When you have dental benefits through your employer, you usually only get one chance a year to change or add benefits. However, if you undergo certain qualifying life events you are then eligible to reevaluate and make changes to your benefits.
A qualifying event basically gives you a special eligibility period. During this time, you may sign up or change existing benefits outside the usual open enrollment cycle. It is a 30-day period that begins on the date of your qualifying event. And because this change has to be submitted and authorized by your employer, it’s important to keep plan changes on your radar as soon as certain life events occur. In short, we highly recommend taking the time to make changes that best meet you and your family’s situation.
Let’s talk about which life events qualify:
Getting married. You can either add your spouse to your dental plan or, if you and your spouse both have coverage, choose which plan meets your needs. Another option is to ask your employers about coordination of benefits provisions and possibly keep both plans.
Birth or adoption of a child. Be sure to add your children to your plan so they can start establishing healthy oral habits. A common misconception is that babies do not need to visit the dentist until they have permanent teeth. However, baby teeth are just as important as permanent teeth. That’s why, once their first tooth erupts, the ADA recommends your baby starts visiting the dentist right away.
Additional qualifying events include:
- Divorce or legal separation
- Death of insured
- Loss of other coverage or gaining coverage
- Loss of employment or new employment
If you know you have a qualifying event on the horizon, talk with your employer. Together, you can work together to maximize your dental benefits and keep your family smiling. And if you’d like to learn more about the difference about qualifying events and open enrollment, click here.