Human Resources

Life Events

 
Washington University’s health plans are tax-qualified plans subject to regulations established
by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is this tax-favored plan status that allows University
employees to pay for their health/dental insurance coverage on a pre-tax basis. In order to
maintain the tax-qualified status of our plans and provide this tax-favored benefit to our
employees, we are required to comply with IRS regulations regarding employees enrolling in or
making changes to their health/dental benefits.

 

1.  What if I get married and I need to change my health insurance?

If you get married, you can add your spouse to your health/dental plans or if you wish to cancel health/dental coverage and be added to your spouse's coverage, you can make these changes within 31 days from the date of marriage.

Click on the link below to initiate the Life Event (marriage) within 31 days from the date of marriage: HRMS Life Event Page

Necessary documentation:  copy of marriage certificate. You will need to submit a copy of your marriage certificate within 31 days from the marriage, submit to the Benefits Office, CB 1190/fax to 935-8198 (Danforth Employees) or CB 8002/fax 362-2500 (Medical School Employees). 

For manual enrollment, complete the Benefits Enrollment/Change form and the Dependent Verification Affidavit, click on the link below to complete manual forms:

Benefits Healthcare Forms

You have 31 days from the date of marriage to add a spouse to your health insurance or cancel coverage if you wish to be covered under your spouse’s healthcare coverage. If you do not submit the appropriate paperwork within the 31-day deadline, you must wait until the annual open enrollment (in November) to make these changes and the effective date will be January 1.

2.  What if I have a baby/adopt a child?

You have 62 days from the birth or adoption to add your newborn/child to your health insurance (even if you already have family coverage). The newborn will be covered retroactive to the newborn’s birth date or the date you received custody of your adopted child. In addition to health insurance, you can also make changes to Flexible spending and child life insurance options. The Benefits Office will not accept change forms after the 62 day deadline, you must wait until the annual open enrollment (in November) to add the child to your health insurance plan and the effective date will be January 1.

Click on the link below to initiate the Life Event (birth/adoption) within 31 days from the date of newborn’s birth or date you received custody of your adopted child: HRMS Life Event Page

Necessary documentation:  birth of baby - currently no documentation is required. Adoption papers for adopted child, submit a copy adoption papers within 62 days to Benefits Office, CB 1190/fax to 935-8198 (Danforth Employees) or CB 8002/fax 362-2500 (Medical School Employees). Be sure to add the newborn/adopted child’s social security number on-line through Employee Self Service.

If it is past 31 days and less than 62 days, you must add the newborn/adopted child to your benefit plans by completing the Benefits Enrollment/Change form and the Dependent Verification Affidavit in order for your child to be covered after the first 31 days. Click on the link below to complete the manual forms:

Benefits Healthcare Forms

3.  What if I get divorced?

If your spouse is on your health/dental insurance through the University, your spouse will lose eligibility for health/dental insurance at the end of the month in which the divorce is final.

Click on the link below to initiate the Life Event (divorce) within 31 days from the date of divorce: HRMS Life Event Page

Necessary documentation:  copy of the first and last page of divorce decree containing judge’s signature and date. If the divorce decree requires you to provide health/dental coverage for children, provide a copy of appropriate language regarding this. You will need to submit a copy of the divorce decree within 31 days to the Benefits Office, CB 1190/fax to 935-8198 (Danforth Employees) or CB 8002/fax 362-2500 (Medical School Employees).

For manual enrollment, complete the Benefits Enrollment/Change form to cancel coverage for your ex-spouse. If the divorce decree requires you to provide health/dental insurance for children who were previously not covered, you must add them to your health/dental insurance within 31 days of the divorce. Click on the link below to complete the manual forms:

Benefits Healthcare Forms

Note:  When you remove your ex-spouse from your health/dental insurance due to a divorce, your ex-spouse will be entitled to up to 36 months of coverage through COBRA. To enroll an ex-spouse in COBRA, please contact Jennifer Gang at jennifergang@wustl.edu.

4.  What if my Spouse/Domestic Partner has a change in employment?

If your spouse/domestic partner has a change in employment, you may apply for health/dental insurance for yourself, your spouse/domestic partner and eligible children who lost coverage through your spouse/domestic partner.  You may also terminate your current health/dental coverage or remove covered dependents.

Click on the link below to initiate the Life Event (Spouse/Domestic Partner Employment Change):  HRMS Life Event Page

Necessary documentation: Copy of letter/document explaining spouse/domestic partner’s loss of health coverage or new coverage effective date. Submit a copy of documentation and effective date within 31 days to the Benefits Office, CB 1190/fax to 935-8198 (Danforth Employees) or CB 8002/fax 362-2500 (Medical School Employees).

For manual enrollment, complete the Benefits Enrollment/Change form to add/cancel a dependent.  Complete the Dependent Verification Affidavit if you are adding a spouse/domestic partner or eligible child.  If you are adding a domestic partner, you must complete a Domestic Partner Verification form and also submit proof of residency (i.e., copy of utility bill or bank statement showing same address).  Click on the link below to complete the manual forms:

Benefits Healthcare Forms

The Benefits Office will not accept changes after your 31 day deadline. If you do not submit the appropriate paperwork within the 31 day deadline, you must wait until the annual open enrollment (in November) to make your changes and the effective date will be January 1.

5.  What if my dependent child is no longer eligible for coverage?  Cancel dependent child or domestic partner child.

If your child is no longer eligible for coverage under your health plan due as a result of attaining the maximum age for coverage of a child under the plan, the child will be deleted from your coverage automatically at the end of the month in which the child attains the maximum age for coverage.  You will not need to submit any paperwork to delete the child in that situation

Click on the link below to initiate the Life Event (Cancel eligible child or domestic partner child):  HRMS Life Event Page

Necessary documentation:  a copy of letter/document showing your child is now eligible for healthcare coverage under his/her own employer's health plan (e.g. copy of employer's offer letter).  Submit a copy of the documentation indicating that the child is now eligible for coverage and the effective date along with a completed Benefits Enrollment/Change form within 31 days to the Benefits Office, CB 1190/fax to 935-8198 (Danforth Employees) or CB 8002/fax 362-2500 (Medical School Employees). 

For manual enrollment, complete the Benefits Enrollment Change form to cancel a child or domestic partner child. Click on the link below to complete the manual forms:

Benefits Healthcare Forms

The Benefits Office will not accept changes after your 31 day deadline. If you do not submit the appropriate paperwork within the 31 day deadline, you must wait until the annual open enrollment (in November) to make your changes and the effective date will be January 1.

Note:  If your child is no longer eligible for coverage under your healthcare plan as a result of attaining the maximum age for coverage of a child under the plan (26), the child will be deleted from your coverage automatically at the end of the month in which the child attains 26.  You will not need to submit any paperwork to delete the child in that situation.

6.  What if my dependent child is now eligible for coverage?   Add dependent child or domestic partner child.

If your child is eligible for coverage under your current health plan due to loss of coverage under an employer sponsored health plan or other group health plan, you can add your  dependent child or domestic partner child to your health/dental coverage.

Click on the link below to initiate the Life Event (Add eligible child or domestic partner child):  HRMS Life Event Page

Necessary documentation:  a copy of letter/document verifying the effective date of when the child is no longer eligible for healthcare coverage under a group health plan (e.g. copy of employer's termination letter).  Submit a copy of the documentation indicating that the child is now eligible for coverage and the effective date. Submit documentation to the Benefits Office, CB 1190/fax to 935-8198 (Danforth Employees) or CB 8002/fax 362-2500 (Medical School Employees).

For manual enrollment, complete the Benefits Enrollment Change form and Dependent Verification Affidavit to add the eligible child or domestic partner child.  Click on the link below to complete the manual forms:

Benefits Healthcare Forms

The Benefits Office will not accept changes after your 31 day deadline. If you do not submit the appropriate paperwork within the 31 day deadline, you must wait until the annual open enrollment (in November) to make your changes and the effective date will be January 1.

7.  What if I am approved for a leave of absence?

On an approved University leave of absence (whether paid or unpaid), your current benefits will be continued as if you remain an active employee. These benefits include medical, flex spending, life insurance, long term disability insurance, long term care insurance and retirement annuity. The University continues to make its contributions where applicable and you make your contributions depending on your salary status during the leave of absence. If you’re on a paid leave of absence, insurance premiums and retirement contributions will be deducted from your paycheck; if you’re on an unpaid leave of absence, you will be invoiced for your insurance premiums. You cannot contribute to your retirement annuity while on an unpaid leave of absence. Contact Sandy Allen at allensa@wustl.edu if you are on an unpaid leave of absence and need to be set up for monthly billing.

8.  What if my hours change from full-time to part-time, or vice versa? 

You may enroll or cancel health/dental insurance due to a change in hours, as long as you make changes within 31 days of your change in hours.  If you miss your 31-day deadline, you must wait until open enrollment (in November) to enroll in or cancel your health/dental insurance. For purposes of clarification -- full-time is 100% FTE and part-time is 50% to 99% FTE.    You may add or delete eligible dependents as necessary.  Once your new status has been approved by your department, you will receive an e-mail notification from the Benefits Department indicating your on-line event is ready for your review through e-Benefits (Employee Self Service).  Follow the instructions in the e-mail and make sure  you "Finalize" your on-line changes within 31 days of the Event Date.  You will receive a confirmation e-mail within 48 hours once your changes have been processed by the Benefits Department.  If you prefer to complete paper forms to make your changes you can locate the necessary forms by clicking on the link below.

Benefits Healthcare Forms

9.  What if I leave the University?

Please visit Leaving the University for complete information.

10.  What if I retire?

To be eligible for retirement benefits from the University, you must meet the “Rule of 65” which is any combination of age and years of current consecutive benefits-eligible service that equals 65 or more with two minimum requirements: age 55 and 5 years of benefits-eligible service.

If you meet these requirements, you may continue your health insurance through the University upon retirement. Your health/dental insurance premiums will change when you retire, and you will receive a billing statement each month for the amount due.

If you are enrolled in term or universal life insurance when you retire, you may convert your insurance to an individual policy. If you wish to convert your basic or supplemental term life insurance, you must submit a completed conversion form and your first quarterly premium to MetLife within 31 days of your retirement date. The University provides a free $5,000 life insurance policy to retirees who have MetLife supplemental term life insurance on their retirement date. If you wish to continue your variable universal life insurance, please contact MetLife at 314-862-2211.

If you have met the eligibility requirements for child tuition assistance benefits at your retirement, your eligible children will continue to receive the tuition assistance benefits throughout your retirement. The level of benefit received will depend on your full time or part time status on the date you retire.
 

11.  What should I do if my spouse/domestic partner or dependent child dies?

If your spouse/domestic partner or dependent child dies, please contact your benefits office to determine the benefits available to you and the impact on your future benefits.

12.  When should I consider changing my beneficiaries for life insurance and retirement savings?

When you get married, have a baby, get divorced or if your spouse/domestic partner or dependent child dies, you should consider updating your beneficiary elections for Life Insurance and the Retirement Savings Plan. 

The Retirement Savings Plan requires that your spouse be listed as your beneficiary unless this right is waived by your spouse.  Update your beneficiary election by logging onto your Vanguard http://www.vanguard.com or TIAA-CREF https://www.tiaa-cref.org/public/index.html account

The Life Insurance Plan beneficiary can be updated by choosing the MetLife MyBenefits link below or go to the Insurance Summary page of HRMS/Employee Self Service/Benefits.
Mybenefits.Metlife MyBenefits

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