Domestic Partners

Kent State University offers same gender and opposite gender domestic partner benefits for faculty and staff. The following benefits are eligible for coverage:

  • Medical, prescription, vision, and dental insurance
  • Dependent life insurance
  • Voluntary Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D)
  • Tuition Fee Waiver

NOTE:  Domestic partners and their dependents are not eligible to utilize funds from a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA).  Flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA)  are governed by IRS guidelines. The IRS does not recognize domestic partner status as a “qualified beneficiary”; therefore, reimbursement for an eligible domestic partner’s health care expenses cannot be administered through a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA).


To initiate the domestic partner benefits process, an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership form must be completed, notarized, and submitted to the Employee Benefits Department along with required supporting documentation. Please review Domestic Partner Guidelines for a complete list of eligibility requirements.  



Employees applying for domestic partner benefits (including medical insurance and tuition fee waivers) should be aware that such benefits have significant tax consequences. This statement is not intended as tax or legal advice, but rather to alert employees of the potential tax ramifications. Under current Internal Revenue Code provisions, the “fair market value” of certain benefits is considered taxable income to the employee and must be included on their W-2. Under current federal law, domestic partners do not share the same status and corresponding tax benefits as those of a legal spouse. The university must report the fair market value of certain domestic partner benefits as wages to the Internal Revenue Service and make additional tax withholdings from the employee’s pay. 



Upon termination of a domestic partnership, you must submit the Affidavit of Domestic Partnership Termination form to the Benefits Department located in Heer Hall - Kent campus.  Forms may be submitted via fax at 330-672-5447 or scanned to

Please note: An Affidavit of Domestic Partnership Application form cannot be filed to establish a new domestic partnership until six (6) months after terminating the previous domestic partner.


It is very important to note:  According to the IRS, a “qualified beneficiary” status is limited to employees, their spouses, and dependent children covered on the employer's group health plan.  A domestic partner is not a COBRA qualified beneficiary and therefore will not have his or her own COBRA rights. A domestic partner’s children that are not dependents of the employee may also not be COBRA qualified beneficiaries.


If you need any assistance, please contact the Employee Benefits Department at 330-672-3107 or visit us at our office located in Heer Hall, 635 Loop Road.