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Qualifying Events

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Understanding Qualifying Events

What is a qualifying life event?

A change in your life that allows you to enroll in, or change health insurance outside of the normal yearly open enrollment period.

When can I enroll in the special enrollment period after a qualifying life event?

The special enrollment period is open for 30 days from the point of the qualifying life event to make changes in benefit elections.

If the 30 day window passes, the next opportunity to make changes will be in the open enrollment period in November during Open Enrollment.

Can I change my benefits in anticipation of a life event?

No, benefits can only be changed in the 30 day period from the point of the qualified life event occurring.

Qualifying Life Events

  • Marriage, legal separation, annulment, or divorce
  • Birth, adoption, or legal placement of a child
  • Death of your spouse or dependent child
  • A dependent becoming ineligible for coverage
  • Your spouse gaining or losing coverage at his/her job
  • Your transfer between full-time and part-time status
  • Your going onto, or returning from a Leave of Absence
  • Separation from Baylor University

Consistency Rule for Enrollment 

Changes to benefit enrollment must be consistent with the life event.

For example, if you have a baby, you may add the baby to your medical coverage.  You cannot, however, add or drop another family member from your medical coverage, or add or drop dental coverage for other family members.

Steps to Make Changes to Benefits After a Qualifying Life Event 

  1. Login to the SmartBen system with your BearID and password.
  2. Once in the SmartBen system, the home page will display a ‘Benefits Enrollment’ box. Within that box, there is a ‘Life Event Enrollment’ box. Click the ‘Begin Enrollment’ button.
  3. After clicking the ‘Begin Enrollment’ button, there is a box displaying ‘Available Enrollments,’ which will display the enrollments available at the time. Click on the icon called ‘Life Event Enrollment’ to begin the process.
  4. A page will open that displays possible life events. Check the box on the left of the life event for which you are enrolling. Enter the date of the event, and a short description. To confirm the event, enter your initials at the bottom of the page, and click ‘Continue’ to move forward with enrollment.
  5. Click the ‘Manage People’ button to add a spouse or dependent to benefits. Click the ‘Add a Beneficiary’ button in the ‘People Manager’ if you need to add a beneficiary to your plan.

    The ‘People Manager’ is used to review spouse, dependent, and beneficiary’s information. You will need to enter their information into this system to add these people to your benefits.

    NOTE: Adding your beneficiary information in the People Manager does NOT assign a beneficiary percentage. The percentage will be assigned later in the enrollment process.
  6. Under the ‘People Manager’ click ‘Add a Spouse’ or ‘Add a Dependent’ if you are enrolling them in the plan. Click ‘save’ when finished.

    NOTE: Clicking ‘Add a Spouse’ or ‘Add a Dependent’ does NOT assign them to coverage. This will be completed as you assign your spouse/dependent to each plan individually.
  7. Click the ‘Continue’ button at the bottom of the page after you have updated and saved changes to the ‘People Manager'.
  8. ‘Life Event Enrollment’ will allow you to make changes to benefits affected by the previously selected life event. You must make changes that are consistent with the life event, and will not be able to make any additional changes until the Open Enrollment period. 
  9. Click on each benefit you will be changing due to the life event. Once you click the benefit, you will be able to assign people from the ‘Who’s Being Covered?’ box.

    Note: The box will turn green if the change is consistent with the life event.
  10. Select your new coverage. After making a selection, click ‘Continue.’ If you are enrolling a spouse or dependent in medical and/or dental coverage, click on the box next to the dependent you wish to enroll. If you are dropping a dependent from medical and/or dental coverage, you must uncheck the dependent you are dropping.

    Note: If you changed coverage levels (e.g. from family to employee + child(ren) or from family to employee + spouse), your spouse or child is automatically dropped.
  11. To assign a dependent to coverage, click the‘check box’ next to the dependent’s name. Click ‘Continue’ and return to the ‘Benefits Manager’ page.

    Note: On the ‘Benefits Manager’ page, the system is programmed to set the Voluntary Flexible Spending Account benefit to Red if you make changes to your medical benefits. You will need to click on this benefit to either elect it or waive it. (If you are enrolled into the HDHP, you will always waive this benefit.)
  12. Once you finish elections, each benefit will have a green light. Click the button ‘Elect and Continue’ on the right side of the page. All benefits must have green lights to complete the process.
  13. A message will appear on the screen that verifies that all information was entered into the system. Click the green ‘Continue’ button on the right side.
  14. The next screen will ask you to review the elections. After review, click the green ‘Continue’ button on the right side. The next page will display a ‘Total Compensation’ statement for your review. After review, click the green ‘Continue’ button on the right side.
  15. At this point, the enrollment is complete. A screen will display a ‘Congratulations!’ message. In the ‘Print Your Confirmation Statement’ box, click the ‘click here’ link to print a copy of the confirmation statementfor your records.

Resources-Qualifying Events