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Domestic Partner Health Benefits

Eligibility for Health Benefits

The District government offers most of its employees a number of health coverage options. An employee is generally eligible for these health care options if he or she: 
  • Was first hired by the District on or after October 1, 1987; and
  • Serves in a position other than a temporary appointment of one year or less.

Domestic Partner Health Benefits

District employees who are eligible for health care benefits may elect to enroll their domestic partner and/or dependents children when initially hired, a qualifying event, or during any open enrollment period. An employee will have the option of enrolling in “self + 1” or family coverage. 
The health insurance coverage premiums are shared by the District and the eligible employee, with the District paying 75% of premiums and the employee paying the remaining 25%. The employee’s portion of the health insurance premiums are deducted on an after-tax basis directly from his or her paycheck.

Special Tax Provisions for Claiming Domestic Partner as Dependent

An employee who can claim his or her domestic partner or children as dependents, or both, under federal law may pay their portion of the health insurance premiums on a pre-tax basis.  A domestic partner, and any children, are considered dependents if the employee is responsible for more than half of their support for the calendar year in which the taxable year of the employee begins and meets the Internal Revenue Services’ definition of a qualifying relative.1

Submitting Documentation for Coverage

Eligible employees must submit the following documentation to enroll their domestic partner or children in the District’s health benefits coverage when initially hired, upon a qualifying event, or during the open enrollment period. The supporting documentation includes:
  1. Complete DCSF No. 21B-1273, Domestic Partner: Tax Dependent Status Form, if an employee can claim his or her domestic partner and any children as dependent(s).
An employee must provide written notice to the Department of Human Resources (DCHR) if there are any changes of circumstances attested to in the affidavit.

Proof of Eligibility

In addition to the documentation listed above, an employee must also submit documents that show the dependency of any child of a domestic partner; such as one (1) of the following:
  • Most recent filed Form 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return that includes the child(ren) as a dependent(s) (financial information and dependent social security numbers may be blacked out)
  • Birth certificate (or other official document) showing the name of the parent who is the subscriber on the document, the subscriber’s state-registered domestic partner2
  • Certificate or decree of adoption
  • Court-ordered parenting plan
  • Medical Support Notice
  • Original Foster child certification and a copy of documentation of regular and substantial support of the child)
  • Disabled Child: Medical verification of disability prior to age 26
  • Legal Custody: copy of court order granting legal custody
  • Step Child: birth certificate3, copy of marriage certificate, divorce decree or custody papers

Enrollment through PeopleSoft

Eligible employees must enroll or make enrollment changes through the Employee Self Service (ESS) portal in PeopleSoft at https://ess.dc.gov. Employees must submit a copy of the email confirmation, domestic partnership form, and the supporting documentation, as outlined in the previous section, to the DCHR’s Benefits and Retirement Administration, at 441 4th Street, N.W., Suite 340N, Washington, D.C.  20001 or via email to [email protected].

Termination of Domestic Partnership Health Benefits

Temporary Continuation of Coverage

An employee who separates from the District government may be eligible to continue the health insurance coverage for his or her domestic partner and dependents under a Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC).  The former employee will be responsible for 100% of the premium cost plus an additional 2% for administrative fees. 

Termination of the Domestic Partnership Relations

  • A domestic partnership may be terminated, with or without the consent of both partners, by filing a termination of domestic partnership statement with the DOH Registrar.  The termination of the domestic partnership will become effective six (6) months after the date the statement is filed with the DOH Registrar.
  • An employee who files for termination of a domestic partnership must notify DCHR within 30 days of the filing.  Health benefits enrollment of the domestic partner and his or her dependents will continue during the six (6) months that the termination of the domestic partnership is pending, provided District government employment is maintained.  Neither partner may apply for a new certificate of domestic partnership while the termination of the domestic partnership is pending.

Termination Due to Death of Employee

Health benefits for domestic partner and dependents will be terminated upon the death of the employee.


Employees should consult with a tax consultant to determine if his or her domestic partner and  children can be claimed as dependents. 


An employee who claims his or her domestic partner and any children as dependents on his or her health insurance will be required to annually recertify using DCSF 21B-1274, Domestic Partner: Certification of Federal Tax Dependent Status, with DCHR.


For additional information , please contact the DCHR Benefits and Retirement Administration, at (202) 442-9700 or [email protected].
  1. For additional information, refer to the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 152(d)(2).
  2. If the dependent is the subscriber’s stepchild, the subscriber must also verify the state-registered domestic partner to enroll the child, even if not enrolling the partner in DCEHB coverage.
  3. If the dependent is the subscriber’s stepchild, the subscriber must also verify the state-registered domestic partner to enroll the child, even if not enrolling the spouse/partner in DCEHB coverage.