Understanding New Hire Waiting Periods

August 3, 2020

So you just hired a new employee and they are excited about their dental benefits (hey, we are excited for them too). As a reminder, before they take a seat in the dental chair, they’ll need to complete the new hire waiting period first.  


A new hire waiting period, is that required period of time an employee will wait before their coverage kicks in. The length of this period of time can vary, and is decided upon when your company applied for coverage with Dental Select. So, to avoid a lapse of coverage or unexpected expenses, it’s important to communicate this date to your new full-time employee.  


Full time employees 

Generally speaking, a full-time employee is one who works at least 30 hours per week and is on the regular payroll, but your company’s definition of full-time employment may differ. So positions like independent contractors, temporary or seasonal workers, and part-time employees may not eligible for coverage.  


Dependents who are eligible for coverage are decided upon in your certificate of insurance, but typically include the insured employee’s lawful spouse or unmarried child (up to the dependent age limit). Dependents may also include domestic partners, or any person related to the insured employee by blood or marriage. 

New Hire Enrollment

Should your new hire employee enroll on a Dental Select plan, they will be eligible to do so on the first of the month following a continuous full-time employment status. Then, they will need to enroll within 31 days the day they become eligible.  

To ensure timely enrollment, we strongly recommend you submit enrollment forms at the time of hire, rather than waiting until your employee has completed the new hire waiting period. That way, a delay in processing can be avoided.  

If your new employee chooses not to enroll, they can wait until next year’s open enrollment or they may enroll within 30 days of a qualifying event. As a reminder, a qualifying event can be marriage, divorce or legal separation, birth of a child or adoption of a child, loss of employment, new employment, loss of other coverage or gaining coverage, or death of insured. 


For more information on the group enrollment process, here’s a little refresher.