Federal law determines when you can change benefit coverage elections outside of Open Enrollment. In general, the benefit plans and coverage levels you choose at Open Enrollment remain in effect for the following calendar year. However, you may be able to change your elections between open enrollment periods if you experience a qualifying life event.
Qualifying Life Events
The following is a list of qualifying life events which may allow changes to your benefit elections
- Death of Spouse
- Birth / Adoption of a Child
- Placement of a Child
- Death of a Child
- Appointment of legal guardianship of a Child
- Child becomes eligible or ineligible for coverage
- Change in FTE status
- Spouse becomes eligible for coverage
- Spouse loses eligibility for coverage
- Child becomes eligible for other coverage
- Child loses eligibility for other coverage
- Employee begins or ends an unpaid leave of absence
- Employee, spouse or child eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid or CHIP coverage changes.
You must make changes within 30 days after a qualifying event has occurred by contacting the HR Benefits Team by phone, online or in person.
To make your changes online (in Lawson), follow the instructions outlined here.
It is your responsibility to report changes in eligibility to the HR Benefits Team, including those situations where a dependent is no longer eligible for benefits (including legally divorced spouse, graduating college students, and deceased dependents). For dependents over the age of 19 who are full-time college students, you must notify the HR Benefits Team of their full-time student status in order to continue coverage under dental and vision.
You may not pre-report qualifying life events. The change will be effective on the date of your status change.
Once you report your life event to the HR Benefits Team, you will be granted access to ESS to enter your life change and elect benefits.
In order to change your benefit elections due to an eligible event, you will be required to show proof verifying that the event has occurred (e.g., copy of marriage or birth certificate, or divorce decree, etc.) and you will be subject to completing dependent verification if enrolling a new dependent.
The changes you make to your benefits must be due to and consistent with your qualifying life event.
Failure to remove an ineligible dependent is considered a fraudulent act and will be grounds for discipline including, but not limited to, termination of employment from NHRMC, denial or retroactive termination of benefit coverage, and recoupment of benefits improperly paid. It is your responsibility to notify the HR Benefits Team as soon as you experience a change and within 30 days of the effective date. If you wait to do so, you will not be reimbursed for any deductions taken out on behalf on an ineligible dependent. Additionally, the ineligible dependent may lose any rights to COBRA continuation of coverage.
Please visit the Leave of Absence section for details about different types of leaves available.
For information about adding a new family member to your benefits, visit our section on Qualifying Life Events in "Making Mid-Year Enrollment Changes" in question No. 1.
Please visit Lawson ESS.
Click on the globe icon.
Click Employee Self-Service
Hover over Benefits
In general, if your FTE status decreases, you will pay a greater share of your benefit premiums. If your FTE increases, NHRMC will pay a greater share of your benefit premiums. If your FTE decreases below 0.4, you will no longer be eligible for most benefits. In that case, you may receive a COBRA packet at your home address with instructions.
Your responsibilities: If you wish to make changes or enroll in benefits, you need to log in to Employee Self Service (Lawson) and click on the Benefits Enrollment link.
To do this:
- Click on the Globe icon.
- Click on Bookmarks.
- Click on Employee Self-Service.
- Hover over Benefits.
- Click on Benefits Enrollment.
This action must be made within 30 days of your FTE change.
It is your responsibility to understand the coverage costs.
While making your benefit changes and/or enrollments in the on-line ESS system, you will be required to certify "that the information you are providing is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge." This affidavit must be electronically signed when you enroll.
If you do not log in to make changes within your 30-day timeframe, changes will not be allowed until the next annual open enrollment period. Any applicable rate changes will be in place until that time.