How to Change Benefits

Change Benefits

When you enroll in benefits, your elections remain in effect until the end of the calendar year. Because contributions for most health benefits are deducted on a pre-tax basis, IRS regulations require that a participant, once enrolled, may not change his or her election until the next open enrollment period or unless he or she experiences a qualifying life event change.

Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment is your annual opportunity to consider whether your health and welfare benefits meet your needs. During open enrollment, employees can modify benefit elections, including changing plan selections, declining coverage, adding or removing eligible dependents.  Changes outside of the open enrollment period are only processed in conjunction with a Qualifying Life Event.

Changing Coverage (qualifying life event)

Based on IRS rules, you can make changes during the year only if you have a qualifying change in your family or employment status. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Adding a dependent through marriage, registered domestic partnership, birth, adoption or legal guardianship;
  • Losing a dependent through legal separation, annulment, divorce, dissolving of a registered domestic partnership or death;
  • Dependent's loss of eligibility by attaining age 26*;
  • Loss of other health insurance for a Carnegie employee, the spouse or registered domestic partner and/or dependent child(ren) of a Carnegie employee who loses coverage through the employer of a spouse or registered domestic partner (for example, other coverage lost due to layoff, termination, disability, severance, substantial reduction in benefits or reduction in work hours);
  • Gaining eligibility for other coverage through a spouse's or registered domestic partner's plan, COBRA or Medicare (or MediCal in California);
  • Receiving a court order - a Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO) - requiring the addition of medical coverage for children not in the participant's custody;

Experiencing a qualifying life event allows an employee to change the level of coverage (but not switch plans)

Supporting documentation is required to make a change based on a qualifying life event.

31 Day Deadline

When you experience a qualified life event, you have 31 days from the date of the event to submit changes to your benefits, as well as supporting documentation. If you miss the 31 day deadline, you will have to wait until the next annual open enrollment period, which occurs in late fall, or experience another qualified life event to make changes. Benefit changes must be consistent with the eligible life event.

If you submit a change to remove an ineligible dependent or cancel coverage, changes are effective the first of the following month.

Legal Name Change

If you have legally changed your name, update your employee and benefits records by sending an email to hr@carnegiescience.edu. You will be asked to provide supporting documentation. Human Resources will update benefit vendors and payroll services on your behalf.

In addition, be sure to update the following:

  • Carnegie email address
  • Carnegie credit card
  • Business cards
  • Email signature line
  • Voicemail