Life Events & Change of Benefits


Since many of the university’s benefits are governed by the Internal Revenue Service code, there are rules that govern when employees may change a benefit election throughout the year. Generally, employees must have a life status change or life event (i.e., marriage, divorce, the birth of a child), in order to make a change during the calendar year. An employee must notify the benefits staff within 31 days of the life event; otherwise, you may have to wait until the next open enrollment to make a benefit change selection.

For questions, please contact the Benefits Department at 330-672-3107 or


  • Birth of a baby/Adoption
  • Death
  • Disability
  • Divorce
  • Legal Guardianship/Custody
  • Job Status Change/Loss of Coverage
  • Marriage
  • Domestic Partnerships
  • Domestic Relations Orders

When enrolling in benefits, your elections remain in effect until the end of the calendar year and you cannot make any changes until the next Open Enrollment period, which is usually in October. However, if you experience a qualified family status change during the calendar year, you may be able to make additional benefit changes that correspond with the change.

Important Deadline

To change your coverage(s) when a qualified family status change occurs, you must act within 31 days of the qualifying event. If this deadline is missed, you must wait for the next open enrollment period in which you are eligible to participate and the change(s) will become effective the following January 1.

Below please find additional updates to consider when you have a qualifying event:

Personal Information

To update your personal information you will need to complete a Change of Personal Information (PDF) form in order to change any of these items: name, address, phone, marital status, emergency contact, add or delete dependents.

You may also update your information online by logging into Flashline, and clicking on the MyHR tab, and selecting Personal Information under Employee Detail.

Please note: To change your name, you must provide a copy of your marriage certificate (if recently married) or divorce decree, along with a copy of your Social Security card with your new name listed.

Employee Benefits

To add a spouse/domestic partner or dependents for health insurance, you must complete the Dependent Verification form (PDF) and provide supporting documentation such as a copy of the marriage certificate to add a spouse and/or birth certificate(s) to add child dependents. A new Group Enrollment form will need to be submitted as well.

Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Account

If you wish to enroll in a Health Care or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account or make changes to your preexisting FSA due to a Life Status Event, you must complete the Flexible Spending Account Enrollment Form (PDF) or FSA Change form (PDF) for the current year. If you are enrolled in the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), you can also change your HSA contributions by increasing, decreasing, or stopping contributions. Visit the Benefits Forms webpage to download the appropriate form.

Life Insurance/Change or Add Beneficiary

If you need to make changes to your life insurance, supplemental life insurance, or your beneficiary(ies) you must complete the Beneficiary Form (PDF) from Securian and submit it to the University Benefits Department in Heer Hall.

Retirement Plan

OPERS, STRS, or ARP Providers: To make changes to personal information, you must contact the retirement system in which you are enrolled. Please be aware that the university cannot change your personal information with your retirement system. 

Retirement Contact Information:

OPERS: 800-222-7377   
STRS:  888-227-7877
ARP (Alternative Retirement Plans) (PDF):  Contact your administrator to advise them of any changes in your personal information. 
403(b) Tax-Deferred Annuity (PDF):  Contact your administrator to advise them of any changes in your personal information.
457 Ohio Public Deferred Compensation Plans (PDF):  Contact your administrator to advise them of any changes in your personal information.

Tuition Benefits

If your spouse/domestic partner or dependent is no longer eligible for the benefit, please contact the Benefits Department (330-672-3017) to terminate the tuition waiver.

Be aware that the Benefits department can not influence or approve college admissions. To enroll for the tuition waiver benefit, the student must already be admitted and registered for classes. Use the Tuition Waiver Workflow found in your Flashline under the "My Action Items" tab. Learn more about the employee Tuition waiver.

Death Benefits

Death of Employee/Dependent: Beneficiaries should contact the Benefits office at 330-672-3107 for information regarding group life insurance, supplemental insurance, retirement information, the continuation of medical coverage for dependents through COBRA, and for assistance in obtaining any remaining compensation from the university.

Questions about mid-year changes affecting your Kent State University benefits should be directed to HR/Benefits at 330-672-3107 or