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Divorce and Changes to Benefits

If you are getting divorced, you may choose to change who is covered under your Tufts Benefits.

Relevant Forms

Action Items

  • Complete a Qualified Status Change Form and submit it to Tufts Support Services (TSS).
  • Include documentation such as court documents or a divorce decree showing the final date of the divorce along with all signatures and any details regarding benefit coverage.
  • You must submit this paperwork within 31 days of your divorce. If you do not submit the above documents within 31 days, you will have to wait until the next annual open enrollment period (usually October/November) to make any changes to your benefit plans.

Health, Dental, and Vision Plans

Your ex-spouse may be covered under your Tufts University health, dental, and vision plans if:

  1. Your ex-spouse was covered by the university’s benefit plans immediately before the divorce, AND
  2. There is a court order requiring that your ex-spouse continues to receive coverage. Your ex-spouse and any dependent children may continue to be covered under your health, dental, and vision plans if the court order states this as a requirement and your ex-spouse was previously enrolled under these plans.

If you remarry and want to cover your new spouse, your ex-spouse can no longer be covered under any Tufts University-sponsored health, dental, or vision plans.

If you request that your ex-spouse be removed from these above plans, he or she can continue coverage through COBRA for up to 36 months from the date of divorce.  Once you notify the university of a change, your spouse and will receive information on COBRA from EBPA, the university’s COBRA administrator.  

If you or your eligible dependents were covered by your ex-spouse’s health plan and lost coverage due to your divorce, you may enroll in a Tufts University-sponsored health plan. You will need to submit a Qualified Status Change Form within 31 days of your divorce along with a copy of your divorce decree and any needed documentation as noted on the form. Your coverage will begin on the date you submit the Qualified Status Change Form and documentation or the date of the divorce, whichever is later.

Ex-Spouse Coverage and Your Taxes

Payroll contributions for ex-spouse coverage in the health, dental or vision plans will be on an after-tax basis in accordance with the Internal Revenue Service regulations. Since ex-spouses do not qualify as federal tax dependents, the employee cost for covering an ex-spouse will be withheld as an after-tax payroll deduction and the employer-shared cost will be treated as income to the employee.

Supplemental Life Insurance

You may increase your current supplemental life insurance or enroll in this benefit. To request new or additional coverage, complete the Evidence of Insurability Form and submit it directly to  Prudential following the instructions on the form. You can also waive or decrease your coverage by making a change on your Qualified Status Change Form.

You may also want to review your life insurance beneficiary information. Look for this information on eServe under “Benefits.” Then click the link for “Dependents and Beneficiaries” and choose “Insurance Beneficiary Summary.” You can make beneficiary changes online through eServe or contact TSS for assistance.

Dependent Child Life Insurance

You may choose coverage for eligible dependent children up to age 26 by completing that section of the Qualified Status Change Form.

Dependent Spouse Supplemental Life Insurance

If you had enrolled your ex-spouse in Dependent Spouse Life Insurance, his or her coverage will end on the date we receive your Qualified Status Change Form.

Your ex-spouse may choose to continue coverage through conversion or portability. To do this, he or she could call Prudential at 1-800-778-3827 and a representative will explain the options.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

You may choose to enroll in a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) if you lost coverage under your ex-spouse’s plan.

You may also choose to decrease the amount you contribute or end your plan if you no longer need it. You may also enroll in a Dependent Care FSA or increase your contribution if you have newly eligible dependents or choose to end your coverage if you no longer have eligible expenses.

Remember that you must notify TSS within 31 days of your divorce and make any changes requested by completing a Qualified Status Change Form.

Retirement Savings Plans

Now would be a good time to review your beneficiary information for your Tufts University-Funded Retirement Savings Plan and the Self-Funded Retirement Plan, if you are enrolled.

Please contact your retirement plan vendor with any changes to your beneficiary information.

  • TIAA Customer Service: 1-800-842-2776
  • Fidelity Customer Service: 1-800-343-0860