Marriage & Domestic Partnerships

Marriage & Domestic Partnerships

Marriage

You may add your new spouse to your health, dental and vision plans within 31 days of the qualifying life event. If you miss that window, you must wait until the next annual Open Enrollment period. The checklist below will help you to keep track of any changes you need to make to your benefits.

Health, Dental & Vision plans

  • Compare your spouse's or partner's health plan with the options offered by MIT to determine whether it makes sense to have a family plan from one employer or two individual plans, one from each employer.
  • Enroll or make necessary changes to your MIT health, dental, and vision plans within 31 days from the date of your marriage. Use the change form below.
  • If marriage changes your financial situation and your eligibility for Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program, you have 60 days to make corresponding changes to your MIT health-related benefits. Learn more about SCHIP.

Life Insurance & Retirement

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

(Domestic Partners are not eligible for this benefit)

  • Enroll in an MIT Dependent Care FSA or MIT Health Care FSA.
  • Change the amount of your annual contribution to your FSA (use the change form below).
  • Cancel your contributions (for example, if you now have coverage through your spouse). Use the change form below.

Domestic Partnerships

If you are eligible to receive benefits, you may include your domestic partner in your medical, dental, or vision plan coverage.

In order to enroll your partner, you must complete the Affidavit of Domestic Partnership (below) and send it directly to the Benefits Office. If you would like to terminate the coverage for your domestic partner, you must complete the Declaration of Termination of Domestic Partnership (below) and send it directly to the Benefits Office.

How does MIT define domestic partner?

A domestic partner is a same-sex or opposite-sex domestic partner who meets the following eligibility criteria:

  • A domestic partner must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Neither you nor your partner must be married to anyone and you must share — and intend to share indefinitely — a mutual, exclusive, enduring relationship.
  • You must have occupied a shared residence for at least four months and intend to do so indefinitely.
  • You must consider yourselves life partners, share joint responsibility for your common welfare, and be financially interdependent.
  • You must not be related by blood to the extent that marriage would be illegal in the state of Massachusetts.
  • Roommates, siblings, and parents do not qualify as domestic partners.

Dependent coverage

Generally, MIT's health, dental and vision plans cover your partner's children through the end of the month in which they turn age 26. If they become eligible for coverage through another group plan, they would be removed from your plan(s) effective the date in which they became eligible for other group health plan coverage. A disabled dependent of your partner is covered under benefit plans for the duration of his or her dependency. Learn more about dependent eligibility.

Tax information

In addition to paying the premium for your domestic partner's medical, dental, or vision coverage, you must also pay taxes on the amount MIT contributes to those benefits. Under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 125, the value of the coverage for a domestic partner and/or any dependents of the domestic partner are taxable as "imputed income" to the employee. In tax terms, imputed income is income from non-cash sources. The amount of imputed income is based on the market value of the coverage purchased for these additional family members and is recalculated annually.

Why the Period for Making Changes is Limited

Most of the benefit plans offered through MIT are paid with pre-tax dollars. In exchange for that tax advantage, you are legally prohibited from enrolling in, canceling, or making changes to your medical, dental, and reimbursement account plans outside of the annual Open Enrollment period unless you experience a qualifying change in your life.

MIT's policy for allowing changes outside Open Enrollment in the case of certain qualifying life events is consistent with the federal Department of Labor guidelines under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).