Benefits Eligibility

To be covered under the University of Minnesota UPlan’s comprehensive benefits, you and your dependents need to meet the University’s benefits eligibility requirements.

You are eligible for benefits if all three criteria are met:

  1. You have been appointed to an eligible job classification,
  2. Your appointment is 50% time or greater, and
  3. Your appointment will last for three months or longer.

If your eligible appointment is 75% time or greater, the University contributes toward the cost of your medical and dental benefits.

Family Working at the U

If you have a spouse or parent who also works for the University and who has UPlan coverage, you can choose whether to have your own coverage or be covered as a dependent under the family coverage, but not both.

Dependent Eligibility Verification

The dependents you add to your coverage must meet the eligibility requirements below. The University has a responsibility to apply the dependent eligibility rules fairly and equally.

Review the information below and be ready to submit your documentation to verify your dependents’ eligibility when requested by Employee Benefits. Please note that you have only two months to provide documentation. If you don’t provide the proper documentation within two months, your dependents will be removed from benefits.  

  • Matrix (pdf): tells you what documents are acceptable to confirm your dependent's eligibility.
  • Checklist (pdf): gives you the steps to follow to submit your documentation to Employee Benefits.
  • Frequently Asked Questions (pdf): provides more information about the verification program.

Eligible Dependents

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Definition of Eligible Dependents

The chart below lists the individuals who are considered eligible dependents for the UPlan and whether the dependent is considered qualified for favorable tax treatment.

Relationship to Employee Criteria for Coverage Is Dependent Qualified for Tax Favored Treatment? (1)
Spouse

Must be legally married

Your spouse must not be working full-time for an employer and receiving cash or credits 1) in place of medical coverage or 2) in exchange for medical coverage with a deductible of $750 or greater.

Qualified
Dependent Child Dependent child - birth through age 25 (up to the 26th birthday)

An eligible child can include your unmarried or married biological child, legally adopted child or child placed for purposes of adoption, foster child, stepchild, or any other child state or federal law requires be treated as a dependent.

Note: The spouse of your eligible married dependent child is not eligible for coverage.

See Eligible Dependent Children below for a detailed definition of eligible dependent children.

Qualified
Dependent Child

Disabled child - age 26 or above (no maximum) if physically or mentally disabled and either:

  • lives with you and does not provide over 50% of his/her own support, or
  • does not live with you but is at least 50% dependent on you

For disabled children over age 25, see Coverage of Disabled Children of Any Age below.

Qualified
Dependent Grandchild A grandchild is eligible for coverage if he/she is your tax dependent; if the grandchild is placed in your legal custody; or if the grandchild is legally adopted or placed with you for the purpose of adoption. The grandchild must be dependent upon you for more than one-half of his/her support, and you must claim the grandchild as a dependent on your tax return. Qualified
Dependent Grandchild Your unmarried grandchild is also eligible for coverage if (1) he/she is in your legal custody and dependent upon you for principal support and maintenance, but is a qualified tax dependent of another person or (2) your unmarried grandchild is the dependent child of your unmarried dependent child, and even though the grandchild may be dependent upon you for principal support and maintenance, he/she would not be eligible to be your tax dependent under tax regulations. In these instances, the contributions made by the University to your grandchild’s coverage as well as your contributions are considered taxable income on your tax returns. Usually non-qualified

(1) “Tax Favored Treatment” refers to how dependent coverage is treated for tax purposes.

Eligible Dependent Children

An eligible child, unmarried or married, can include your own biological child, legally adopted child or child placed for the purposes of adoption, foster child, stepchild, and any other child state or federal law requires be treated as a dependent.

  • For a child who is being adopted, the date of placement means the date you assume and retain the legal obligation for total or partial support of the child in anticipation of adoption of the child. A child's adoption placement terminates upon the termination of the legal obligation of total or partial support.
  • To be considered a dependent child, a foster child must be placed by the court in your custody.
  • To be considered a dependent child, a stepchild must be the child of your spouse by a previous marriage or relationship.

Note: The spouse of your eligible married dependent child is not eligible for coverage.

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Your Unmarried Grandchild

Your unmarried grandchild is eligible for coverage:

  • if he or she is your tax dependent;
  • if the grandchild is placed in your legal custody; or
  • if the grandchild is legally adopted or placed with you for the purpose of adoption.

The grandchild must be dependent upon you for more than one-half of his or her support, and you must claim the grandchild as a dependent on your tax return. In these instances, the contributions made by the University and your pre-tax contributions are not considered taxable income on your tax returns.

Your unmarried grandchild is also eligible for coverage if

  • he or she is in your legal custody and dependent upon you for principal support and maintenance, but is a qualified tax dependent of another person, or
  • your unmarried grandchild is the dependent child of your unmarried dependent child, and even though the grandchild may be dependent upon you for principal support and maintenance, he/she would not be eligible to be your tax dependent under tax regulations.

In these instances, the contributions made by the University to your grandchild’s coverage as well as your contributions are considered taxable income on your tax returns.

Both You and Your Spouse Work for the University

If both you and your spouse work for the University of Minnesota, then either of you, but not both, may cover your eligible dependent children/grandchildren. This also applies to two divorced or unmarried employees who share legal responsibility for their dependent children or grandchildren.

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Eligibility of Spouse

If both you and your spouse work for the University of Minnesota, then either of you has the option of adding the other as a dependent to his or her family coverage. The spouse added to the family coverage must waive employee coverage.

However, if your spouse works full-time for an employer and receives cash or credits (1) in place of medical coverage, or (2) in exchange for a medical coverage with a deductible of $750 or greater, then he or she is not considered to be an eligible dependent under the Plan.

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Coverage of Disabled Children of Any Age

Your dependent child of any age is eligible for coverage and tax favored status if he or she is incapable of self-sustaining employment by reason of mental retardation, mental illness, mental disorder, or physical disability, and is chiefly dependent upon you for his or her support and maintenance (meaning you provide for more than one-half of the child's support).

A dependent child must be certified by the UPlan Medical Plan Administrator to be disabled prior to age 26, based on proof that the child meets the above requirements.

  • If for any reason, you drop coverage for a disabled dependent prior to age 26, then wish to cover the child again, coverage must be added prior to the child turning age 26, and his or her disabled status recertified by the Plan Administrator.
  • Once your disabled child has reached age 26, the child must be continuously covered under the Plan in order to maintain eligibility.

A disabled dependent child who is 26 years of age or older and unmarried at the time of your initial eligibility for coverage in the Plan, may be enrolled for coverage if:

  • you (the employee) enroll for coverage during your initial eligibility period, and;
  • the UPlan Medical Plan Administrator certifies that the dependent meets the above requirements. Proof of disability status must be provided within 31 days of your initial date of eligibility and enrollment in the Plan. The disabled dependent shall be eligible for coverage as long as he or she continues to be disabled and dependent, unless coverage otherwise terminates under the Plan.

A dependent child who is considered to be disabled by the UPlan Medical Plan Administrator will be eligible for tax favored coverage under the Plan, regardless of age.

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Children Covered by Child Support Order

Children of the employee who are required to be covered by reason of a Qualified Medical Child Support Order are eligible, as required by federal and state law to assure that children who do not live with both of their biological parents have adequate medical coverage.

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Not Eligible

For purposes of coverage under the Plan, your parents, grandparents, in-laws, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, other extended family members, same-sex domestic partners and their children, and unmarried opposite-sex domestic partners and common-law spouses are not eligible dependents.

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