Documenting Dependents for MIT Benefits Coverage

The Institute requires all MIT faculty and staff to document dependents' eligibility for health care benefits. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Dependent Documentation

  1. Why does the Institute require all MIT faculty and staff to provide proof of their dependents?

    As many of you are aware, MIT receives a significant portion of its annual revenue from research grants and contracts: $1.47 billion in FY11 for campus and Lincoln Laboratory, of which 87% comes from federal government sponsors. Approximately 40% of that revenue represents reimbursement for the cost of salaries and fringe benefits for MIT faculty and staff who directly devote time and effort associated with these awards. Reimbursement for fringe benefits alone is roughly $124 million in FY11. In addition, through many jobs across campus, MIT employees indirectly support the Institute's research efforts, and therefore a portion of their salaries and fringe benefits are also reimbursable.

    The federal government actively reviews the financial records of federal contractors such as MIT for compliance. In response to the current financial climate, the government has been concentrating its efforts on ensuring that only allowable costs are reimbursed to federal contractors. One result of this focus has been increased efforts to verify the benefits eligibility of employee dependents (e.g., current spouse or domestic partner; birth, adopted or step child(ren) -- see complete list in PDF format). The cost of these benefits can only be reimbursed if the dependents' eligibility can be verified. 

  2. What's the definition of a dependent?

    Please see this list (PDF).

  3. What documents do I need to produce?

    Please see this list (PDF).

  4. How can I submit my documentation?

    You have several options. You can scan it and send it via PDF to dependent-documentation@mit.edu. You can mail it to the Benefits Office, 77 Mass Ave. E19-215, Cambridge, MA 02139. You can walk it into the Benefits Office at 400 Main St. in Cambridge.

  5. Should I send the original or a copy?  

    Please send us copies because we will not be able to return any of the documentation. We will put your information into the system and then will shred it.

  6. Can I submit a short form birth certificate?

    Yes, as long as it has the name of the child and your name.

  7. Do I have to show a birth certificate for my stepchild?

    Yes, as long as it shows the name of the child and spouse's/partner's name AND the marriage certificate showing your name and spouse's/partner's name.

  8. My child is adopted. I have papers stating this. Will this do?

    You need to submit the adoption certificate showing name of child, your name, and birthdate of the child.

  9. I was married outside of the U.S. What documentation is considered OK?

    You need to submit a marriage certificate. The other documents that will be accepted are pending review from legal counsel.

  10. What if I am covering a former spouse?

    You need to provide a copy of your divorce decree that states you are responsible for your former spouse's health coverage; then, you can enroll your former spouse in an individual plan at full cost.

  11. When do I need to produce this documentation?

    As soon as possible. 

  12. Do I have to provide this documentation every year?

    If you provided proof of eligibility when your dependents were newly enrolled, and you keep those same dependents on your coverage from one year to the next, you do not need to provide verification again during Open Enrollment.

  13. Does everyone at the Institute need to supply this documentation?

    Everyone who is covering dependents is required to do so.

  14. What happens if I don't provide this documentation?

    You will lose coverage for your dependents.

  15. Who can I contact with my questions?

    Please email benefits@mit.edu or call the Benefits Office at 1-617-253-6151.

Back to top