic partner will affirm in the affidavit and provide proof that they meet the following criteria:

  1. they are each other's sole domestic partner and intend to remain so;
  2. neither one is legally married to anyone else;
  3. they are at least eighteen (18) years of age and mentally competent to enter into a contract;
  4. they are not related to each other by blood in a way which would bar marriage in the state in which they legally reside;
  5. they reside together in the same residence and intend to do so and/or have mutual power of attorney; 
  6. they are jointly responsible for each other's common welfare and share financial obligations;
  7. they understand that as domestic partners they are subject to the same thirty (30) day notice requirement set forth in Mount Holyoke College's benefits program as are all other Mount Holyoke College employees who are covered by or are applying for benefits;

Documentation to certify the same-residence requirement in case of a question could include: driver's license, canceled rent checks, utility bills, a lease showing joint tenancy, or a jointly-held mortgage on their primary residency.

As part of the "Affidavit of Domestic Partnership" employees agree to notify Mount Holyoke College if there is any change in status as domestic partners as attested to in the Affidavit that would make them no longer eligible for benefits.

Health Insurance

An employee who is eligible for health and dental insurance coverage may choose a family membership in any of the health plans offered by the College to enroll a domestic partner if the employee has completed the "Affidavit of Domestic Partnership." Employees may also enroll their qualified unmarried dependent children if the children reside regularly with the employee and the domestic partner, if the children qualify as dependents of either the employee or the domestic partner for tax purposes, or if the employee or domestic partner is required to provide coverage for the children as a result of a court order.

Roommates, parents, siblings are not eligible for this coverage.

If an employee changes from single to family health insurance to provide coverage for a domestic partner and/or his/her dependents, the employee, in addition to paying the premium for family health coverage in most cases, will have to pay an income tax on imputed income.

Under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 152 (a)(9), the value of benefits coverage for domestic partners and the dependents of domestic partners may be taxable as "imputed income" to the employee. The College contributions for the benefits that cover the domestic partner and his/her dependents are treated as taxable income to the employee unless the domestic partner and his/her dependents qualify as the employee's tax dependents under the IRC. The amount of "imputed income" is the added value of the benefit which provides coverage for these additional family members (that is, the difference in College contribution between single and family group health insurance coverage for the employee or the value of other benefits extended to the domestic partner or dependent of the domestic partner).

Enrollment Procedures

Employees interested in enrolling a domestic partner and/or dependent(s) in health insurance, dental insurance coverage or in receiving more information about domestic partner benefits can contact the Human Resources Department.