The Office of Human Resources

Qualifying Life Events and Open Enrollment

Qualifying Life Events

A qualifying life event is something that dramatically changes your health insurance needs. When such an event occurs, an employee is permitted to add to or drop their current health plan to reflect the life event; they may not change their current plan to a different plan. Qualifying event changes must be made within 31 days of the event.

Examples of a life event include:

  • Changes in legal marital status: marriage, death of spouse, divorce, legal separation or annulment.
  • Birth, adoption or placement for adoption of a child.
  • Death of a spouse or dependent.
  • Change in job status for you, your spouse or eligible dependent.
  • Covered dependent reaches the age limit for coverage, making him or her ineligible.
  • You, your spouse or eligible dependent moves out of or into your medical plan's service area.
  • You, your spouse or eligible dependent begins or returns from an unpaid leave of absence.

To initiate a benefits change related to a qualifying event, please log into WorkDay and click on Change Benefits and use the drop down menu to select the applicable Qualifying Event. Please see the Job Aid Qualifying Event. 

Open Enrollment

Open enrollment is the two-week period, usually in early November, when employees can update or change their medical, dental or vision plans, and enroll (or re-enroll) in the health care and/or dependent care flexible spending accounts. The changes take effect on Jan. 1.

During this period, human resources sponsors several benefits information sessions, both in person and online, to review the open enrollment process and discuss new benefit offerings for faculty and staff.

Open enrollment is done through Workday, the university's self-service portal. Human resources will send several all-university emails during this period reminding employees of the opportunity to update or change their benefit plans.