Qualified Events

What is a Qualified Event?

Each year during Open Enrollment (typically held each October/November) you have the opportunity to make new benefit elections or change your current elections for the coming calendar year.  After Open Enrollment has ended, you can’t make changes to your benefit elections unless you have a “Qualified Event”.  A Qualified Event is a life change event that either changes the number of your eligible family members or that causes you or a family member to gain or lose other coverage (either at Bowdoin or outside of Bowdoin).  The change that you are allowed to make because of a Qualified Event must match the event.  For example:

  • The birth, adoption or placement for adoption of a child would allow you to “add” your newly acquired dependent to your benefit plans.
  • If you get divorced, you must drop coverage for your ex-spouse.
  • When your child turns age 26 you must drop them from your coverage because they are no longer eligible.
  • If your spouse becomes eligible for benefits in a new job you could drop your coverage here at Bowdoin and move to his/her new plan.
  • If your spouse loses their job or moves to a part-time job and this causes him/her to lose their current benefits then you could elect coverage through Bowdoin.
  • If you or a family member stops being eligible for Medicaid, MaineCare or another state Children’s Health Insurance Program then you can elect coverage through Bowdoin.  If you or a family member becomes newly eligible for one of these programs, you could drop your coverage through Bowdoin. 

IMPORTANT!!! If you have a qualified event you must submit a benefit change through your Workday account within 30 days from the date of the event.

What benefit plans can I change due to a Qualified Event?

Benefit plans that can be changed due to a Qualified Event are the health and dental plans.  Some status changes also allow you to change or elect a Medical and/or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account.

When can I add or remove dependents from my benefit plan due to a Qualified Event?

You have 30 days from the date of the qualified event to submit a benefit change through your Workday account. The change that you make is effective the 1st of the month on or following the date of the new event. In the case of the birth or adoption of a child (or placement for adoption) the effective date is the child's date of birth or adoption date as long as you submit the benefit change within 30 days. You have 60 days after the date you become eligible for (or lose eligibility for) Medicaid, MaineCare, or another state Children's Health Insurance Program to drop or elect coverage through Bowdoin. Certain qualified events that allow you to add yourself or a dependent to coverage require you to submit documentation confirming the date of the event at the time you submit the change through your Workday account.

What do I do when I have a qualifying event?

You must submit a benefit change through your Workday account within 30 days of the date of the event. If you have questions about what types of changes are allowed or need assistance submitting the change through Workday, please contact Mary Cote, Benefits Coordinator at (207) 725-3033 or mcote@bowdoin.edu. Below are some examples of changes that are allowed and when they become effective:

Qualifying Event…

Then….

Change takes effect…

I’m getting married – how do I add my spouse to my plan?

You have 30 days from the date of your marriage to add your spouse to your plan.

The 1st of the month on or following the event date.

I’m getting divorced– what should I do?

If your spouse is on your plan then you need to remove him/her within 30 days.

If you were on your spouse’s plan and now wish to join Bowdoin’s plan, you may do so within 30 days of the divorce.

Coverage for your spouse must end as of the 1st of the month following the divorce.

My spouse lost their job and benefits and now we both need to join the Bowdoin plan.

You have 30 days from the date you lose other coverage to elect coverage through Bowdoin.

The 1st of the month on or following the event date.

My spouse got a new job and became benefits eligible and I want to join his/her plan instead.

You have 30 days from the date your spouse becomes eligible for benefits in his/her new job to drop your coverage through Bowdoin.

The 1st of the month on or following the event date.

I’m having a baby or adopting a child.

You must add the child to the plan within 30 days of the birth or adoption (or placement for adoption).

The date of the birth, adoption or placement for adoption.

My child is turning age 26.

You will have 30 days from your child’s birthday to drop coverage.

Coverage must end the last day of the child’s birth month.

It’s Open Enrollment at my spouse's employer and we want to join that plan instead.

You will have 30 days to drop coverage through Bowdoin.

The 1st of the month on or following the event date.

What Qualified Events apply to Medical and/or Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts?

Some status or life change events also allow you to make changes (or make a new election) to a Medical and/or Dependent Care Reimbursement Account (also called Flexible Spending Accounts or FSA’s).  Some examples include:

  • The birth or adoption of a child allows you to increase or elect a new Medical Reimbursement Account.  You must make the change within 30 days of the birth/adoption and the increase or new election will be effective on the date your child was born or adopted.
  • If your child starts at a new daycare center or provider, you can begin or increase (if the cost of the new provider increases) your Dependent Care Reimbursement Account.  You must make the change within 30 days of the beginning of the new daycare and the change is effective the 1st of the month on or following the event date.
  • If your child’s daycare ends or the hours are reduced, you can end or decrease your Dependent Care Reimbursement Account.  You must make the change within 30 days of the end of the daycare and the change is effective the 1st of the month on or following the event date.

For detailed information please see the Summary Plan Document.