Cook County Benefit Resource Center

Qualifying Events

 
Marriage

Within 31 days of the date of marriage, you may add your spouse to your existing medical, dental, or vision coverage, or drop your coverage to go on your spouse’s plan. You may also elect to change your medical FSA amount, and elect spouse coverage under our various life and long term care plans.  You will need to complete the appropriate forms and provide a copy of your certified marriage certificate.  You should also review your beneficiary designations for life insurance and retirement plans.

Divorce

Within 31 days of the date the divorce decree is signed, you may elect any coverage you are losing under your spouse’s plan.  If you currently cover your spouse, you must drop his or her coverage for medical, dental, vision, and group term life, although you may continue to cover your children.  You may also elect to change your medical FSA amount.  You will need to complete the appropriate forms and provide a copy of the first and last pages of your certified divorce decree.  You should also review your beneficiary designations for life insurance and retirement plans.  Prior to the final decree, you may not drop a spouse except during Open Enrollment.

 
Birth or adoption of a child, or having a child placed in your custody or guardianship through the court

Within 31 days of the birth, adoption (official placement or final decree), or court order, you may add the child to your existing medical, dental, or vision coverage, or drop your coverage to go on your spouse’s plan.  You may elect to change your medical FSA amount, and start or change a dependent care FSA.  You may also elect child life insurance.  You will need to complete the appropriate forms and provide a copy of the certified birth certificate, adoption placement order or decree, or court order.

 
Death of a spouse or covered dependent

Within 31 days of the death, you may elect any coverage you are losing under your spouse’s plan.  If you currently cover your deceased dependent, you must drop his or her coverage for medical, dental, or vision although you may continue to cover the rest of your family.  You may also elect to change your medical and dependent care FSA amounts.  Again, you should review your beneficiary designations for life insurance and retirement plans. You will need to complete the appropriate forms and provide a copy of the certified death certificate.

 
Becoming eligible (or losing eligibility) for Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP

Within 31 days of the eligibility change, you may add or drop medical, dental, or vision coverage for yourself or the applicable family member.  In addition, your plan may permit you to add or drop coverage if you gain or lose eligibility for a Medicaid or CHIP premium assistance subsidy. You may also elect to change your medical FSA amount.  You will need to complete the appropriate forms and provide a copy of the notification letter from Medicare, or Medicaid or CHIP.

 
If your spouse's employment status changes causing a gain or loss of eligibility for coverage

Within 31 days of the date of the status change (such as moving between full-time and part-time), you may elect medical, dental, or vision coverage for yourself and your spouse and children, or drop your coverage to go on your spouse’s plan.  You may also elect to change your medical FSA amount.  You will need to complete the appropriate forms and provide a letter from your spouse’s employer on their letterhead verifying the effective date of the change, listing all coverage being gained or lost, and listing all covered individuals.

 
Change in a spouse's employer causing gain or loss of coverage

Within 31 days of the separation or the new hire date, you may elect medical, dental, or vision coverage, or drop your coverage to go on your spouse’s plan.  You may also elect to change your medical FSA amount.  You will need to complete the appropriate forms and provide a letter from your spouse’s employer on their letterhead verifying the effective date of the change, listing all coverage being gained or lost, and listing all covered individuals.

 
A change in residence to an area not covered by your current option

Within 31 days of the move, you may change your Option only to a plan that covers the area to which you moved

 
If your spouse changes coverage during his/her employer's Open Enrollment period

Within 31 days of the Open Enrollment, you may elect medical, dental, or vision coverage, or drop your coverage to go on your spouse’s plan.  You will need to complete the appropriate forms and provide a letter from your spouse’s employer on their letterhead verifying the effective date of the change, listing all coverage being gained or lost, and listing all covered individuals.

 
If a Qualified Medical Child Support Order is established for a dependent

Within 31 days of the order, you may add the child to your existing medical, dental, or vision coverage or new coverage for yourself and the child.  You will need to complete the appropriate forms and provide a copy of the Qualified Medical Child Support Order.