Family Status Changes
Last Modified: 2016-08-17
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 an immediate family member
- loss or gain of insurance coverage by your spouse’s employer-sponsored coverage
- termination of employment
To change your benefits elections, you must notify Human Resources within 30 days of the qualifying event triggering the need for the change and complete the Family Status Change process. For example, if you were married September 3, you would need to submit your Family Status Change Request by October 2 (within 30 days of the marriage)..
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.
- Scroll down the page to the "My Life Changes" (Family Status Changes) section and click to "Declare a Life Change."
- Read the explanation text on the Family Status Change introductory page and then click on the appropriate qualifying event to "declare an event."
- Read the additional explanation text for the event you have indicated and click the Declare Event button.
- Enter the date of the Life Event.
- Complete the additional information that is requested, depending on your event.
- Click the Save button to submit your request.
- Click the Enroll button to make your elections. Confirm and/or update your responses to the spouse/partner coverage fee and tobacco free credit in the "Before You Enroll" section, if necessary.
- Complete your elections and print or email your confirmation for your records.
- This completes the Family Status Change process. You will be contacted via email if additional information or documentation is requested.
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
- Getting Married
- Enrolling Same-Sex Domestic Partner
- Divorce or Legal Separation
- Removing Same-Sex Domestic Partner
- Having or Adopting a Baby/Legal Guardianship
- 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
- Spouse/Partner 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 please be aware that Human Resources may contact you 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.
- Same-sex domestic partner
- 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.