As an eligible employee of the WHOI benefits programs, you may enroll a variety of eligible family members for coverage including your Spouse, Domestic Partner, and Dependent Children. In addition, Dependent Children of your Spouse or Domestic Partner are also eligible for coverage.
To select the benefit choices and coverage options that best suit your needs, please carefully read this information, along with your other benefits information. If you have further questions, contact the WHOI's Human Resources Office or via e-mail through the BenefitsQA@whoi.edu. In addition, you may want to consult a tax or legal consultant for further assistance.
If you are regularly scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week, you are eligible for WHOI benefits. In addition to yourself, you may enroll your eligible family members, including:
The following benefit options are available to you and your eligible family members:
What is a Same-Sex Spouse?
A same-sex spouse is a person of the same sex who is legally married to a WHOI employee. On August 29, 2013, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service ruled that same-sex couples who are legally married from a state that recognizes same-sex marriages will be treated as married for federal tax purposes, regardless of whether or not the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriages. The ruling implements federal tax aspects of the Supreme Court's decision on June 26, 2013 invalidating a key provision of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) under federal tax law. At the state level, Massachusetts already recognizes same-sex married couples.
What Is a Domestic Partner?
Domestic partners are defined as two people who meet all of the following requirements:
To be eligible for benefits, you and your Domestic Partner must complete and submit an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership to Human Resources attesting that your relationship meets the outlined requirements.
Adding an Eligible Family Member to Coverage
To add a family member to your coverage, you must do so during the Annual Open Enrollment period in October/November each year for coverage to be effective on January 1st. However, if you experience a Qualifying Life Status Change (marriage, divorce, birth/adoption of a child, etc.), you may be able to make a change outside of Open Enrollment. If this occurs, it is very important to notify Human Resources within 30 days of the Qualifying Event date, otherwise you will lose that opportunity and will need to wait until Open Enrollment, or if another qualifying event occurs.
NOTE: Ex-Spouse and Domestic Partner coverage may be subject to after tax deductions and imputed income.