Documents for University of Wisconsin and domestic partner benefits

NOTE: effective January 1, 2010, domestic partners are included in most employee- and employer-funded benefits, including health insurance, for State of Wisconsin employees and University of Wisconsin employees. Corrections to the documents and links below may take some time.

The best resources are:

State of Wisconsin, Department of Employee Trust Funds (they manage the health insurance plans for UW, also):

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Payroll and Benefits:

Coming soon: how imputed income affects your paystub and your taxes, or does anyone pay attention to all those numbers on the paystub? A draft follows:


Imputed income was not shown on the January 2010 monthly paystubs, but it was there for employees signed up for health insurance for a domestic partner who is not also a tax dependent, or for a child up to 27 who didn't meet the tax dependent requirements. To verify the imputed income was there, follow these steps. These assume a monthly (academic staff/faculty) pay stub.

Look for the Social Security/Medicare deduction at the bottom, which is labeled solely "SOC SEC". (Why use that and not Federal Tax? Because Federal Tax rates vary with the amount of income; Soc Sec/Medicare is a fixed percentage (well, up to $106,000).)

Locate the current paycheck's "SOC SEC" amount, and divide it by 0.0765 (which is the sum of the Soc Sec/Medicare rate). That will give the monthly gross income that was used to determine the SOC SEC amount. It will not match any numbers on the paystub, but it should be of the same order of magnitude as the GROSS.

Then, add on any pre-tax deductions other than contributions to a 403B (also called a TSA or SRA) or a 457 (WDC). So add on things like the employee portion of the HMO contribution (which may occur twice in the first month of new family coverage, due to the need to take out 2 months' worth), ERA (flex spending), if you have Anthem Dental or other optional health-related plans (Vision, EPIC, AD&D). If you have life insurance, only add on the amount showing next to LIFE under PRE TAX in the lower right.

Now subtract gross income (labeled GROSS--it should have any furlough day amounts already deducted).

If the amount is not zero (or very close to it), that is the imputed income. That is the income that the employee did not receive as cash, but as the value of a fringe benefit, is included in calculating withholdings for state income tax, federal income tax, Social Security, and Medicare. The tables for the imputed income amounts, which vary by health insurance plan and HMO and number of taxable dependents, are available here:

The amount should match the appropriate "fair market value" amount (or perhaps double it if it's the first month).


Many of these documents were compiled through volunteer efforts of many members of the UW community. Corrections and updates are welcome and will be made as volunteer time allows. Note the document type is specified in parentheses after the short description. (HTML=web page; PDF=Adobe Acrobat)

Some documents are included for showing unnecessary disparities in UW campus policies, so do not include this list of campuses below without reading the documents about what each one provides.

UW-Madison has an official campus page about domestic partner benefits with irregular updates, located here:

General Wisconsin Information

Fair Wisconsin

Wisconsin Employers providing DP Benefits of any sort (HTML):

State of Wisconsin Policies

Prior to January 1, 2010, this was the situation:

State group health insurance and state group life insurance plans are managed by the State of Wisconsin's Department of Employee Trust Funds. University of Wisconsin employees are considered as state employees for purposes of these benefits. There is no coverage for domestic partners under these plans. Eligibility for these plans is determined by Wisconsin State Statutes Chapter 40.02(20). Note that in the case of state group life insurance, there is no contribution by the employer toward the spousal coverage, so money should not be an issue for state group life insurance.

Wis. Stats. 40.02(20) "Dependent" means the spouse, minor child, including stepchildren of the current marriage dependent on the employee for support and maintenance, or child of any age, including stepchildren of the current marriage, if handicapped to an extent requiring continued dependence.Ê For group insurance purposes only, the department may promulgate rules with a different definition of "dependent" than the one otherwise provided in this subsection for each group insurance plan.

Retirees. There are benefits available to spouses of retirees from state or UW service that are are not available to domestic partners of retirees. The most notable is the state group health insurance, which retirees can purchase for themselves and their spouse using sick leave credits, and can purchase with cash. The spouse may continue this after the death of the retired UW employee, if they had family coverage at time of retirement.

Effective January 1, 2010, Wis. Stats. 40.02(20) has been modified to include domestic partners; and children of the domestic partner (that is, "stepchildren" in the domestic partnership--children of the partner who may not be adopted by the employee).

UW System Policies

UW System Employee Benefits (HTML): Domestic partners and spouses of faculty, academic staff, and nonrepresented classified staff, may be covered through optional coverage for Dental Insurance and Accidental Death & Dismemberment benefits. Starting in early summer 2004, domestic partners of WRS-eligible UW employees may be covered through optional coverage in the Individual & Family Life Insurance program.

Main UW System benefits page:

Dental Insurance (DentalBlue DentaCare 186):

Accidental Death & Dismemberment:

Individual & Family Life Insurance: (domestic partners are not yet eligible)

Unclassified Personnel Guideline #10 (PDF): Sick/bereavement leave policies for faculty and academic staff includes spouses and domestic partners.

Spouse and Domestic Partner for Eligible UW Employees (PDF): A summary for employees compiled by UW-Madison Employee Compensation & Benefits; relevant to many campuses. It also lists under whose authority each benefit is contracted and/or provided.

Notes regarding UW-Madison ECBS domestic partner sheet (UW1107):

1) Major Medical & Dental is listed as under contract authority of "Board of Regents," but its eligibility is tied to that of state group health insurance as it's an "excess" policy for participants in the latter program. So although the contract is with Board of Regents, by its nature it is limited to those deemed eligible by State of Wisconsin Employee Trust Funds.

2) Long-Term Care vendors who choose to do so may include domestic partners (and parents of domestic partners); as of February 2004, SeniorCare Insurance Services will cover domestic partners who have been together 5 years or more.

UW Campuses Overview

Table of UW Four-Year Campus Policies (HTML):

UW-Madison Policies

Spousal benefits and whether they are provided for Domestic Partners (MS Excel); this grid is relevant to other campuses, except for the "Campus Life" section, which can be still used as a guide for research on that campus:

Campus Domestic Partner Policy (HTML):

Dual Career Couple Hiring (HTML):

Nonresident tuition remission for partner/children of new UW employees who have not yet lived 12 months in Wisconsin (HTML):

UW-Milwaukee Policies

Campus Domestic Partner Policy (PDF):

Faculty Partner Accommodation Policy (HTML)

Library Cards (HTML)

Spouse/Domestic Partner Memberships to Klotsche Center (Recreational Sports) (HTML):



Student Health Insurance Program (HTML):

Other UW Campuses' Spouse and/or Domestic Partner Policies

UW-Eau Claire Blugold Spouse/Partner Card Policy (HTML):

UW-Green Bay Domestic Partner Policy: a campus policy has been instituted, but it is not yet advertised on their web site nor integrated into campus services such as the campus sports center.

UW-Green Bay Phoenix Sports Center Membership Eligibility (HTML): UW-Green Bay's recreational sports facility written policy only allows married couples to join at the spousal rate if one of them is an employee, student, or community member. However, they informally will allow domestic partners to join. As of January, 2010, "Family membership are limited to married couples and their children 18 years of age and younger." This is really inexcusable and yes, homophobic. They could use the new Chapter 770 domestic partnerships or the Chapter 40 requirements or the UW System Administration forms to validate domestic partnerships.

UW-La Crosse Domestic Partner Policy (HTML):

UW-Platteville Pioneer Activity Center Membership Eligibility (HTML): same-sex or opposite-sex couples with same residence and joint checking or savings account may join as family, according to center director

UW-River Falls Knowles Center Membership Eligibility (HTML): awaiting clarification/acknolwedgement by center staff as of December 16, 2003; says "head(s) of household" for regular, but "husband and wife" for Senior membership.

UW-Stevens Point Domestic Partner Policy (HTML): Chapter 8, Section 6, of the University Handbook, available in the campus "Public Folders":

Copy of the contents of that section (HTML):

UW-Stout Health & Fitness Center Membership Eligibility (HTML): spouse or domestic partner

UW-Superior Health & Wellness Center Membership Eligibility : spouse or domestic partner.

Comparisons with Peer Institutions

Big Ten Universities and their policies; includes nondiscrimination, sick/bereavement leave, and health benefits (HTML):

Big Ten Universities and their enrollment rates in Domestic Partner Health Benefits (HTML):

University of Wisconsin System salary peer groups providing DP health benefits (MS Excel): This includes peer groups of UW System overall, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, and the UW 4-year non-doctoral campuses (the "Comprehensives"):

As of 2004:

Updated January 2010:

This page's address:

This compilation of links is copyright 2003-2010 by Dan Ross but may be freely reproduced with attribution. Individual documents linked to are property of their respective creators or owners.

Last Update: January 19, 2010 (in progress)