Changing Your Benefits

There are certain circumstances where you can change your benefits outside of Eastern’s yearly open enrollment period. Here’s a list of those circumstances and the type of documentation you’ll need to bring into the Benefits Office with you:

  • Birth, adoption or becoming a legal guardian of a child (statement from the hospital or doctor or court order)
  • Marriage (copy of the marriage certificate)
  • Divorce (copy of the front page of the divorce decree)
  • Death of a family member (their social security number, date of death and next-of-kin information)
  • Spouse’s loss or change of employment (statement from spouse’s place of employment showing loss of eligibility)

You have 30 days from the date of the event to contact the Benefits Office to complete the necessary forms or you will need to wait until the next open enrollment period to make changes. You’ll need to provide documentation of your status change. BC/BS PPO benefit deductions are subject to taxes for any retroactive coverage. After that, deduction costs will be pre-taxed.

Here’s a checklist of changes you can make if you fit these special circumstances:

  • Health plan
  • Dental plan
  • Life insurance
  • Retirement plans (MPSERS or TIAA)
  • Tax deferred annuities (if participating in TIAA)
  • Travel insurance (applies to AC/AP/PT/FA)

Divorce
If you get divorced, you must remove your spouse from your benefits. If you do this within 30 days of the divorce, COBRA continuation information will be sent to your former spouse. Be sure to provide us with a copy of the front page of your divorce decree and your former spouse’s new address. If you wish to change your last name, a copy of your new social security card is needed.

All University employees and their dependents can call the Employee Assistance Program at 877.234.5151 or visit lifeworks.com (User ID: EMU, password: oak) to get free help in coping with life changes.