Spouse or Domestic Partner Job Loss

Spouse or Domestic Partner Job Loss

When your spouse or domestic partner becomes unemployed, the impact can extend beyond the paycheck. Here are a few things to keep in mind, including benefits that might be affected and the timeframe for making changes.

Health, Dental, and Vision Plans

  • If you were not covered under an MIT health plan because your spouse/domestic partner provided the medical coverage, you can enroll in one of MIT's health plans within 31 days of the date your partner's employment ends. Use the form below.
  • If you already have medical coverage from MIT, you can add coverage for family members within 31 days of the end of your spouse's or partner's employment. Use the form below.
  • If this job loss results in your becoming eligible for Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program, you have 60 days to make changes to your medical benefits. Learn more about Medicaid and SCHIP.
  • To make any of these changes to your benefits, you must present to the MIT Benefits Office a copy of your spouse's or domestic partner's COBRA notice or equivalent official confirmation of loss of employment on employer letterhead.

Flexible Spending Accounts

(Domestic Partners are not eligible for this benefit)

Dependent Care FSA

  • If your spouse can now provide some daycare as a result of his or her job loss and your day care expenses will decrease, you should decrease the amount you contribute to your existing Dependent Care FSA within 31 days of the date that your spouse's employment ends. Use the form below.
  • You will be eligible to increase your contribution to your Dependent Care FSA within 31 days of the date your spouse becomes re-employed.
  • To make any of these changes to your benefits, you must present to the MIT Benefits Office a copy of your spouse's COBRA notice or equivalent official confirmation of loss of employment on employer letterhead.

Health Care FSA

  • If your spouse had a health care flexible spending account (FSA) and you will lose access to it, you can enroll in an MIT Health Care FSA within 31 days of the date of your spouse's job loss. Use the form below.
  • If you have an MIT Health Care FSA and your spouse had employment-based coverage that will end, you can increase the amount you would like to contribute within 31 days of the date your spouse's employment ends. Use the form below.
  • You are eligible to change your contribution within 31 days of the date your spouse becomes re-employed and becomes eligible for medical insurance through his or her new employment.
  • If this job loss results in your becoming eligible for Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program, you have 60 days to make changes to your Health Care FSA. Learn more about Medicaid and SCHIP.
  • To make any of these changes to your benefits, you must present to the MIT Benefits Office a copy of your spouse's COBRA notice or equivalent official confirmation of loss of employment on employer letterhead.

Retirement Benefits – MIT 401(k)

  • You can increase or decrease your 401(k) contributions at any time during the year on the Fidelity Investments website.
  • Keep in mind that MIT matches the first 5% of your contributions, so you will forfeit up to 5% of your salary in MIT matching contributions and increase your taxable income if you suspend your contributions to your 401(k).
  • MIT's 401(k) Plan includes a loan provision. To learn how to take a loan against your MIT Supplemental 401(k), contact Fidelity directly at (877) 648-7283.

Don't Forget

  • Check to see if your spouse or partner's work phone number is on file as your MIT emergency contact number. To make a change to your emergency information, visit Atlas.
  • Change your tax withholding rate at any time on Atlas.
  • If you do not meet the timeline described above for modifying your benefits, you will have to wait until the next annual Open Enrollment period to do so.

Why the Period for Making Changes is Limited

Most of the benefit plans offered through MIT are paid with pre-tax dollars. In exchange for the tax advantage, you legally cannot enroll in, cancel, or make changes to your medical, dental, or reimbursement account plans outside of the annual Open Enrollment period, unless you experience a qualifying change in your life like the one 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).

Forms & Publications

Job Loss-Related Forms & Publications

TitleType
Health/Dental/Vision Plan Enrollment/Change Formpdf
FSA Enrollment/Change Formpdf