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Dallas County Domestic Partners Program

Definition:
The definition of domestic partners is an individual of the same or opposite gender as the County employee, who is:

  1. who is 18 years of age or older and mentally competent to enter into this agreement;
  2. has lived in the same household as the empoyee for at least six (6) months and shares the common resources of life in a close, personal intimate relationship with the County employee;
  3. neither of whom are married or related by blood; and
  4. under Texas law, the individual would not be preented from marrying the employee on account of consanguinity or prior un-dissolved marriage to another.
    * A domestic partnership is not proof of an informal marriage (common-law marriage), as defined by Section 2.401 of the Texas Family Code

Stipulations
For employees with dependents (covered under the above definition of a domestic partner), the County will offer a monthly subsidy to subsidize the purchase of a private medical insurance policy or continuance of a private medical insurance policy for the domestic partner and/or the domestic partner’s child(ren) to the County employee, with the follow stipulations:

  • The subsidy is only available to dependents who do not have access to a health plan through an employer sponsored plan;
  • The subsidy will be paid to the employee in their bi-weekly pay checks;
  • The subsidy shall not exceed the amount allocated for dependent coverage for other county employees with the same applicable tier of dependents;
  • Continued payment of the subsidy will require quarterly documentation to show the policy is and has continued to be in force during the review period;
  • Only one subsidy will be allocated per year;
  • The definition of dependent children wiill track the County's current definition allowing subsidy allocations for the domestic partner's children when applicable requirements have been met and required documentation has been provided-See rate subsidy chart; and
  • Change in status of the relations or dependents must be reported within 31 days of the change or the employee may be required to reimburse the County (does not qualify as a life change event)

Establishing Eligibility
Each employee must complete an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership (and submit to Human Resources/Civil Service) for eligibility review to receive a subsidy for his/her domestic partner and/or the domestic partner’s child(ren). In addition, to the Affidavit of Domestic Partnership, the employee must provide documentation as specified below:

Eligibility of Adult:
Must provide two documents of proof from the list below:

  1. Proof of the same residency for at least six (6) months naming/listing both partners. Examples include: Joint deed, mortgage agreement, or apartment lease.
  2. Proof of joint cheecking account or savings account statement that includes the date account was opened.
  3. Utility bill and/or credit account that includes proof of at least six (6) months of history.
  4. Proof of designation as the primary beneficiary for life insurance, or primary beneficiary designation under a partner's will.

Eligibilyt of Child(ren)
Must provide one document of proof from the list below:

  1. Birth certificat listing the domestic partner as the parent of the dependent child.
  2. Certificate of Adoption/Adoption Court Order listing the domestic partner as the adoptive parent.
  3. Court order listing the domestic partner as Managing Conservator or Joint Managing Conservator; requiring the domestic partner to provide medical coverage for the child.

Opt Out Option:
If a county employee opts out of the Dallas County Employee Medical Insurance Program and selects coverage under the domestic partners’ employer sponsored insurance program, Dallas County will pay the same opt out benefits ($100.00 per month) to that County employee as it currently pays for employees covered on their spouses’ policies. Evidence that the County employee is cover under the Domestic Partnerships Program will be required.

COBRA Coverage
A domestic partner and his/her dependent child(ren) are not eligible for COBRA continuation of coverage under existing federal law.

IRS Tax Consideration:
Unless a domestic partner qualifies as a dependent according to the IRS definition, all subsidies are not deducted on a pre-tax basis. The employee may have to pay taxes on the amount of money the County contributes for the subsidy. Flexible Spending Accounts cannot be used to cover the medical expenses of a domestic partner and/or a domestic partner’s children.

Subsidy Amount:
The Chart below shows the amount Dallas County currently contribute to each employee for its dependent coverage for the PPO plan (lowest cost plan) and is based on the tier level selected.

Dallas County Current Dependent Rates - FY 2012 and 2013

Type of Program - Tier Level Employee Pays - Monthly County Pays - Monthly Total Cost
Spouse $361.51(55%) $295.78 (45%) $ 657.29
Child(ren) $177.47(45%) $216.90 (55%) $ 394.37
Family $538.98(51%) $512.68 (49%) $ 1,051.66

The County will reimburse the employee up to the maximum dollar amount paid by the County for each tier level or the maximum percentage paid per tier level, whichever is less. For example: If the employee purchases an independent medical policy for their domestic partner at a cost of $800.00 per month, the county will only reimburse the employee a maximum of $295.78 because this is the total amount allocated for all employees who select coverage for a spouse. If the independent policy cost only $500.00 per month, the county will reimburse the employee 45% of the cost or $225.00 (the lesser amount).