Other life changes that affect USC benefits

Along with a new baby or adoption, the following life events may qualify you to change your benefits outside the normal open enrollment period – provided you notify Benefits within 30 days of the qualifying life event.arch

Marriage

To add your spouse to your medical, dental, or other insurance coverage—or start or change the amount of a flexible spending account—you must provide Benefits with a copy of your official marriage certificate within 30 days of the wedding. Because we know that official certificates can take several months to arrive, Benefits will accept provisional documentation (like a church certificate) to add your spouse—but you must provide the official government certificate within three months of the effective date of coverage to finalize the transaction, or your spouse’s enrollment will be cancelled. Your spouse’s enrollment will begin the first of the month following the marriage date.

It will take two to three weeks from the transaction approval date for your spouse to show active in the insurance provider’s system; you may need to pay for services during that period of time and then submit a claim for reimbursement after your spouse’s insurance ID card arrives.

How to submit documentation – contact the HR Service Center.

Be sure to review your beneficiary designation on life, supplemental accidental death & dismemberment, and retirement plans. Under federal law, your spouse is automatically entitled to a minimum of half of your retirement benefit upon your death whether or not you’ve listed him/her as your beneficiary, unless spouse has signed a notarized spousal waiver.

If you already have dependent coverage on life or AD&D insurance, your spouse is covered under these plans.

For assistance, contact the HR Service Center.

Registration of a domestic partnership

To add your registered domestic partner to your medical, dental, or other insurance coverage—or start or change the amount of a flexible spending account—you must provide Benefits with a copy of a state-approved certificate of registered domestic partnership (or other documentation that USC, in its discretion, finds acceptable) within 30 days of the partnership date.

Be sure to review your beneficiary designation on life, accidental death & dismemberment, and retirement plans.

If you already have dependent coverage on life or AD&D insurance, your registered domestic partner is covered under these plans.

Please note that the portion paid by the university for your domestic partner’s benefits is considered imputed income to you, and corresponding taxes come out of every paycheck—unless you claim your partner on your income taxes.

For assistance, contact the HR Service Center.

Legal separation

A legally separated employee is still legally married and may not remove spouse/registered domestic partner from most benefits coverage until there is a formal certified Dissolution of Marriage/Notice of Termination of Registered Domestic Partnership.

However, some of our plans (for example, the AFLAC cancer expense protection insurance) allow you to discontinue payroll deductions for your legally separated spouse; he or she may continue coverage on a direct bill basis. For assistance, contact the HR Service Center or call them at (213) 821-8100.

Legally separated spouses are not eligible for tuition assistance.

Divorce or annulment

To remove your ex-spouse from your medical or dental coverage, or to start or change the amount of a flexible spending account, you must provide Benefits with a copy of the divorce or annulment decree within 30 days. Ex-spouse must be removed from coverage within 30 days in order to qualify for COBRA rights. The 30-day deadline does not apply to life, supplemental accidental death & dismemberment, cancer expense protection, or long term care insurance, or to retirement plans; ex-spouse may be removed from these plans at any time. Ex-spouse may continue some coverages on a direct bill basis. For assistance, or if you need information about preparing a domestic relations order to divide assets held in your retirement plan, or if you need assistance in changing your name on official USC records – contact the HR Service Center or call them at (213) 821-8100. Note that before you will be allowed a withdrawal from a retirement account, you must provide documentation on disposition of retirement assets.

Ex-spouses are not eligible for tuition assistance.

Termination or dissolution of registered domestic partnership

To remove your former domestic partner from your medical or dental coverage, or to start or change the amount of a flexible spending account, within 30 days you must provide Benefits with a copy of the Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership filed with the Secretary of State. Former partner must be removed from coverage within 30 days in order to qualify for continuation coverage. The 30-day deadline does not apply to life, supplemental accidental death & dismemberment, cancer expense protection, or long term care insurance, or to retirement plans; former partner may be removed from these plans at any time. Former partner may continue some coverages on a direct bill basis. For assistance, contact the HR Service Center or call them at (213) 821-8100.

Former partners are not eligible for tuition assistance.

Change in your spouse’s/registered domestic partner’s employment status

If your spouse or registered domestic partner loses or starts a job or experiences any event that causes him/her to lose or gain medical, dental and/or vision coverage, you can add or remove him/her from your university coverage by requesting the change on Workday within 30 days of the date of the spouse/partner job change. You will be asked to provide supporting documentation.

Child is turning 13

For families with a dependent care flexible spending account, when a child in care turns 13, their care is no longer eligible for flexible spending. Within 30 days of the end of the month in which your child turns 13, you may change the amount of your dependent care (NOT health care) flexible spending account. For assistance, contact the HR Service Center or call them at (213) 821-8100.

Child is turning 26, or I wish to remove him/her from coverage

Your children are eligible for coverage until the end of the month in which they turn 26. Your child will be notified (via a letter sent to your home address) of how s/he can continue coverage under COBRA (see Leaving USC for rates and details; the rate that applies is that for just “employee”). You may choose to terminate coverage earlier; for example, you may wish to terminate if child is covered by his/her own employment benefits or marries someone with benefits.

If COBRA is not a viable option, your child can visitwww.healthcare.gov or call (800) 318-2596 to review ACA options, 24/7. Be aware that if your child elects COBRA but subsequently determine that coverage through an ACA marketplace plan is a better choice, s/he will not be able to enroll in an ACA marketplace plan if s/he voluntarily cancels COBRA. Your child must wait until s/he either exhausts the COBRA coverage (18 or 36 months) or until the next marketplace open enrollment period, whichever comes first – unless s/he is still within 60 days of having lost coverage through you.

For assistance, contact the HR Service Center or call them at (213) 821-8100.

Death of a loved one

To remove your deceased dependent from your medical or dental coverage, or to start or change the amount of a flexible spending account, within 30 days you must provide Benefits with a copy of the death certificate. To submit a claim for life insurance, you must provide Benefits office with a copy of the original death certificate, which may take up to six months to receive. If the deceased dependent was the only dependent you had covered, stop coverage. Otherwise, update beneficiary designations. Deceased dependent may be removed from long term care, cancer expense protection or retirement plans at any time. For assistance, contact the HR Service Center or call them at (213) 821-8100.

If death was due to an accident, your accidental death & dismemberment insurance may be applicable. You will need to provide proof of accidental death, such as a police report. Benefits can assist you in making these determinations.

Death of USC employee

Medical and dental coverage terminates on date of death. Coverage for dependents terminates at end of month. Benefits must be notified within 60 days so surviving dependents will be eligible for COBRA coverage. Flexible spending accounts are cancelled effective date of death. Claims incurred up to that date may be submitted through March 31 of following year. To claim the life insurance benefit, you must provide Benefits with a copy of the original death certificate, which may take up to six months to receive. For assistance with ALL benefits for a deceased USC employee, including additional insurance policies, options for retirement plan assets, and tuition assistance information, please contact the HR Service Center or call them at (213) 821-8100 as soon as possible.

If the death was accidental, accidental death & dismemberment insurance may be applicable. Benefits will need to receive proof of accidental death, such as a police report.

Change in employment status

If your employment status or number of hours worked or percentage of effort changes, you may be eligible to change your benefits. For information, and to ascertain how tuition assistance may be affected by your change in employment status, contact the HR Service Center.

If you are a part-time faculty member and your course load is reduced below a 50% appointment, you may lose eligibility. You will be notified when this happens and within ten days you will receive a letter from Wageworks with information about continuing coverage through COBRA.

You may also qualify for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Visit www.healthcare.gov to review ACA options.

Insurance changes related to dependents

If you lose insurance coverage you had under one of your dependents, you may be eligible to change your benefits and enroll in coverage through the university.

Likewise, if your eligible dependents who have other health coverage subsequently lose that coverage, either because they cease to be eligible for it or because their COBRA coverage is exhausted, they may be enrolled in your health plan within 30 days of the loss of coverage. Documentation of other coverage and reason for loss, along with documentation of the dependent’s relationship to the employee, must be submitted to Benefits. Enrollment in the employee’s health plan is not permitted if the dependent’s loss of coverage is due to failure to pay required premiums on a timely basis. You or your covered dependent may lose coverage for cause (such as making a fraudulent claim or an intentional misrepresentation of a material fact in conjunction with the plan). Such loss of eligibility may be disclosed by a health plan to a benefit department as termination of enrollment for cause and is specifically permitted under the Privacy rule. A termination of enrollment of dependent or employee for cause from one health plan will result in loss of eligibility for enrollment in any other health plan.

For assistance in determining your options, contact the HR Service Center.

Relocation

In some cases, relocation can change your insurance eligibility. Contact the HR Service Center.