Life Events

During the course of your MIT career, you are likely to experience many changes, large and small, in your life outside of work. Marriage, birth, retirement, a death in the family, and other life passages can have a corresponding impact on your Institute benefits.

The window for making adjustments outside the annual Open Enrollment period is limited to 31 days from any of the qualifying changes in family status events noted below, so it's important to act within that timeframe. These pages outline the steps you'll need to take to modify your benefits when you have a change in family or employment status — and the timeframe for taking action.

Remember that you are allowed to make changes only to those benefits directly affected by the qualifying life event.

In all cases, any mid-year election change needs to be consistent with the event prompting the change. For example, the birth of a baby would allow an employee to enroll in or add the baby to a medical, dental or vision plan, and enroll in a flexible spending account or increase current election amount(s), but would not allow a participant to terminate coverage since that would not be consistent with the birth of the baby. Any election change as a result of a life event must be on account of and correspond with a change in status that affects eligibility for coverage under the plan.

Documenting Dependents

The Institute requires all MIT faculty and staff to document dependents' eligibility for health care benefits. Learn more about this requirement.

Qualifying Changes in Family Status

Qualifying Changes in Employment Status

  • beginning or end of sabbatical
  • beginning or end of extended sick or illness leave
  • beginning or end of leave of absence extending three months or longer

Read more about how leaves affect your benefits

Qualifying Change in Medicaid or SCHIP Coverage

Why the Period for Making Changes is Limited

Most of the benefits plans offered through MIT are paid with pre-tax dollars. In exchange for that tax advantage, you legally cannot enroll in, cancel, or make changes to your medical, dental, vision, or flexible spending account plans outside the annual Open Enrollment period, unless you experience one of the qualifying events described above.

MIT's policy for allowing changes outside Open Enrollment in the case of certain qualifying life events is consistent with the federal Department of Labor guidelines under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).