During the course of your FCPS career, you may experience life changes such as a marriage, birth or adoption of a child, a death in the family, retirement, and other life journeys that can impact your FCPS benefits. These are called “qualifying life events” in which you can make benefit elections or changes.
The window for making adjustments to your benefit elections outside the annual Open Enrollment period is limited to 30 days from any of the “qualifying life” changes in family status events noted below, so it's important to act within that timeframe.
You are allowed to make changes only to those benefits directly affected by the qualifying life event. For example, the birth of a baby would allow you to enroll in or add the baby to a medical or dental plan, and enroll in a flexible spending account or increase current election amount(s), but would not allow a participant to terminate coverage.
For example, if your spouse lost coverage due to job loss, you would be able to enroll and elect medical, dental or vision and enroll in the FCPS plans for the members who had been covered under the spouse plan(s).
Why the Period for Making Changes Is Limited
Most of the benefits plans offered through FCPS are paid with pre-tax dollars. In exchange for that tax advantage, you legally cannot enroll in, cancel, or make changes to your spending account plans outside the annual Open Enrollment period, unless you experience one of the qualifying events described below.
A change in coverage elections due to a birth, adoption or placement for adoption will be effective as of the date of the birth, adoption or placement for adoption. All other changes in coverage elections will be effective as of the first day of the month following the date the change in election application is received by the Plan Administrator.
FCPS follows the Internal Revenue Service Section 125 guidelines and requirements for pre-tax deductions. Therefore, the IRS limits when certain changes can be made or changed under a pre-tax plan(s).