Status Changes


Under IRS rule, pre-tax benefit elections are irrevocable during a plan year and may only be changed if certain qualifying events occur that create a change in status. These status change events allow you to enroll in, waive, or make changes* to the following benefits within 31 days of a qualifying event:

  • Medical/prescription
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Flexible spending accounts (FSA)
  • Life insurance (subject to evidence of insurability with Aetna)
  • Legal services

Status change elections and any supporting documentation must be submitted to the OEB within 31 days of any qualifying event. Any request beyond the 31-day window will be denied.

Except for birth/adoption or a return from an unpaid leave of absence, all status change elections are effective on a prospective basis.

* You may NOT make changes at the PLAN level for a coverage that you had already enrolled in. Example: If you had enrolled in Anchor Plus, so long as your qualifying event is consistent with your requested change, you may switch from single coverage to family coverage and vice versa, but you may NOT switch to Anchor or Anchor Choice.


What's Considered a Qualifying Event?

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Domestic partnership**
  • Death
  • Birth
  • Adoption
  • Dependent turning 26
  • Certain family relations orders/decrees
  • Family member entering the US under a visa
  • Change from full-time to part-time employment or vice versa for you or your spouse/domestic partner
  • Commencement or return from an unpaid leave of absence for you or your spouse/domestic partner
  • Employment begins or ends, or open enrollment period for spouse/domestic partner

** If your domestic partner does not meet the definition of a dependent pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 152 (as modified by Section 105(b)), federal law requires that the fair market value of any State health coverage extended to your domestic partner must be imputed to you as income on your paycheck and must be reflected on the W-2 issued to you by the State of Rhode Island. For example, if you were a 26 pay-period employee covering your domestic partner under the State medical, dental and vision plans, your imputed income would be around $200 per pay period and be deducted from each paycheck.
If you get married, or if your domestic partnership ends, it is YOUR responsibility to inform the Office of Employee Benefits in writing immediately. Your failure to do so will prevent you from obtaining refunds of co-shares paid and/or imputed income tax withheld. The Office of Employee Benefits will not coordinate such refunds if it is not notified within 31 days of the date of the change.


How Do I Make a Status Change Election?

If you are commencing or returning from an unpaid leave of absence

Please email for assistance on processing your benefit elections.

All other qualifying events

Medical/prescription, dental, and vision coverage

FSA, life insurance, and/or legal coverage

  • Please email for assistance on how to make status change elections for these benefits.

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Supporting Documentation

› Marriage
  • A copy of the marriage certificate
  • Dual State-employed spouses—If both you and your spouse are State employees, you must complete Dual State-Employed Spouses Declaration in OnlinEnroll
› Divorce
  • A copy of the final divorce decree
› Domestic partnership
  • Partnership formation
    • At least TWO of the following four items:
      1. Domestic Partnership Agreement or a Relationship Contract
      2. Joint mortgage or joint ownership of primary residence
      3. TWO of the following four items proving financial interdependency:
        1. Joint ownership of vehicle
        2. Joint checking account
        3. Joint credit account
        4. Joint lease
      4. Employee's will, retirement contract, or life insurance showing domestic partner as beneficiary
  • Partnership termination
    • You must report the termination of a domestic partnership by logging onto OnlinEnroll
› Death
  • A copy of the death certificate or obituary
› Birth
  • A copy of the birth certificate. (We understand that this takes time. Please add your newborn as a dependent within 31 days of date of birth and follow up with the birth certificate once received; same for the social security number.)
› Adoption
  • A copy of the adoption decree
› Loss of coverage/Turning 26
  • A HIPAA letter from the other carrier, or
  • A COBRA letter that shows coverage is being offered due to a loss of coverage elsewhere
› Certain family relations orders/decrees
  • Legal documents from a court order
› Family member entering the US under a visa
  • A copy of the visa (or other official document supporting entry into the US). (We understand that it takes time for your family member to obtain their social security number. Please add your family member within 31 days of their entrance and follow up with their social security number once received.)
› Change from full-time to part-time employment or vice versa for you or your spouse/domestic partner
  • If a State employee
    • A copy of the CS3
  • If not a State employee
    • A letter from the other employer's HR office proving a loss of coverage due to the employee no longer being eligible
› Commencement or return from an unpaid leave of absence for you or your spouse/domestic partner
  • If a State employee
    • A notification from HR stating that the employee is going on leave or returning from leave
  • If not a State employee
    • A letter from the other employer's HR office proving a loss of coverage due to a leave, or a gain of other coverage due to a return
› Employment begins or ends, or open enrollment period for spouse/domestic partner
  • A letter from the spouse's HR office indicating a start of employment, a termination of employment, or open enrollment

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