Changing Your Benefits

When you enroll in benefits, your elections typically remain in effect until the end of the calendar year or until you lose eligibility. Certain life events may impact your benefits or allow you to make changes mid-year.    

Effective Date of Coverage Changes

  • You can make changes during the annual benefits Open Enrollment with changes effective January 1.
  • If you submit a change to add a dependent or enroll in coverage within 30 days of a qualifying event, changes are effective as of the event date.
  • If you submit a change to remove an ineligible dependent or cancel coverage, changes are effective the first of the following month.
  • If you do not request a change in coverage within 30 days of a qualifying event, you must wait until the next Open Enrollment period to make changes, which will be effective the following January 1.

Any changes in your deduction amounts due to a change in benefits after a qualified family status change will be reflected in your paycheck. If changes to your benefits occur during the month, cost adjustments are made the following month.

It is especially important to delete any ineligible dependents within the 30-day period to avoid overpaying premiums, because the university will not refund payment for coverage of ineligible dependents. In addition, failure to notify the SSC Contact Center or complete and return a COBRA Notice of Qualifying Event form within 60 days of your dependent’s loss of eligibility will result in forfeiture of COBRA continuation rights.

Your Spouse's or Other Qualified Adult's Open Enrollment

Faculty and staff who have the opportunity to enroll on their spouse’s or OQA’s group health plan may remove their dependent(s) or cancel their U-M health plan coverage at any time during the year. Canceling the U-M health plan also cancels prescription drug coverage. In order to drop dependents or cancel your U-M coverage, faculty and staff must notify SSC Benefits Transactions within 30 days after the new coverage takes effect by completing and submitting a Benefits Enrollment/Change Form.

Special Enrollment Under HIPAA

Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), a special enrollment period for health coverage may be available if you lose coverage under certain conditions or when you acquire new dependents by marriage, birth, or adoption.

If you decline enrollment for yourself or your dependents (including your spouse) because of other health coverage, you may be able to enroll yourself or your dependents in U-M health coverage in the future. To request enrollment, complete the Group Health Insurance Application for Special Enrollment form and the Benefits/Enrollment Change Form and send the forms to SSC Benefits Transactions within 30 days after your other coverage ends. In addition, if you have a new dependent as a result of marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption, you may be able to enroll yourself and your dependents, provided that you request enrollment within 30 days after the marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption.

Review and Update Your Beneficiary

It is important to periodically review and update your beneficiary designations for your life insurance and your retirement savings plans. Your named beneficiary is a person or an entity (e.g., a nonprofit organization or charity), who will receive death benefits when you pass away.

It is especially important to review your beneficiary designations and make updates as necessary whenever your circumstances change. For example, when you experience a life event that changes your eligible dependents, for example a marriage or divorce, or the birth or adoption of a child.

Consult with all your advisors – your lawyer, your financial advisor and your insurance specialist – to make sure that your named beneficiaries are consistent with your financial wishes and estate planning documents.

Questions About Mid-Year Changes?

Call the SSC Contact Center at 5-2000 from the Ann Arbor campus, (734) 615-2000 locally, or (866) 647-7657 toll free, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.