Benefits Qualifying Events
Important: Some variations exist between endowed and contract college qualifying events regarding timelines and other details.
- Marriage / Domestic Partnership
- Divorce / Dissolution of Partnership
- Birth / Adoption / Legal Custody of Child
- Death of dependent
- Reduction in hours to below 50% time employment
- Transfer to/from Endowed to Contract College
- Leave of absence without pay
- Gain/Loss of coverage
Contract College NYSHIP Health Plan
It is important that you contact Benefit Services within 30 days of a qualifying event that affects health plan coverage. If a request to enroll in the New York State Health Insurance Plan is not made within 56 days of hire date, benefits eligibility date or within 30 days of a qualifying event date, you will be subject to a 10-week waiting period. Additionally, the health premium will be deducted from your pay on an after-tax basis for the remainder of the year.
Different timelines and rules may apply when you are initially hired: Endowed (pdf) / Contract College (pdf).
Other Life Events
You may be eligible to make changes to your benefits enrollments if:
- You go on a leave of absence without pay
- Your spouse or dependent’s employment ends
- Employment Ends for Domestic Partner– Endowed (pdf)
- Employment Ends for Spouse or Child – Endowed (pdf)
- Employment Ends for Domestic Partner – Contract College (pdf)
- Employment Ends for Spouse or Child – Contract College (pdf)
Life changes such as the following may impact your benefits, but don’t qualify as an opportunity to enroll in or make changes to your enrollment elections.
- Moving: Be sure to change your address in Workday, as well as with your benefit vendors. If you are moving to another county, you may want to select a new primary care physician.
Annual Enrollment Periods
Endowed Annual Open Enrollment
Endowed benefits open enrollment takes place once a year, typically during November. During this time, you can enroll in or make changes to your benefits. For example, you can enroll in a health plan, change from one plan to another, or enroll in a flexible spending account. Benefits elections become active January 1 following your enrollment.
Important: New enrollment or modifications to your enrollment can only be made during the open enrollment period, or in the case of a qualifying life event (see below).
Contract College Annual Option Transfer
If you have contract college benefits, your change period (called Option Transfer) takes place alongside New York State employees, typically in November/December. HR Services & Transitions Center will send you information about health insurance plan changes and rates for the upcoming year. During this time you can: change from one plan to another; change from family to individual coverage, voluntarily cancel your health insurance coverage; or enroll in a flexible spending account (you must enroll each year). The Option Transfer Period begins when the NYS Department of Civil Service announces the health rates and ends 30 days later.
Important: Changing health plans, changing from family to individual coverage, or canceling health insurance coverage can only be made during the option transfer period, or in the case of a qualifying life event (see below).
Other Benefit Enrollments
The following benefits are available for enrollment year-round.
- Pet Insurance
- Auto and Home Insurance
- Personal Accident Insurance
- Cornell Recreation Membership
- Cornell University Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan (CUTDAP)