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Life Events

The Life Events site provides you with information to consider when major life changes occur; such as, the birth or adoption of a child, marriage, retirement, or termination of employment. Each event lists your options, tells you who to consult with questions, links you to forms and publications, and describes how to make changes to your benefits.

Qualifying Status Change

A qualifying status change is a specific event or change that allows you to make changes to your benefit elections. Federal restrictions prohibit you from dropping, adding, or changing any plan paid with pre-tax dollars during the plan year, unless a qualifying status change occurs. Most benefit plan changes associated with a life event must be made in the benefits enrollment system within 30 calendar days of the qualifying life event date.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides guidelines on when employees may and may not make changes to pre-tax benefit plans. Examples of “Qualifying Status Changes” follow:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce or legal separation
  • Birth or adoption (or placement of adoption) of child
  • Death (yours or that of a covered dependent)
  • Unpaid leave of absence for you or your spouse
  • Change in your employment status (i.e., changing from full-time to part-time)
  • Change in your spouse’s employment, impacting his/her benefits eligibility
  • Your dependent turns age 26

If none of the events listed apply to an employee’s situation, the employee will need to wait for the next annual enrollment period in order to enroll or make changes to their benefits.

Dependent Eligibility Verification

When adding a spouse or child due to a life event, dependent eligibility verification is required.  Supporting documentation must be uploaded in the University’s enrollment website at the time the life event transaction is completed. Examples of supporting documentation include marriage certificate, legal adoption record, birth certificate, etc.