Changing Benefits: Life Events

A qualifying life event is a major change to an individual’s life
that allows them the opportunity to change their benefits election.
A few examples include retirement, marriage, divorce, and birth of a child.
UNI Life Events

Summary of Life Events

  • Change in legal marital status.
  • Change in the number of your dependents.
  • Change in employment status.
  • Change in employment status of your spouse or dependent.
  • Change in your dependent’s eligibility status.
  • Change in residence for you, your spouse, or dependent.
  • You, your spouse, or dependent becomes entitled to Medicare or Medicaid.
  • You are served with a judgment, order or decree.


Complete List of Benefits

Description of Live Events

When you enroll in benefits, your benefit elections remain in effect to the end of the plan year and you cannot make any changes until the next enrollment and change period unless you experience a qualified life event and the benefit change is consistent with the event. In most cases, unless otherwise noted, you have 30 days from the date of the event to make a change to your benefits

Qualified events are defined by Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code, based on individual circumstances and plan eligibility. This list may not apply to every benefit plan.

The following is a list of life events that may enable you to change your benefit elections.

Change in legal marital status such as:
  • Marriage
  • Divorce, legal separation, annulment
  • Spouse’s death

Change in the number of your dependents such as:
  • Adoption, placement for adoption
  • Death of a dependent
  • Birth, you must notify the UNI Benefits staff within sixty (60) days of the birth of a biological child.
    • If a family contract is in effect at the time of the birth, you must submit a Health/Dental Change Form within 60 days of the birth and the coverage will be retroactive to the date of birth.
    • If a single contract is in effect at the time of the birth, the enrollee must submit a Health/Dental Enrollment Form to change to a family contract within 60 days from the date of birth. The effective date of the family contract will be the first of the month in which the child was born. The employee’s share of the family premium begins with the effective date.
    • If a single contract holder does not submit the application for family coverage within 60 days following the birth of the child, the child will not be able to be added until the following enrollment and change period and benefits will not be retroactive to the date of birth.

Change in employment status such as:
  • Beginning of paid or unpaid leave (including FMLA).
  • Returning from paid or unpaid leave (including FMLA).
  • A change in your employment status that causes you to become eligible or cease to be eligible under the plan.
  • A change in your bargaining status that causes you to become eligible or cease to be eligible under the plan.

Change in employment status of your spouse or dependent such as:
  • Your spouse terminates employment resulting in a loss of eligibility under their employer’s plan.
  • Your spouse or dependent begins employment and becomes eligible for the new employer’s plan.
  • Your spouse or dependent begins an unpaid leave.
  • Your spouse or dependent returns from unpaid leave.
  • Other change in your spouse’s employment status that causes your spouse to cease to be eligible for coverage under his or her plan.
  • Other change in your spouse’s employment status that causes your spouse to gain eligibility for coverage under his or her plan.

Change in your dependent’s eligibility status such as:
  • Your dependent ceases to satisfy plan eligibility requirements because of age, student status or any similar circumstance.
  • Your dependent satisfies plan eligibility by being a full-time student.

Change in residence for you, your spouse, or dependent such as:
  • You, your spouse or dependent moves outside the managed care organization’s (MCO) service area.
  • You, your spouse or dependent moves into a new managed care organization’s (MCO) service area.
  • You, your spouse or dependent moves and becomes ineligible under spouse’s current health plan.
  • You, your spouse or dependent moves and becomes eligible under spouse’s current health plan.

You, your spouse or dependent becomes entitled to Medicare or Medicaid:
  • You, your spouse or dependent enrolled in your health plan becomes eligible for Medicare or Medicaid.
  • You, your spouse or dependent loses entitlement to Medicare or Medicaid.

You are served with a judgment, order or decree such as:
  • A court order resulting from a divorce, legal separation, annulment or change in legal custody that requires you to provide medical coverage for your child.
  • A court order resulting from a divorce, legal separation, annulment or change in legal custody that ends coverage for your child.


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Date Updated:May 13, 2011