Life Events

Did you know that when you experience certain personal events, such as getting married or having a baby, you can make changes to your benefits coverage? These are called “qualifying life events,” and they allow you to make a change to your coverage outside of annual enrollment. Learn more about Eligibility and Dependent Certification Requirements.

Qualifying life events can include:

  • Marriage
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Gain or loss of other coverage
  • Start or loss of your spouse/domestic partner’s employment
  • Change in employment status (for you or your spouse/domestic partner, from part-time to full-time or from full-time to part-time)
  • Divorce or termination of domestic partnership
  • Death of your spouse/domestic partner or other dependent
  • Leave of absence or sabbatical for you or your spouse/domestic partner
  • Return from leave of absence or sabbatical
  • Salary loss due to disability

If you experience a qualifying life event, you have 30 days following the date of the event to go to myChoices Health & Life, provide documentation of the event, and make a change to your benefits coverage consistent with the event. (If you give birth, for example, you may add the baby to your current JHU benefits plans.) Generally, the change is retroactive to the date of the life event.

Please select from the list of qualifying events below to learn more.

Marriage/Domestic Partnership

When you get married or enter into a domestic partnership, you have the opportunity to make changes to your benefits.

Issues to Consider

  • Does your spouse or domestic partner have benefits coverage from another source?
  • Does your spouse or domestic partner have any dependents?
  • Do you wish to update your flexible spending account contributions?
  • Is your life insurance coverage adequate? Do you need dependent life insurance? Do you need to update your beneficiaries?

Take Action

When you need to make a change because of a marriage/domestic partnership, be sure to:

  • Go to myChoices Health & Life and select Start a Qualifying Life Event to make your benefit elections within 30 days following the life event.
  • Upload supporting documentation to the enrollment site. You will be required to provide a marriage license or an Affidavit of Marriage/Domestic Partnership Form.
  • Update beneficiary records for life insurance and with your investment company for the 403(b) Retirement Plan.

Remember, you are only allowed to make changes that are consistent with your life event.

If You Don’t Take Action

If you do not make a change because of a marriage/domestic partnership within 30 days of the event, your JHU benefits will stay the same. Your next opportunity to make changes will be during annual enrollment, unless you have another qualified life event.

Divorce/Termination of Domestic Partnership

If you become divorced or terminate your domestic partnership, you are required to make changes to your benefits if you are covering your prior spouse/partner.

Issues to Consider

  • Were you covered under your former spouse/domestic partner’s medical insurance? How about your dependents?
  • Were you or your ex-spouse contributing to a flexible spending account?
  • Is your ex-spouse or ex-domestic partner the beneficiary for your life insurance?
  • Do you or a dependent need personal help through this difficult situation?

Take Action

When you need to make a change because of a divorce or termination of domestic partnership, be sure to:

Remember, you are only allowed to make changes that are consistent with your life event.

If You Don’t Take Action

If it is later determined that you were divorced or terminated a domestic partnership and did not inform the university, you are in violation of the Affidavit of Marriage/Domestic Partnership that you filed with the university.

Adding/Removing Children

When you become a parent—through birth or through adoption—you may make changes to your benefits.

Issues to Consider

  • Does your spouse/domestic partner have health benefits through another source?
  • Does your dependent child have access to other employer coverage?
  • Will you be using dependent care so that you and your spouse can work?
  • Do you need to change your life insurance or add dependent life insurance coverage?

Take Action

When you need to make a change because of a new child, be sure to:

  • Go to myChoices Health & Life and select Start a Qualifying Life Event to make your benefit elections within 30 days following the life event.
  • Upload supporting documentation to the enrollment site. You will be required to provide dependent certification.
  • Apply for adoption assistance, if applicable.
  • Update beneficiary information for life insurance.

If You Don’t Take Action

If you do not make a change because of a birth or adoption within 30 days of the event, your JHU benefits will stay the same and your new dependent will not have coverage. Your next opportunity to make changes will be during annual enrollment, unless you have another qualified life event (e.g., birth, adoption, marriage, etc.).

Family and Medical Leave

JHU recognizes the importance of your family and your health. We offer Family and Medical Leave to enable you to address personal illness as well as the illnesses and/or care of your immediate family members.

The JHU Policy for Family Medical Leave describes the provisions of the act and the steps that need to be taken by you and your supervisor. If there are additional questions as to how this applies to you, contact your divisional Human Resources office.

Issues to Consider

  • Will you be paid for any portion of your Family and Medical Leave?
  • Do you want to change any of your benefits while on Family and Medical Leave?
  • Will JHU hold your position while you are on Family and Medical Leave?

Take Action

When you apply for Family and Medical Leave, be sure to:

  • Notify your supervisor.
  • Learn about your benefits payment options while on leave. Depending on the type of leave, you may be billed directly on a month-by-month basis in order to continue your benefits.
  • Contact the Benefits Service Center within 30 days of returning from a leave of absence to reinstate your benefits or make changes.

Remember, you are only allowed to make changes that are consistent with your life event.

 If You Don’t Take Action

If you do not confirm the continuation of your benefits through direct billing ,your JHU benefits may not continue during your leave.