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 make any changes until the next Open Enrollment period. However, if you experience a qualified change in status you can make mid-year changes. A qualifying event, also called a life event change, 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:
- Change in legal marital status – marriage, divorce, legal separation, annulment, death of a spouse.
- Change in number of dependents – birth, death, adoption, placement for adoption, award of legal guardianship.
- 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, a strike or lockout, commencement of or return from an unpaid leave of absence which results in employee/dependent becoming ineligible for coverage.
- Dependent satisfies or ceases to satisfy eligibility requirement – marriage of a dependent or change in student status.