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Qualifying Events and Open Enrollment

Qualifying Events

Qualifying events may consist of any of the following "family events":

  • Marriage or divorce
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Death of a spouse or dependent
  • Significant change in the health care coverage of the employee or the employee’s spouse attributable to the spouse’s employment
  • The taking an unpaid leave of absence by you or your spouse
  • Change from part-time employment to full-time employment or the reverse by you or your spouse

Other significant changes, such as a move to a new address, would be considered a qualifying event.

How do qualifying events affect my benefits?

To ensure that your benefit needs and wishes are met, it is important that:

  • The beneficiaries of your life and retirement plans are listed according to your wishes or as required by law.
  • Your dependents are covered as needed under a health care and dental plan.
  • Your deductions reflect the proper amount. For example, if a dependent is no longer eligible to be covered under a health plan, you may save money by changing from family to two-person coverage.

IRS code permits changes in pretax employee deductions only within 30 days of a qualifying event or during an open enrollment period.

How should I report a qualifying event?

If you have experienced or are anticipating a qualifying event, contact Human Resources to update your health, welfare, and retirement plan elections.

Open Enrollment Period

Rensselaer's Open Enrollment Period is the only time during the year that employees can elect to enroll in or change benefits without a qualifying event. This typically occurs in early November and extends for two weeks. The benefit elections must be completed by the end of the business day on the last day of Open Enrollment. The effective date for your benefit changes will take effect January 1 of the following year.

More detailed information is available in the Human Resources office.

Last modified: September 8, 2009
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