Eligibility and participation

Learn about the eligibility rules governing the vision plan
hand document

Who is eligible

You are eligible to participate in the Vision Plan if you are classified as a full-time or part-time employee of a participating employer.

Full-time employee: An employee assigned a position that:

  • Requires full-time service as determined by bp;
  • Is established to fill regular and ordinary employment requirements; and
  • Is expected to continue for an indefinite period of time.

Part-time employee: An employee assigned a position that is:

  • Regular and ordinary in nature;
  • Expected to continue for an indefinite period of time; and
  • One in which the employee works a schedule that is less than that of a full-time employee but is at least 20 hours a week.

Eligible dependents

If you participate in the Vision Plan, you may also enroll your eligible dependents under your vision coverage. Eligible dependents include your:
  • Spouse, including a legally separated spouse.
  • Common-law spouse (if you and your common-law spouse reside in a state that recognizes your common-law marriage as a legal marriage).
  • Opposite-sex or same-sex domestic partner.
  • Eligible dependent child.
Except for COBRA continuation, you must participate in the Vision Plan for your dependents to also be eligible.

An "eligible dependent child" is a child up to age 26* if he/she is:
  • Your natural or adopted child (including a child placed with you for adoption);
  • A child for whom you have legal guardianship;
  • A child of your spouse/domestic partner; or
  • A grandchild who lives with you in a regular parent/child relationship for at least half the year and receives at least 50% of his/her financial support from you. This includes only a grandchild related to you by blood, marriage or domestic partnership whose parents do not live with the child and for whose daily care and guidance you are legally responsible. 
* An eligible covered child who is totally and permanently disabled at the time he/she turns age 26 can continue to be covered as long as approved by the claims administrator.

Your dependent does not qualify as an eligible dependent if he/she is:
  • On active duty in the military.
  • Covered as a bp employee in a bp-sponsored vision plan.
  • Covered as a dependent of another bp employee in a bp-sponsored vision plan.
Special rules apply if your spouse/domestic partner is also an eligible bp employee. You may do either of the following:
  • Each of you may enroll for "You only" coverage if no other dependents are covered.
  • One of you may enroll in a coverage level that includes dependents, with the other covered as one of your dependents. "You only" coverage is not available for the spouse/domestic partner covered as a dependent.
In order for a same-sex spouse to be covered as a spouse under the plan, the marriage must have been conducted in a state that recognizes the legality of your same-sex marriage, and you will have to submit a copy of the marriage license from that state. Note that civil union ceremonies are specifically not permitted to be treated as marriages under federal law. If you participated in a civil union only, your partner must be treated as your domestic partner by the plan, and premiums for him/her must be made on an after-tax basis.

Domestic partners

There are two alternative methods for qualifying your same-sex or opposite-sex domestic partner as an "eligible dependent":

  • Alternative "A": Register your domestic partnership or civil union in accordance with registration requirements in the state in which you and your domestic partner or civil union partner reside. Your registration date is the first date you can enroll your partner as a domestic partner under the Vision Plan; or
  • Alternative "B": Satisfy each of the following requirements for at least six full months before signing a Domestic Partner Affidavit. The date you are first eligible to sign the affidavit is the date your partner will be considered your domestic partner for plan purposes.
    • Be each other's sole domestic partner and intend to remain so indefinitely;
    • Reside together in the same principal residence and intend to remain so indefinitely;
    • Be emotionally committed to one another, share joint responsibilities for the partnership's common welfare and be financially interdependent;
    • Be at least 18 years old, of legal age and mentally competent to enter into contracts;
    • Not be related by blood closer than would bar marriage under applicable law where you live; and
    • Not be legally married to, nor the domestic partner of, anyone else.

Note: Under the Vision Plan, and pursuant to federal law, a civil union must be treated by the plan the same as a domestic partnership.

Your domestic partner will cease being an eligible dependent as of the date you cease to satisfy any of the above conditions. If your domestic partnership ends, call the bp Benefits Center immediately.


Publication date: April 2019


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