Life changes that affect USC benefits
When your life changes, sometimes your benefits need to change, too. The following life events may qualify you to change your benefits outside of the normal Open Enrollment period – provided you notify Benefits within 30 days of the qualifying life events.
Click on the life event below for more information.
After your new child's placement in your family, provide the Benefits office with a copy of the official court-signed adoption/placement documentation in order to add him/her onto your medical, dental, and other insurance policies or to start or change the amount of a Flexible Spending Account. More information about adoption can be found at this page.
A legally-separated faculty/staff member is still legally married and may not remove a 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 allow you to discontinue payroll deductions for your legally-separated spouse; he or she may continue coverage on a direct bill basis. For assistance, email the HR Service Center or call them at (213) 821-8100.
Legally-separated spouses are not eligible for tuition assistance.
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-spouses must be removed from coverage within 30 days in order for them to qualify for COBRA rights. The 30-day deadline does not apply to life, supplemental accidental death & dismemberment, cancer expense protection, long term care insurance, or to retirement plans; ex-spouses may be removed from these plans at any time. Ex-spouses may continue some coverages on a direct bill basis. For assistance, if you need information about preparing a domestic relations order to divide assets held in your retirement plan, or if you need help changing your name on official USC records, email 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.
To remove your former domestic partner from your medical or dental coverage, or to start or change the contribution to a Flexible Spending Account, you must provide Benefits with a copy of the Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership filed with the Secretary of State within 30 days. The 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, long term care insurance, or to retirement plans; former partners may be removed from these plans at any time. Former partners may continue some coverages on a direct bill basis. For assistance, email the HR Service Center or call them at (213) 821-8100.
Former partners are not eligible for tuition assistance.
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 or make other relevant changes to benefit elections by requesting the change in Workday within 30 days of the date of the spouse/partner job change. You will be asked to provide supporting documentation.
For families with a dependent care Flexible Spending Account, when a child in care (e.g., at a daycare, watch, in-home or babysitting service) turns 13, the child's 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, email the HR Service Center or call them at (213) 821-8100.
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 she/he can continue coverage under COBRA (refer to 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 it if the child is covered by his/her own employment benefits or marries someone with benefits.
If COBRA is not a viable option, your child can visit www.healthcare.gov or call (800) 318-2596 to review Affordable Care Act (ACA) options, 24/7. Be aware that if your child elects COBRA but subsequently determines that coverage through an ACA marketplace plan is a better choice, she/he will not be able to enroll in an ACA marketplace plan if she/he voluntarily cancels COBRA. Your child must wait until she/he either exhausts the COBRA coverage (18 or 36 months) or until the next marketplace Open Enrollment period, whichever comes first. The exception is if your child is still within 60 days of having lost coverage through you.
For assistance, email the HR Service Center or call them at (213) 821-8100.
To remove your deceased dependent from your benefit coverage enrollments, or to change the contribution to a Flexible Spending Account, you must notify Benefits Administration within 30 days of their date of death. You must also submit documentation that supports the passing of the deceased as soon as it becomes available. Please note, in some cases a death certificate may take up to six months to receive.
To submit a claim for life insurance, you must provide the Benefits Administration with a copy of the original death certificate. If the deceased dependent was the only dependent you had covered, stop coverage. Otherwise, update beneficiary designations. Deceased dependents may be removed from long term care, cancer expense protection, or retirement plans at any time. For assistance, email 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.
Medical and dental coverage terminates on the date of death. Coverage for dependents terminates at end of the month. Benefits must be notified within 60 days so surviving dependents will be eligible for COBRA coverage. Flexible Spending Accounts are cancelled effective the date of death. Claims incurred up to that date may be submitted through March 31 of the 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 email 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.
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, email 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 will receive a letter from Wageworks within 10 days with information about continuing coverage through COBRA.
You may also qualify for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Visit www.healthcare.gov to review ACA options.
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 faculty or staff member'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 benefits 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, email the HR Service Center.
If you relocate, update your address in Workday. Your benefits vendors will be notified of the change on your behalf. Help for the process in Workday can be found on the Workday Help site under "Personal information."
If you’re currently enrolled in the PPO plan and moving to California from out of state, you cannot change your plan because it already provides services in California.
If you’re currently enrolled in the HMO or EPO plan and moving from California to out of state, you must change to a PPO because it is the only plan that offers nationwide coverage. This change is made by logging in to Workday, clicking on the Benefits tile on the dashboard, clicking on "Benefits" in the "Change" box, selecting the reason for the change in the drop-down menu, and then following the instructions.
In some cases (e.g., relocation to another state), relocation can change your payroll taxation and insurance eligibility, and you may be required to submit applicable tax forms. Email the HR Service Center for help with this.
If you have legally changed your name, update your employee and benefits records by initiating a name change in Workday. From your Workday homepage, click "Personal Information" and then "Legal Name Change." You must provide supporting documentation.
Benefits will update your benefits vendors and payroll services on your behalf. In addition, be sure to update the following:
- University email addresses
- Corporate cards
- Business cards
- Email signature line
- Alumni Association, if applicable
For assistance, email the HR Service Center or call them at (213) 821-8100.
Throughout the year, you may gain access to other coverage through your spouse’s employer or through federal or state-provided programs.
Additionally, the Health Insurance Marketplace (often referred to as the “Marketplace” or “Exchange”) provides certain individuals with a new option for purchasing health insurance. Such access to other coverage may provide you with an opportunity to join another program and drop USC’s benefits. Requests to drop USC coverage mid-year must be elected within 30 days of the effective date of new coverage. USC will require proof of other coverage in order to facilitate a termination of your coverage within our plan(s).
USC offers health coverage that it believes complies with Affordable Care Act standards for affordability. Thus, you will most likely not be eligible for a tax credit through the Marketplace. More information can be found on this page.