Adoption Benefit Program
Assistance is available for employees adding to their families through adoption. All employees eligible to receive State of Illinois group insurance are eligible for the Adoption Benefit Program. Active employees who opt out or waive health, dental and vision coverage remain eligible for the Adoption Benefit Program. The program will reimburse eligible expenses up to a maximum of $1,500 for a waiting child and up to $1,000 for any other child. All adoption benefits are subject to Medicare and Social Security taxes.
Waiting children are defined as:
- Minority children age three and over, or
- Caucasian children age 11 and over, or
- Children with a diagnosis of a specific mental, physical, or emotional disability, or
- Children who need to be adopted with brothers and sisters, or
- Foreign children age three and over.
Eligible expenses for reimbursement include:
- Legal fees
- Court fees
- Adoption agency fees, including foreign adoption fees (adoption agency must be licensed by the State of Illinois).
- Required medical exams for the child.
- Initial immunizations for the child.
- Transportation costs to bring the child to the adopting parents (or for the adult accompanying the child to the United States).
Expenses not eligible for reimbursement include:
Filing for reimbursement
- Expenses for adopting step-children.
- Expenses for adopting children related to either parent, such as nephews, nieces, cousins, brothers or sisters.
- Transportation for the adopting parents.
- Medical examination fees for the adopting parents.
- Cost of personal items for either parents or child during or after the adoption, such as clothing or food.
- Expenses provided by other adoption assistance programs.
- Pledges, gifts or support fees to an adoption agency.
The adoption must be final before you are eligible to receive reimbursement. The request for reimbursement must be received within one year from the end of the Plan Year the adoption became final. If both husband and wife are State Employees, only one adoption benefit is available per child.
The following documentation is required:
- An informal memo or letter to CMS/Group Insurance Division stating that an adoption has been completed of a child who is not related to the employee or spouse. The memo or letter must include the employee's name, address, employee work and/or home telephone number and employer name.
- A copy of the adoption decree from a court in the United States or Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) home study approval letter for adoption of a child outside the United States.
- Itemized bills, or receipts for eligible expenses.
Submit documentation to:
Health Insurance Coverage
Adoption Benefit Program
DCMS Group Insurance Division
801 S. 7th Street
P.O. Box 19208
Springfield, IL 62794-9208
Once a petition for adoption has been filed or custody of the child has been granted, you may cover the child under the State Group Insurance Program. If custody is obtained and the child is added to the member's plan within 60 days of the event, the effective date of coverage can be retroactive to the child's date of birth or placement for adoption.
For questions about adoptions in general, please contact the Adoption Information Center of Illinois at 800-572-2390.