What Is a Qualifying Event?
A qualifying event is a change in an employee’s personal or professional life that may impact their eligibility or dependents’ eligibility for benefits. When experiencing a qualifying event, employees have 31 days from the date of the event to submit a change form to the Department of Human Resource Benefits Division. If 31 days has passed, employees must wait until the next Open Enrollment period or experience another qualifying event to make a change. Any changes made must be consistent with the qualifying event experienced.
Below is a quick reference for the most common qualifying events and the types of changes that are permitted:
|Type of Qualifying Event||Change(s) permitted||Effective date of change(s)||Documentation required|
|Birth or adoption of a child||Add new dependent to existing coverage, new enrollment(s), and changes to FSA||Date of birth or adoption||Copy of birth letter, birth certificate, or copy of adoption agreement|
|Marriage||Add or drop coverage or a dependent for health, dental, and FSA||First of the month following the receipt of paperwork||Copy of the marriage certificate|
|Divorce||Drop former spouse from coverage||End of the month in which divorce is final||Copy of final divorce decree|
|Death||Drop deceased dependent from coverage||End of the month in which dependent dies||Death Certificate or documentation of date of death|
|Change in employee’s or spouse’s eligibility for employment or eligibility for benefits||Varies, but generally can add or drop dependents and/or add or drop benefits||First of the month following the receipt of paperwork||Document from employer stating that a change in eligibility or employment has occurred|
There are many other life events that may allow you to make a benefits change. This table is not an exhaustive list. For more information on these and other Qualifying Events, see the Qualifying Event Form. Please call HR Benefits Division at 501-7371 with questions.
Complete the Qualifying Event Form and a new enrollment form for each benefit you wish to change (i.e., Health and Dental). Send these forms, along with supporting documentation to the HR Benefits Division within 31 days of the qualifying event. Please consider how the timing of your paperwork submittal will impact the date your change is effective. Call HR Benefits at 501-7371 with questions.
Update your information: With many qualifying events, you may want to change your personal information, which you can update through STEP Employee Direct Access. You might also want to update your VRS Beneficiary (complete a new VRS-2) and your Deferred Compensation Beneficiary (ING or ICMA-RC) with forms linked below.