A Qualifying Life Events (QLE) is a life change that allows you to change your insurance coverage mid plan year. Keep reading to learn what to do if you experience a QLE just before, after or during your Open Enrollment period.
How reporting your Qualifying Life Event works
If you experience a QLE just before, after or during your Open Enrollment period, the process for reporting your QLE is the same as any other time of year. Why? After your Open Enrollment period ends, it takes some time before your new plan year starts and you’re covered by your current benefits plan until your new plan year starts. Your QLE might impact your current benefits plan, so you should report your QLE as soon as you can (usually within 30 days of the event).
If you report a QLE during or after your Open Enrollment period, you’ll complete:
QLE enrollment: You can add or remove dependents from your benefits plan or make new plan selections for the rest of your current plan year.
Benefits enrollment for the upcoming plan year: If you didn’t complete Open Enrollment yet, you can enroll in benefits for your upcoming plan year and add or remove dependents from your benefits plan. If you already completed Open Enrollment, you can add or remove dependents from your benefits plan for the upcoming plan year and edit your plan selections.
Here’s an example
Imagine your Open Enrollment period is November 1 - November 15, and your new plan year starts on January 1. You have a baby on October 30, and aren’t sure whether you need to report the QLE since you can add your baby to your benefits plan during Open Enrollment anyways.
You want to ensure your baby is covered by your benefits until the new plan year starts on January 1, so you report your QLE on November 10. You add your baby to your benefits plan for the current plan year (ending December 31).
You then go through Open Enrollment and pick your benefits and add your baby to your benefits plan for the upcoming plan year (starting January 1). This ensures they’re covered by your benefits for both your current and upcoming plan years.