Reporting Family Status Changes

Family status changes should be reported to Human Resources (227-2470) no later than 30 calendar days after the occurrence of the change. You may have Special Enrollment Rights in the group health plan.  Timely notification ensures:

  • Accurate dollar amounts are withheld from your paycheck for your health, dental, flex spending, and supplemental life insurance plans;
  • Prompt enrollment of your new spouse or child to your benefit plans;
  • You are not left financially responsible for medical costs incurred after the family status change as in the case of a divorce;
  • Your name and address records are updated accordingly.

For additional information on a specific status change, please click on the appropriate section below.

    Additional Information

    It is also important for HR to know when you have a dependent who gets married and if there is an associated name change for the dependent you still wish to cover on your plan(s).

    A family status change is also a good time to review your beneficiaries for life insurance, retirement plans, and final paycheck.  The Human Resources Department can assist you with your beneficiary updates for life insurance and final paycheck information.  However, you must update your beneficiaries for retirement plans with either TIAA or the Office of Retirement Services (MPSERS).  If you are enrolled in a voluntary 403(b) retirement plan with any other service provider, you will want to be sure to update your beneficiary information accordingly.

    Please notify the Human Resources office (227-2470) within 30 days of the birth or adoption of a child.  If you do not add child(ren) within 30 days of the event, you will not be eligible to add until the next open enrollment period.  In the case of adoption, you will be required to provide documentation indicating the date of your child’s placement in your home, the actual date of the adoption, or the date that the legal guardianship documents are filed with the court. 

    Please remember to provide the Human Resources Department  the child(ren)’s Social Security Number and a copy of their birth certificate as soon as they become available.

    Benefit offerings to consider:

    • Add child to Medical Coverage
    • Add child to Dental and/or Vision Coverage
    • Change beneficiary information
    • Add dependent life insurance coverage
    • Adjust Flexible Spending Deductions (if enrolled)
    • Adjust Dependent Care Deductions (if enrolled)
    • Tax exemption changes

    Please contact Human Resources at 227-2470 to add any of the benefits mentioned above.

    Questions related to the lactation accommodation process should be directed to the Human Resources Department at 906-227-2330. Click here to learn more about lactation and nursing resources.

    If your child is no longer dependent as defined for the following benefits, be sure to notify the Human Resources office (227-2470) within 60 days of the loss of dependency.

    Health/Dental/Vision Coverage

    Your child is eligible for health, dental, and vision coverage up to age 26.  The NMU health plan is considered a “non-grandfathered” health plan effective January 1, 2012.  Accordingly, it is no longer permissible to deny or restrict coverage of a child under age 26 based on the child’s financial dependency, residency, student status, employment, marital status, or eligibility in their employer-sponsored group health plan. Coverage terminates at the end of the month in which your child turns age 26.

    Dependent Life Insurance

    Child must be under the age of 26.

    Tuition Benefit

    IRS tax dependent, unmarried dependent children* of the eligible employee/retiree

    • *Dependent Children are defined as an employee’s son, step-son**, daughter, step-daughter** and a legally adopted child.
    • Biological and legally adopted children of divorced parents may be the IRS tax dependent of the employee’s divorced spouse.  A copy of the employee’s divorced spouses most recently filed Federal 1040 tax document must be provided to Human Resources. (see required documentation)
    • **Step-children must be the IRS tax dependent of the NMU employee in order to be eligible.  Proof of IRS tax dependent status must be provided to Human Resources via the most recently filed Federal 1040 tax document.  (see required documentation)

    Be sure to call the Human Resources office (227-2470) within 60 days of the divorce and we will schedule a brief appointment to meet with you. You will need to provide the HR Department  a copy of the court document stamped with the effective date of the divorce.  All insurance coverages on your spouse (and dependents, if applicable) terminate effective with the date of divorce. 

    It is important that you notify Human Resources about the divorce within 60 days of.  Failure to provide notification within 60 days may result in responsiblity for any expenses incurred by your ex-spouse or ex-dependents after the date of divorce.

    Things to consider:

    • Change insurance coverage (health, dental & vision)?
    • Change your dependent life coverage?
    • Update beneficiary information?
    • Update your address and phone number, if applicable
    • Change tax exemption status
    • Change contributions to:
      • Tax-deferred annuity
      • Flexible Spending Account (if enrolled)
      • Dependent Care Spending Account (if enrolled)

    Be sure to notify the Human Resources office (227-2470) as soon as you are able but no longer than 30 days from the date of death.  

    Things to consider:

    • Provide death certificates where required.
    • Remove spouse or dependent from medical, dental and/or vision coverage.
    • If previously covered by your spouse, enroll in your own coverages, if eligible.
    • Make necessary changes to life insurance coverage.
    • Change beneficiary information on life, retirement, and other applicable documents.
    • Tax exemption changes
    • Change contributions to:
      • Tax-deferred annuity
      • Flexible Spending Account (if enrolled)
      • Dependent Care Spending Account (if enrolled)

    If you change from full-time employment (.75 FTE or higher) to part-time status, you will be affected.  Contact the Human Resources Department (227-2470) to ask about implications.

    Things to Consider:

    • Increase in Health Coverage costs.
    • Increase in Dental and/or Vision costs.
    • Decrease in  annual leave and sick time
    • Changes in life insurance coverage – based on lower compensation
    • Tax Deferred Annuity contributions
    • Flexible Spending or Dependent Care Spending account contributions
    • Tax exemption changes

    Be sure to call the Human Resources office (227-2470) within 30 days of the marriage so we may schedule a brief benefits appointment with you.  You must provide the HR Department with a copy of your marriage license and the Social Security Number of your spouse and any new dependents. 

    It is important to add your new spouse (and new dependents) within 30 days of the marriage otherwise you must wait to add them during the next open enrollment period. 

    Things to consider:

    • Add spouse (and  new dependents) to medical coverage?
    • Add spouse (and new dependents) to dental and/or vision coverage?
    • Add dependent life coverage?
    • Update beneficiary information?
    • Change tax exemption status
    • Update address and phone number, if applicable
    • Change name? You must present new social security card to HR before change can be made.
    • Change contributions to:
      • Tax-deferred annuity
      • Flexible Spending Account (if enrolled)
      • Dependent Care Spending Account (if enrolled)

    All benefits normally terminate on the last day of the month in which your employment at the University ends.  All unused annual leave (vacation time) will be paid out on your final paycheck.

    Things to Consider:

    • Plan in advance for health coverage – if you are losing coverage, you will be offered COBRA which by accepting and paying for yourself will continue that same
      coverage for up to 18 months.  You may want to research other options.
    • Keep the Human Resources Department up-to-date on your most current address (and phone) so that future tax forms will be mailed to the proper address.
    • Pay attention to all mail sent to you from the HR Department as there may be notification of outstanding payments for health care coverage.  You are responsible for paying for prior health coverage even after your employment ends.

    If a spouse or an eligible dependent loses their medical/dental/and or vision coverage through their employer, they may be able to be added to your coverage at the time of loss of coverage.  Proof of loss of coverage must be provided to Human Resources.  The proof should be an official letter from the previous employer that includes the following information:

    • Name of person(s) losing coverage
    • Social Security Number(s) and birth date(s) of person(s) losing coverage
    • Date coverage was terminated
    • The length of time coverage had been provided.

    Contact Us

    If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Kimberly Hongisto, Benefits Assistant, at x2470 or via e-mail or Kristen Bjorne, Director of Benefits, at x1030 or


    **Notification must be received no later than 60 days of the event in order for COBRA Continuation of Coverage to be extended to the qualified beneficiary. If notification is received later than 60 days from the event, the qualified beneficiary(ies) will be provided with a COBRA Notice of Unavailability.