Change in Family Coverage

If you've had a change in your family, such as a marriage or a new baby, you may want to add your new dependent to your coverage. Or maybe you want to remove a dependent who is no longer eligible due to age or divorce.

Family status changes like these allow you to make a change to your coverage after your initial benefits eligibility or outside of Open Enrollment. But you must make your request, consistent with the status change, within 30 days of the date of change.

Family Status Changes

Here’s the list of family status changes:

  • Change in legal marital status, including marriage, divorce, or annulment
  • Death of your spouse or last eligible dependent child
  • Birth or adoption of your eligible dependent child
  • Change in last dependent child's eligibility because of age
  • Commencement or termination of employment for you, spouse, or dependent
  • Change in your or your spouse's employment status from part-time to full-time or from full-time to part-time
  • Change in the place of residence or worksite for you, spouse, or dependent to a location outside of the current plan's service area and the current plan is not available

You need to provide documentation for your enrollment change. See the Required Documentation for Status Events (pdf) to learn what you need to include.

If you don’t apply within 30 days of the family status change, you’ll have to wait until the next available Open Enrollment to make a change.

If you have specific questions or you want to request a benefit change, call 4-UOHR (612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363) and select option 1 or send an email to benefits@umn.edu.

Benefits Available for Change

See one of the sections below for:

Benefits Available with Birth and Adoption

Changes within 30 days of the birth or adoption of your child:

  • Add to your medical or dental plan with coverage effective on the date of birth or adoption. You can also add your spouse who has not been covered under the UPlan.
  • Enroll in a dependent daycare or health care flexible spending account or change the amount in your current account effective with the first full payroll period following the date of birth or adoption
  • Add child life insurance for $10,000 without evidence of good health.

Call 4-UOHR (612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363) and select option 1 to request these benefit changes. After the 30-day window, you need to wait until the next Open Enrollment.

Changes at any time during the year:

  • Add or increase additional employee life insurance, subject to underwriting, up to $500,000 or, if greater, five times your annual base salary but not more than $1 million
  • Add spouse life insurance, subject to underwriting, up to a maximum of $500,000
  • Add or increase the amount of short-term disability, subject to underwriting
  • Update beneficiaries on your life insurance and retirement plans

Leaves for Adoptions and Births

Determine how your benefits will be affected by your leave. Call 4-UOHR (612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363) and select option 1 to discuss options if you have short-term disability insurance or you plan to take a leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

  • Depending on your employment classification, you can use parental, sick, vacation, FMLA, and unpaid time for your leave. If you need help understanding programs and policies regarding your leave, contact your HR Lead.

Tax Changes Related to Adoptions and Births

Update your personal and W-4 tax information with the number of federal and state withholding allowances.

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Benefits Available with Marriage

Changes within 30 days of your marriage:

  • Add your spouse to your medical or dental plan with coverage effective on the date of your marriage
  • Enroll in a flexible spending account or change the amount effective with the first full payroll period following the date of your marriage
  • Add spouse life insurance in multiples of $1,000 up to $10,000 without evidence of good health

Call 4-UOHR (612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363) and select option 1 or send an email to benefits@umn.edu within 30 days to request these benefit changes. After the 30-day window, you need to wait until the next available Open Enrollment.

Changes at any time during the year:

  • Add spouse life insurance, subject to underwriting, up to a maximum of $500,000
  • Add or increase employee additional life insurance, subject to underwriting, up to a maximum of $500,000 or, if greater, five times your annual salary (rounded up to the next $1,000) but not more than $1 million
  • Add or increase the amount of short-term disability, subject to underwriting
  • Update your beneficiary on your retirement and insurance plans

Additional Changes Related to Marriage

Update Personal Information

  • Update your address
  • Change your name
  • Add your new spouse as an emergency contact

Update Your W-4 Tax Information

  • Update the number of federal and state withholding allowances
  • Update your marital status

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Eligibility Change Due to Divorce

You must notify Employee Benefits within 30 days of your divorce because it affects your ex-spouse's continued eligibility for benefits.

Medical and Dental Coverage for Ex-Spouses

Medical and dental coverage for your ex-spouse end on the last day of the month in which the divorce is final. You need to cancel coverage within 30 days of the date of divorce. If you don't, the family contribution rate will continue to be deducted from your pay, but any services for your ex-spouse will not be covered.

If you have children covered, you would start paying the employee and children contribution rate.

To remove your ex-spouse or cancel coverage, call 4-UOHR (612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363) and select option 1.

COBRA Continuation Coverage for Ex-Spouses

Your ex-spouse may continue group medical and dental coverage under COBRA Continuation of Coverage until the earlier of:

  • 36 months following loss of coverage, or
  • covered under another group insurance plan.

Your ex-spouse must pay the full cost of coverage plus a 2% administrative charge.

To elect continuation of group medical and dental coverage, your ex-spouse must complete the Request for Continuation of Coverage form (pdf) no later than 60 days after the date of divorce.

You can get the form by calling 4-UOHR (612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363) and select option 1 or send an email to benefits@umn.edu.

Ex-Spouse Life Coverage

Spouse life coverage ends on the last day of the month in which the divorce is final. You will need to cancel spouse life coverage within 30 days.

Your ex-spouse cannot continue spouse life coverage under COBRA; however, he/she has the option to convert the spouse life amount to an individual insurance policy. Call 4-UOHR (612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363) and select option 1 to request the form to cancel coverage and information on the conversion policy.

Flexible Spending Accounts After Divorce

You can change your election in a health care or dependent daycare flexible spending account no later than 30 days after the date of your divorce.

Changing Beneficiary Designations After a Divorce

For information to change the beneficiary designation for your retirement plan and life insurance, call 4-UOHR (612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363) and select option 1.

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Coverage Eligibility for Children Through Age 25

Under the Affordable Care Act, the University makes it possible for you to cover your children, unmarried or married, through age 25 (up to the 26th birthday) on the UPlan Medical and Dental Program, regardless of student status and even if the adult child no longer lives with you. See Benefits Eligibility for detailed information.

End of Dependent Eligibility Status for Covered Children

When your child reaches age 26, dependent status ends. Coverage for your child ends on the last day of the month in which he/she turns age 26.

Your child can continue coverage under COBRA Continuation of Coverage for up to 36 months by paying the full cost plus a 2% administrative fee. Request the COBRA instructions and application within 60 days of the date your child loses eligibility. Call 4-UOHR (612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363) and select option 1 or send an email to benefits@umn.edu.

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