Death of Immediate Family Member

Certain qualifying events allow you to make changes in benefits that otherwise are not possible until the annual Open Enrollment period. This summary outlines the benefit plan changes you may need to make as a result of the death of an immediate family member. You have 31 days from the date of death to notify the Office of Human Resources. Upon notification, an HR representative will assist the employee in making the necessary benefit changes.

Required Documentation

  • Certified Death Certificate – copy
  • Government Issued Birth Certificate(s) – copy (if adding dependent children)

Medical/Prescription Drugs, Dental and Vision

  • Spouse’s Death: If you were covered under the health insurance plan of your deceased spouse, you may need to enroll in a University medical, dental and/or vision plan. If you are already enrolled in a University health plan, you will need to remove your deceased spouse from the plan by providing a certified death certificate. Depending on your level of coverage, you may need to change to an individual+1 or Individual plan. You may also need to add your dependent child(ren) to your benefit plan, if they were previously covered under your spouse’s plan by providing a government issued birth certificate(s).
  • Child’s Death: If your deceased child was covered under your University health plan, you will need to remove him/her from the plan by providing a certified death certificate. 

Life Insurance

This is a good time to reevaluate your life insurance coverage to accommodate the change in your family structure. You may need to change your optional and/or dependent life insurance coverage(s) along with your life insurance beneficiary(ies). This change may require that you complete an Evidence of Insurability form.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

You may want to reconsider your participation in Flexible Spending Accounts by either signing up now or changing the amount of your contributions. 

Retirement Programs

This is a good time to review your retirement programs, investment elections, and contribution amounts to accommodate your new situation. You may either begin, stop, increase, or decrease your contributions as well as update or change your beneficiary(ies). This may be done by accessing the investment company’s web site.

Additional items to review

Additional Information


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