In general, when you enroll in benefit plans, you typically must stay enrolled for the entire plan year and cannot make any changes to your coverage. However, there are certain life events, also known as qualifying status changes, as defined by the IRS—such as birth or adoption of a child, marriage, retirement, termination of employment— that permit you to make changes to your benefit plans and add or drop eligible dependents from coverage during the year.

When you experience a qualifying life event, you generally have 30 days from the date of the event to make changes to your benefits. If you miss the deadline, your next chance to request a change is the Annual Benefits Enrollment period, which is effective the following January 1, or if you have another qualifying life event.

If you have a qualifying life event and want to make a change to your benefits, contact your human resources office as soon as possible in order to make changes within the 30-day window.

Life events consist of both family changes and employment changes.

Family Changes

Employment Changes

  • Birth or Adoption
  • Change in Name or Address
  • Child Loss of Dependent Status
  • Death of Employee
  • Death of Spouse, Domestic Partner or Child
  • Divorce
  • Domestic Partnership
  • Domestic Partnership to Marriage
  • End of Domestic Partnership
  • Legal Guardianship
  • Marriage
  • Change from Faculty, Academic Staff or Limited to University Staff
  • Change from University Staff to Faculty, Academic Staff or Limited
  • Change in Appointment Percentage
  • Layoff
  • Leave of Absence
  • Moving to WRS-Covered Employment
  • Rehired Annuitant
  • Retirement
  • Termination
  • Transfer to a State Agency
  • Transfer to a Different UW Institution
  • WRS Temporary to WRS Non-Temporary Employment

last updated: 12/9/2016