Family Status Changes
A qualifying event to change benefits during the plan year is defined as a change in your status due to:
- birth or adoption of a child(ren)
- death of a covered dependent
- divorce or legal separation
- loss or gain of insurance coverage by your spouse’s employer-sponsored coverage
- termination of employment
How to Make a Family Status Change
Please review these instructions before you start the Family Status Change process. There are several steps to the process and it's important for you to follow all the steps. Keep in mind the date you state as the event date is also the effective date of the change in coverage. For instance, if your dependent’s last day of coverage is January 31, then you would choose February 1st as the date of the event since this is the date your dependent no longer has coverage and is effective with Vanderbilt.
- Go to the My VU Benefits website.
- Log in with your VUnetID and ePassword.
- On the left-hand side of the page, select Life Events
- Read the explanation text on the Family Status Change introductory page. Select Your Event: From the Life Events page, click the event type that you wish to declare. From here, the system will walk you through the simple process of changing your benefits.
- Enter the effective date of your life event and click Enroll Now button
Add/Review your dependent’s information: You will be able to add new dependents or update dependent’s information. As you proceed through the enrollment, the coverage levels you are offered are based on the number and type of dependents you elect to cover. Please be sure to read the pages carefully as you may be required to certify your dependents by sending in certain documents before they become eligible for benefits.
- Please ensure to
the box next to your dependent’s name at top part of the screen
Upload Your Documentation: The process will include prompting you to upload required documentation for your record as part of your life event. You can easily upload documentation to our secure website by clicking the Browse button, selecting the documentation you want to submit, and clicking the Upload Document button. These documents will automatically be sent securely for the appropriate review and verification.
Enter the Effective Date: Enter the date your life event occurred and click the Enroll Now button.
Before you make your benefit changes, you will be required to Answer/Respond to a few simple questions that will determine your eligibility.
Add/Review Your Dependents: You will also be able to add new dependents or update dependent information. As you proceed through the enrollment, the coverage levels you are offered are based on the number and type of dependents you elect to cover. Please be sure to read the pages carefully as you may be required to certify your dependents by sending in certain documents before they become eligible for benefits.
Confirm Your Choices: The last page/section in the enrollment is your confirmation statement, which you can print or email. The site will automatically save a copy for your future reference. If you need to change any of the plan selections you have made, you can go back into the enrollment and make any additional changes through the end of your enrollment period.
- This completes the Family Status Change process. You will be contacted via email if additional information or documentation is needed.
Reminder: you have 30 days from the life event to declare the life event
Please note: Certain types of family status changes, such as getting married, may require other actions, such as changing your last name. See the Common Qualifying Events section, below, for more information.
Common Qualifying Events
Typically, if you experience a Life Event and wish to add or remove a dependent(s) from your coverage, you must do so within 30 days after the qualifying event date. However, as a result of the National Emergency Declaration due to COVID-19, participants who experience a qualified life event beginning March 2020 will have until 30 days after the “Outbreak Period” ends to declare the event.
A Life Event is a change in your family or employment status that may allow you to make certain benefit changes. If you experience a Life Event and wish to add or remove a dependent(s) for coverage purposes, you must do so on or within 30 days after the qualifying event date. Changes must be consistent with the qualifying life event. .
Click the family status change life event for detailed information.
- Getting Married
- Divorce or Legal Separation
- Having or Adopting a Baby/Becoming a Legal Guardian
- CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program)
- Death of a Covered Dependent
- Death of a Vanderbilt Employee
- New Hire
- Leave of Absence (includes important information for employees on unpaid leave)
- Leaving Vanderbilt
- Spousal Coverage Changes
The list, above, does not include every possible qualifying event.
Documentation for Family Status Changes
You will not need to provide documentation for a Family Status Change, but Human Resources may contact you at another time for a random audit.
If you are audited, you will need to provide documentation for your Family Status Change. See the list below for documentation examples (the list does not include every possible qualifying event).
- Marriage - a copy of the marriage certificate (the marriage date must be within 30 days of the date we receive the form in the Benefits Office).
- Divorce – a copy of the FINAL divorce decree with the file date and judge’s signature. If the divorce is not final, we cannot make changes.
- Birth – a copy of the birth certificate or the mother’s copy received in the hospital.
- Adoption – a copy of FINAL adoption papers signed by a judge or a document stating the child has been placed in anticipation of adoption from the adoption agency.
- Death – a copy of the death certificate.
- Employment change – if audited, a copy of the hire/termination letter must be on company letterhead and state the hire/termination date and the date the employer-sponsored coverage either began or ended.
If you are audited and you cannot show documentation to support your requested Family Status Change, you would lose your elected coverage and further action could be taken, including termination of employment.