Can I Change My Mind about the Plans I’ve Chosen?
There is an annual Flexible Benefits Program Open Enrollment period, which generally takes place in November. New choices can be made at that time, including changes in plans, re-enrollment and enrollment in Flexible Spending Account(s), and the addition of dependents who are not eligible to be added as dependents mid-year.
Health plan coverage for the new Plan Year begins with the first day of the County’s biweekly payroll period that includes January 1, and ends with the last day of the payroll period that precedes January 1 of the following year. Flexible Spending Account Plan Years begin on January 1 and end on December 31.
If you are on an approved leave of absence, and you or your department has continued to pay your premiums while you are on leave, any plan changes will be effective at the beginning of the new Plan Year. If you are on an approved leave of absence and your coverage has lapsed, your coverage effective date will be delayed until the pay period following your first paycheck with premium deductions after you return to work.
Due to IRS restrictions on Flexible Benefits Programs, the choices you make generally cannot be changed until the next annual Open Enrollment period. However, the IRS does permit you to file revised elections, or adjust Flexible Spending Account contributions, within 31 days of certain qualified mid-year events, such as changes in your family/employment status.
The change in your plan selections must be because of, and consistent with, the reason for the change. Consistency is met if the election change affects eligibility for coverage under the plan. The election change has to be on account of and correspond with the event. In some cases, the IRS requires that the change be retroactive to the pay period in which you became eligible to make the change. Please see Chapter 1 of the Benefit Plans Handbook to see a complete list of qualified mid-year events that would allow you to make changes to your plan selections.
Revised forms must be received by CEO/Human Resources/Benefits within 31 days of the qualified change in status, or you may not be able to make the requested change until the next Open Enrollment period. Depending on the nature of the change, documentation may be required (such as a copy of a marriage or birth certificate, court documents, or a letter from a current or former employer). If there will be a delay in obtaining the documentation, submit the form within the 31 days and attach a note of explanation. Follow-up as soon as possible with the documentation.