Life Events and your Benefits

This article explains what qualifying life events are and the timeframe to make changes to your benefit plans if/when a qualifying life event occurs.

Will you experience a marriage, birth/adoption of a child or another qualifying life event in 2019?

A qualifying life event is a change in your personal situation. This could be a family change like a marriage, birth/adoption of a child, divorce, loss of other coverage or an employment change like a leave of absence or retirement.

Events like these may allow you to make changes to your benefit plans mid-year such as adding a dependent, enrolling in a plan you do not currently have, or cancelling coverage in a plan. If you are not sure if your event is considered a qualifying life event, review the Life Event webpage or visit ALEX, your personalized benefits counselor to help make this determination.

If you have a qualifying life event, when should you make changes to your benefit plans?

Mid-year life event changes are time-sensitive and typically need to be made within 30 days from the date of the qualifying life event. It is important to complete and submit the necessary paperwork to your human resources office in a timely manner.

What if you miss the 30-day window to make changes to your benefits mid-year?

If you miss the opportunity to make changes to your benefit plans mid-year, your next opportunity to make a change will be during the Annual Benefits Enrollment period. This period is held each Fall for coverage effective January 1 of the next calendar year.

You may also have another opportunity to make changes to your benefit plans mid-year if you experience a second or subsequent life event mid–year. For example, an employee gets married in January and does not make any benefits changes, then has an August employment change. The employee would have another 30-day window to make changes due to the August employment change.

Are you able to update your beneficiaries if you experience a qualifying life event?

Yes! Updating your beneficiary information does not require a qualifying life event. You may update your beneficiaries at any time throughout the year. Some of the plans that have beneficiaries are the life insurance plans, the health savings account and the retirement plans. Review the Beneficiary webpage for additional beneficiary information.

Reminder: You typically have just 30 days from the date of the qualifying life event to make changes to your benefit plans. Complete your research now so you know what to expect once your qualifying live event occurs.

Source: UW System Human Resources