Making Changes to Your Benefits: Qualified Life Status Changes

Getting married. Becoming a parent. These and other life events may affect your employee benefits, so it's important to know when to take action.

While the benefits elections you make during Open Enrollment each fall, or when you are a new hire, generally remain in effect until the end of the plan year, December 31, you may make limited changes to your benefits outside of Open Enrollment due to a Qualified Life Status Change.

Examples of Qualified Life Status Changes:

  • Change in legal marital status: Marriage, death of spouse, divorce or annulment
  • Change in the number of dependents: Birth, adoption, placement for adoption, legal guardianship or death of a dependent
  • Change in dependent status: A dependent losing coverage under another plan, such as a spouse/partner losing coverage from his/her employer
  • Change in employment status: Job promotions and/or transfers that change the benefits offerings
  • Military service: A spouse or eligible dependent being called to military duty in the U.S. Armed Forces



How to Make a Benefits Change

If you experience a Qualified life Status Change, you must make your benefits changes within 31 days of the event. All benefits changes must comply with IRS regulations and be consistent with the nature of your Qualified Life Status Change.

Step 1Log in to the CU Benefits Enrollment System using your UNI and password.
Step 2Select "Make a Qualified Life Status Change" from the Actions menu.
Step 3Follow the system prompts to enter information about the event, the date of occurrence, and, if applicable, information about your dependent.
Step 4Provide the requested documentation for your change, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate or divorce decree.


Need Help? Please contact the Columbia Benefits Service Center at 212-851-7000.