Group benefit plans can be either mandatory or non-mandatory. Plans can also have a combination of mandatory and non-mandatory benefits. You can find participation requirements for non-mandatory benefits in your group benefits contract.
For mandatory plans:
All employees must enroll (100% participation).
Employees and dependents must enroll within 12 months of their coverage eligibility date.
Employees or dependents enrolled after 12 months are treated as Late Applicants.
For non-mandatory plans:
Not all employees need to enroll (but usually need at least 75% participation).
Employees have the option to opt out of the plan within 31 days of their coverage eligibility date.
Employees or dependents who enroll after 31 days are treated as Late Applicants.