The window for making adjustments outside the annual Open Enrollment period is limited to 31 days from any of the qualifying changes in family status events noted below, so it's important to act within that timeframe.
Remember that you are allowed to make changes only to those benefits directly affected by the qualifying life event. For example, the birth of a baby would allow an employee to enroll in or add the baby to a medical, dental or vision plan, and enroll in a flexible spending account or increase current election amount(s), but would not allow a participant to terminate coverage.
Qualifying Changes in Family Status
- birth or adoption
- spouse/domestic partner gains or loses employment
- death of a spouse, domestic partner, or dependent
- dependent child reaches age 26
Qualifying Changes in Employment Status
- beginning or end of sabbatical
- beginning or end of extended sick or illness leave
- beginning or end of leave of absence extending three months or longer
Read more about how leaves affect your benefits
Qualifying Change in Medicaid or SCHIP Coverage
- gain or loss of eligibility under Medicaid
- gain or loss of eligibility under the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
- eligibility for premium assistance under Medicaid or SCHIP
The Institute requires all MIT faculty and staff to document dependents' eligibility for health care benefits. Learn more about this requirement.
Why the Period for Making Changes is Limited
Most of the benefits plans offered through MIT are paid with pre-tax dollars. In exchange for that tax advantage, you legally cannot enroll in, cancel, or make changes to your medical, dental, vision, or flexible spending account plans outside the annual Open Enrollment period, unless you experience one of the qualifying events described above.
MIT's policy for allowing changes outside Open Enrollment in the case of certain qualifying life events is consistent with the federal Department of Labor guidelines under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).