Dependents and Your Benefits

When you experience a change in your life — or in the life of your family — that has an impact on your dependent's need or eligibility for benefits, you may be able to modify your benefits outside the annual Open Enrollment period.

Evaluate your medical coverage and review other SF State resources for parents.

If your dependent becomes ineligible for SF State coverage and will be without coverage, notify our SF State Benefits team in writing within 60 days to continue coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). The rules for COBRA are strict, so learn how it works and the steps you must take to enroll. 

The Impact on Your Own Health Coverage

When your dependent is no longer eligible for SF State benefits, you may decide to change your health, dental, or vision coverage from a family plan to an individual plan, if the child was the only dependent on your plan(s). Learn more about your health plan options.

When your eligibility for Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) changes, you have 60 days from the time you lose or gain eligibility to make a corresponding change to your SF State health-related benefits.


What the Federal Statute Says

The ability to change your health-related benefits outside the designated open enrollment period is the result of CHIPRA, the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009. CHIPRA states that all group health plans must permit eligible employees and their dependents to enroll in an employer plan outside of the established open enrollment period if the employee requests enrollment under the employer's group health plan within 60 days of either:

  • Loss of coverage due to loss of eligibility under Medicaid or a State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). If you or your dependent lose coverage under Medicaid or SCHIP, you may enroll yourself and your dependent in an SF State group health plan no later than 60 days after coverage ends under Medicaid or SCHIP.
  • Eligibility for premium assistance under Medicaid or a State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). If you and/or your dependents become eligible for financial assistance from Medicaid or SCHIP, you may enroll yourself and/or your dependent in a group health plan available through SF State, provided that your request is made no later than 60 days after the date that Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program determines that you and/or your dependents are eligible for such financial assistance. 

SF State required all faculty and staff to document dependents' eligibility for health care benefits

When your spouse or domestic partner becomes unemployed, the impact can extend beyond the paycheck. Here are a few things to keep in mind, including benefits that might be affected and the timeframe for making changes.

Health, dental, and vision plans

  • If you were not covered under an SF State health plan because your spouse/domestic partner provided the medical coverage, you can enroll in one of SF State's health plans within 31 days of the date your partner's employment ends. 
  • If you already have medical coverage from SF State, you can add coverage for family members within 31 days of the end of your spouse's or partner's employment. Use the enrollment/change form.


What Else You Should Know

  • Check to see if your spouse or partner's work phone number is on file as your SF State emergency contact number. To make a change to your emergency information, visit SF State Employee Portal
  • Change your tax withholding rate Address and Withholding Allowance Change
  • If you do not meet the timeline described above for modifying your benefits, you will have to wait until the next annual Open Enrollment period to do so.