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June 7, 1999

UC employees participate in domestic partners program

UCSC signs up largest percentage of faculty, staff, and retirees in medical benefits program

By Brad Hayward
UC Office of the President

One year after the University of California first offered domestic partners health coverage, nearly 1,400 employees and retirees systemwide have signed up for the benefits.

That level of participation--about 1 percent of faculty, staff, and retirees enrolled in UC medical plans-- is consistent with the university's original enrollment estimates, which projected participation in the range of 0.5 percent to 2 percent.

UCSC has the highest participation rate of all the UC campuses. At UCSC, 65 employees--1.93 percent of the total campus membership in UC medical plans--have signed up for medical benefits under the domestic partners policy.

"We are very pleased to see UC faculty and staff participating in this program," said Judith W. Boyette, UC associate vice president for human resources and benefits. "We believe these benefits enhance the university's ability to attract and retain high-quality faculty and staff."

In November 1997, the UC Board of Regents voted to offer medical, dental, and vision benefits to UC employees' same-sex domestic partners and certain other family members. The university held a special enrollment period for these benefits in May 1998, and they were offered again during the university's customary open-enrollment period in November 1998.

Across the UC system, 1,224 active employees and 157 retirees have signed up for medical benefits under the domestic partners program. They comprise approximately 1.04 percent of the 133,000 faculty, staff, and annuitants who are enrolled in UC medical plans.

About 53 percent of those signing up have enrolled a same-sex domestic partner, while 46 percent have enrolled an adult dependent relative and 1 percent have enrolled the child or grandchild of a same-sex domestic partner.

The annual cost to UC for providing health benefits through this program is estimated at $1.85 million. The university originally estimated that providing health coverage to domestic partners would cost between $1.2 million and $4.9 million per year.

In addition to UCSC, participation rates among the other eight UC campuses are as follows:

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