` SUNY RF - Benefits

Health Insurance - Domestic Partners

A covered employee or fellow may include a domestic partner under family coverage provided that the domestic partner is:

  • the employee's partner,
  • age 18 or older,
  • unmarried and not related by marriage or blood in any way that would bar marriage,
  • residing with the employee,
  • financially interdependent with the employee, and
  • involved in the domestic partnership for a period of one year or more.

Children of Domestic Partners

To be eligible for coverage, children of domestic partners must:

  • meet the dependent eligibility requirements,
  • reside in the employee's household (except during periods while attending college as a full-time student), and
  • receive 51 percent or more of their support from the employee.

Domestic Partner Coverage as Taxable Income

Graduate Student Employees

Under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules, if a domestic partner of a graduate student employee is not a "dependent" within the meaning of Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code, the "fair market value" of the partner's health coverage, less any contribution for dependent coverage by the enrollee, is considered taxable (imputed) income for the employee. The fair market value of RF benefits equals the gross individual premium for the benefits (RF share and employee share) less the employee's contribution for dependent coverage.

Deductions for income tax and FICA contributions your paycheck and W-2 will be adjusted to reflect this higher income level.

The following link provides the biweekly increase in taxable income that will appear on the payments and deductions section of the employee's paycheck. Imputed Income Chart 

If the domestic partner is a dependent, the employee must complete the Dependent Tax Affidavit for Enrolling Domestic Partner in the Benefits Program. It is recommended that employees seek the advice of an attorney prior to completing this affidavit.


IRS rules on imputed income generated from employer-based benefits do not apply to fellows, because a fellow's premium is paid on an after-tax basis.

Pretax or After-Tax Biweekly Deductions

IRS regulations do not allow tax-exempt status for domestic partner benefits, unless the domestic partner is a dependent under IRS rules. Premiums for family coverage that includes a domestic partner who is not a dependent will be paid on an after-tax basis. The portion of the premium for individual coverage can remain on a pretax basis.


For information about enrolling a domestic partner, visit the Enroll page.

NOTE: A legally married same-sex spouse is treated as an ordinary spouse for federal tax purposes, and the requirements listed here for domestic partners do not apply.