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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) - Frequently Asked Benefits Questions

For all intents and purposes, in these FAQs, the definition of "dependent" pertains to a same-sex/civil-union* spouse, eligible domestic partner or dependent child(ren).

Health Insurance/Benefits

What health benefits are available?
Same-sex/civil-union spouses are eligible for:

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision (based on job classification)

For more information, please visit My Benefits at www.yale.edu/portal.

What will it cost to cover my dependent?  
Your monthly cost is equivalent to the cost of 2-person or family coverage; however, it is calculated by applying a subsidy to your gross earnings while charging the full cost rate for single medical and/or dental premiums.

How is the civil union benefit cost calculated?
The value of the benefit is the difference in cost between 2-person and individual coverage.  This amount is considered the fair market value of the benefit. 

Example*:

Monthly value of Yale Health 2-Person Coverage                                              $952.00
Monthly value of Yale Health Single Coverage                                                  $432.00          
Fair Market Value added to your taxable earnings                                            $520.00        

*In this example, $520 is added to your taxable earnings for Federal taxation purposes.

For information on monthly premiums, please visit www.yale.edu/benefits and select the job category on the left side of the page that pertains to you. For additional information on how these rates are calculated, please visit http://www.yale.edu/hronline/benefits/CivilUnionInformationMP.html.

What are the implications for both state and federal taxes?
The State of Connecticut treats your monthly contribution (handled as a paycheck deduction) for healthcare premiums on a pre-tax basis.  However, the federal government treats these contributions on a post-tax basis.

In addition, there is an imputed cost associated with the fair market value of the insurance premium coverage for your dependent that will be added to your taxable wages and reported on your Form W-2.  This includes any portion of the premiums that Yale pays for your dependent’s medical and/or dental coverage.

Why do I receive an error message when I check that I am married to someone of the same sex when enrolling in benefits?
The provider Yale uses for benefits is Hewitt. Hewitt operates in many states in the country that, unlike Connecticut, do not recognize same-sex marriage. Therefore, the following error message is displayed when you check the box “Spouse” for your relationship to your same-sex partner. “The following errors occurred: Please verify the gender selected for this dependent. For same gender Spouse, you must select a different relationship. Please make the appropriate corrections and click Continue.” We understand that this message may be perceived as offensive. Yale is continually working with Hewitt to make the systems and language more culturally sensitive.

Why does the federal government treat my contributions on a post-tax basis?
In accordance with section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code, a same-sex/civil-union spouse is not an eligible dependent unless you can claim your same-sex civil union partner or spouse as a legal tax dependent under the Internal Revenue Code.  If you can, you may apply for an exemption of federal taxation for the value of the coverage provided to your same-sex civil union partner or spouse.  Below are examples of certain conditions that must be met. However, this is not a final or comprehensive list; consultation with a tax consultant is advisable.

  • The dependent lived with you for the entire year as a member of your household.
  • The dependent was a U.S. citizen or resident alien of the United States, or resident of Canada or Mexico for part of the calendar year in which your tax year began.
  • The dependent did not file a joint tax return.
  • You provided over half of the dependent’s support for the calendar year.

View a copy of the Tax Exemption form.

Does the University offer Tax Assistance?

Yes, effective January 1, 2012, the University will offer Tax Assistance in the amount of $1,500 per year to Faculty and Managerial & Professional staff who meet all of the following criteria:

  • Must have a same-sex spouse or civil union partner and,
  • Same-sex spouse or civil union partner is not eligible for other employer based healthcare and,
  • Same-sex spouse or civil union partner is not a qualified federal tax dependent under Internal Revenue Code Section 152.

If you meet the above criteria, you are eligible for this Tax Assistance. To apply, view the Tax Assistance form.

NOTE: If you are currently receiving Tax Assistance, please be sure to renew your application (if applicable) in order to continue to receive this assistance without interruption, otherwise your tax assistance will expire December 31.

Are benefits offered to transgender employees; if so, which specific transgender health benefits are included?
Yes. Transgender employees have the same benefits as all Yale employees.

Magellan Health Services administers Yale's Counseling & Support Services benefit and offers employees and family members unlimited phone support and up to six (6) in-person visits per issue for each family member at no cost. This includes consultations relating to gender identity and transitioning. For more information and to access these services and resources, call 1-800-327-9240.

Transgender employees are also eligible for hormone replacement therapy.

Transgender employees who are managerial & professional staff, faculty, postdoctoral associates, postdoctoral fellows, clerical and technical, service and maintenance and security are eligible to receive sex reassignment surgery.  Both Yale HEALTH and Aetna will follow the standard of care for transgender health and sex reassignment surgery as defined by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH: www.wpath.org).

See carrier contact information below and a link to the Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) coverage bulletin:

Yale HEALTH Member Services: 203-432-0246, yalehealth.yale.edu

Aetna’s Customer Service: 866-253-8886, www.aetna.com

Who can I speak to at Yale HEALTH or Aetna regarding sexual orientation and gender identity related inquiries?
For health-related inquiries, consult with your Primary Care Physician (PCP). For benefits-related inquiries, contact the health insurance provider directly:

Yale Health Member Services: 203-432-0246, yalehealth.yale.edu
Aetna’s Customer Service: 866-253-8886, www.aetna.com

Does Yale University cover In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) and Ovulation Induction (OI)?
Both Yale HEALTH and Aetna cover IVF, IUI and OI for their covered participants (excluding coverage for surrogates). This benefit is managed by the Yale Medical Group; special referrals and rules apply. The Yale Fertility Center (YFC) “follows the guidelines of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and provides[s] equal access to potential intended parents without regard to sexual orientation. In fact, YFC welcomes same-sex couples and has enabled many to achieve parenthood through assisted reproduction.” Both male and female staff members and/or their same-sex partners/spouses (if covered by Yale HEALTH) are treated by YFC. However, the costs of third-party services (e.g., surrogacy) are not covered, and other exclusions apply. For information on reproductive treatments for same-sex couples, see: http://medicine.yale.edu/obgyn/yfc/services/egg_donation/same-sex_couples.aspx

For additional information related to this benefit, please contact the Yale University Department of Reproductive Medicine at (203) 785-4708; Sharon Anderson, Department of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at (203) 764-5618; or Robert Sacco, Clinical Practice Manager, Department of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at (203) 764-5927.

Retirement

When I retire, which benefits will my dependent be eligible for?
If you meet the eligibility requirement, at retirement, medical coverage may continue under the Yale University Program of Health Coverage for Retired Employees.

An eligible spouse under the Retiree Medical Plan must have been considered an eligible spouse under the active medical plan at the time of retirement.

What happens to my benefits upon my death?
In the case of an active employee or retiree death: For more information on continuing benefits or what benefits are available to your survivor, please visit www.yale.edu/benefits, select your job category on the left side of the page, then select either "COBRA" or "Death Benefits."

Life Events

Do I have to get married to add my partner to health insurance benefits?
Yes.  The University requires eligible dependents are married or joined in a civil union in order to be eligible to enroll in the University’s medical, dental or vision benefits. 

What if my partner and I were joined in a civil union or marriage in another state?
The University recognizes civil unions and marriages that are valid in other states.

However, if you have recently relocated to Connecticut with an existing same-sex partner and you are not joined in a civil union or marriage recognized in another state prior to your hire date with the University, the University will extend benefits to the same-sex partner for a period not to exceed 180 days in order to provide time for a civil union or marriage in Connecticut.

If you were joined in a civil union or marriage outside the continental United States, due to variances in international civil union/marriage records and laws, a review may be necessary to determine dependent eligibility.

What do I need to do in terms of my benefits if I get divorced or terminate my domestic partnership?
For more information on how to enroll in or change your benefits, please visit the Benefits resources page at http://www.yale.edu/hronline/mybenefits.

Life Event Processing Quick Guide:
http://www.yale.edu/hronline/mybenefits/documents/add-a-qualifying-life-event.pdf

How long will Yale grandfather "Domestic Partnership" for partner benefits?
If you and your dependent were enrolled in benefits before April 1, 2006, your partner is eligible to remain on benefits for the duration of your eligibility.   

For more information on Yale's current Civil Union & Same-Sex Marriage Policy, please visit http://www.yale.edu/hronline/benefits/documents/FINALSamesexMarriageCivilUnionPolicy.pdf

Are newborns and adopted children eligible for immediate coverage?
Yes. If you or your spouse has a child or adopts a child, you have 30 days from the date of birth or legal completion of the adoption to enroll the newborn or adopted child on your health insurance.

Please click on the Life Event Processing Quick Guide and follow the instructions:
http://www.yale.edu/hronline/mybenefits/documents/add-a-qualifying-life-event.pdf

Log onto My Benefits at www.yale.edu/portal to register the event and make applicable changes to their benefits. Please forward documentation for the life event to Hewitt, Yale's benefits administrator, within 45 days of the event date. For more information on how to log a life event, please visit the Benefits resources page at http://www.yale.edu/hronline/mybenefits.

Can my dependent be designated as my beneficiary for my life insurance?
Yes. You can designate any person as your life insurance beneficiary; this information can be updated or changed at any time. In the event you pass away and a beneficiary is not designated, the benefit will be paid to your estate.

If you are interested in updating your beneficiary for your life insurance, please see the following Quick Guide: http://www.yale.edu/hronline/mybenefits/documents/add-or-change-life-insurance-beneficiaries.pdf

What happens to my life insurance when I retire or leave the University?
If you terminate or retire from the University, you may continue your life insurance coverage by purchasing a policy directly from The Standard. Please contact Employee Services for additional information and an application at 203-432-5552 or Employee.Services@yale.edu.

Retiree Life Insurance:
You can change the beneficiary on your Retiree Life Insurance account at any time.  There is no spousal consent required.  In the event you pass away and a beneficiary is not designated, the benefit will be paid to your estate or in accordance with the Plan.

Other Benefits

Am I eligible to take a leave to care for my dependent?
Yes.  The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in Connecticut allows an eligible employee 16 weeks in a 24-month period of unpaid job-protected leave to care for a spouse, child, parent or parent-in-law with a serious health condition.

For more information on CT FMLA, please visit http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/wgwkstnd/fmla.htm.

What additional benefits are offered to my spouse/partner (e.g., Yale ID/shuttle/library/gym/theater)?
With a Yale ID, spouses/partners can access a myriad of Yale activities as well as local discounts.  Children must be accompanied by a Yale ID holder.

For more information regarding Yale IDs, please see the following FAQ: http://www.yale.edu/sfas/idcard/faqs.html.

Is my same-sex/civil-union spouse or domestic partner eligible for the tuition assistance program?
At this time, only employees are eligible for tuition assistance. However, you and your same-sex/civil-union spouse are eligible to audit courses.

For more information, visit http://www.yale.edu/ppdev/PersPracWeb/607.html.

Does Yale offer adoption assistance?
Adoption resources are available to eligible employees and their family members through Magellan at www.MagellanHealth.com/member or by calling 1-800-327-9240.

Adoption reimbursement is available to a faculty member who regularly works 50% or more of the required full-time workload or a Managerial & Professional staff member who regularly works 20 hours or more per week.  The plan provides a maximum reimbursement benefit of $5,000 per adoption finalized on or after January 1, 2011 to eligible employees. This benefit applies to adoption expenses incurred on or after January 1, 2011.

Information

Where do I go to change my name and/or sex with the University (payroll/benefits)?
You can change your confidential personal information via My Pay and Info.

You can update your legal first and last names and preferred first name:

1. Log into the portal at www.yale.edu/portal.
2. Click on the My Pay and Info link.
3. Click on the Personal Information tab. Under the Basic Details section, click on Update.
4. Under Choose Option, select Next – this selection will automatically default to “Enter new information because of a real change to the current details.”
5. Use the calendar button to choose a future effective date.
6. Type your legal name.
NOTE: If there is an alternative first name that you prefer to use, you can enter this name in the Preferred First Name field. If you have legally changed your last name, you must enter your previous last name in the Previous Last Name field. This ensures that the University will be able to locate your record after you have changed your name.

For updates to your legal sex status:

1. Log into the portal at www.yale.edu/portal.
2. Click on the My Pay and Information link.
3. Click on the Personal Information tab.  Under the Basic Details, click on Update.
4. Under Choose Option, select Next – this selection will automatically default to “Enter new information because of a real change to the current details.”
5. Use the calendar button to choose a future effective date.
6. Under Gender, select the sex that applies to you.

*If you have a civil union entered into in Connecticut and you did not marry your civil union spouse prior to October 1, 2010, you are deemed to be married by the State of Connecticut as of October 1, 2010 and your civil union status ceased as of that date. See http://www.glad.org/uploads/docs/publications/ct-civil-union.pdf

Revised: 12/14/11