Human Resources

What is a Life Event Change?

Benefit plans can be affected by life event changes, some of which qualify as an official change in status by the IRS. Generally, when you enroll in benefits as a new employee, you cannot any changes until the next Open Enrollment period. However, if you experience a qualified change in status, you can make mid-year changes.

Some examples that you may make include:

  • Change in the number of people covered under your plans
  • Enroll or discontinue your coverage

What is a life event change?

A life event change, also called a qualifying event, is a personal change in status which may allow you to change your benefit elections. Examples of some qualifying events include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Change in legal marital status - marriage, divorce, legal separation, annulment, or death of a spouse
  2. Change in the number of dependents - birth, death, adoption, placement for adoption, award of legal guardianship
  3. Change in employment status of the employee's spouse or employee's dependent switching from part-time to full-time employment status or from full-time to part-time, termination or commencement of employment, commencement or return from an unpaid leave of absence which results in the employee/dependent becoming ineligible for coverage
  4. Dependent satisfies or ceases to satisfy eligibility requirement - marriage of a dependent or change in student status

What to do if you experience a qualifying event

If you experience a qualifying event, you will need to request a change to your benefits within 30 calendar days of the event and provide required documentation. If you do not request the change within the 30-day period, the next opportunity you will have to make changes to your benefits will be during the next open enrollment period.

See this full list of qualifying events for more detailed information.