Documenting Dependents for MIT Benefits Coverage

The Institute requires all MIT faculty and staff to document dependents' eligibility for health care benefits. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Dependent Documentation

Why does the Institute require all MIT faculty and staff to provide proof of their dependents?

MIT receives a significant portion of its annual revenue from research grants and contracts. Approximately 40% of that revenue represents reimbursement for the cost of salaries and fringe benefits for MIT faculty and staff who directly devote time and effort associated with these awards. In addition, through many jobs across campus, MIT employees indirectly support the Institute's research efforts, and therefore a portion of their salaries and fringe benefits are also reimbursable.

The federal government actively reviews the financial records of federal contractors such as MIT for compliance. The cost of these benefits can only be reimbursed if the dependents' eligibility can be verified.

What's the definition of a dependent?

Please see the table below.

What documents do I need to produce?

Please see the table below.

How can I submit my documentation?

You have several options. You can scan it and send it via PDF to, mail it to MIT Benefits, or bring it to Human Resources on the 5th floor of 600 Tech Square in Cambridge.

Should I send the original or a copy?  

Please send us copies because we will not be able to return any of the documentation.

Do I have to provide this documentation every year?

If you provided proof of eligibility when your dependents were newly enrolled, and you keep those same dependents on your coverage from one year to the next, you do not need to provide verification again during Open Enrollment.

Does everyone at the Institute need to supply this documentation?

Everyone who is covering dependents is required to do so.

Can I submit a short form birth certificate?

Yes, as long as it has the name of the child and your name.

Do I have to show a birth certificate for my stepchild?

Yes, as long as it shows the name of the child and spouse's/partner's name AND you also submit a marriage certificate showing your name and spouse's/partner's name.

My child is adopted. I have papers stating this. Will this do?

You need to submit the adoption certificate showing name of child, your name, and birthdate of the child.

I was married outside of the U.S. What documentation is considered OK?

You need to submit a marriage certificate. The other documents that will be accepted are pending review from legal counsel.

What if I am covering a former spouse?

You need to provide a copy of your divorce decree that states you are responsible for your former spouse's health coverage; then, you can enroll your former spouse in an individual plan at full cost.

Examples of Documentation

Dependent TypeDocumentation Needed
SpouseMarriage Certificate
PartnerMIT Affidavit of Partnership for Benefits Eligibility
Birth child up to age 26Birth Certificate showing name of child and name of employee
Adopted child up to age 26Adoption Certificate showing name of child, name of employee, and birthdate of the child
Step-child up to age 26Birth Certificate showing name of child and spouse’s/partner’s name AND Marriage Certificate showing employee’s name and spouse’s/partner’s name
Child up to age 26 for whom you are the Legal GuardianProof of Legal Guardianship AND Birth Certificate
Child with a mental or physical disability up to age 26 or older who is not able to earn his or her own livingAppropriate documentation as listed above for birth, adoption or legal guardian status AND Certification by Medical Plan
Child recognized under a Qualified Medical Child Support OrderQualified Medical Child Support Order AND Birth Certificate
Birth child of an enrolled dependent child (as defined above)Birth Certificate showing name of birth child and name of your enrolled dependent child
Divorced SpousePlease contact MIT Benefits