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Have You Verified Covered Dependent Eligibility Lately?

dependent eligibility

Many public sector organizations offer dependent coverage in addition to employee coverage. While HR/Benefits departments closely keep track of adding and terminating employees monthly, keeping the dependent spouse and/or children list accurate may not be considered as crucial. When is the last time you verified that your covered dependents are eligible? If you haven’t performed this task in a while, it might be a good time to do so.

 

Why review?

It is necessary for a dependent review to ensure that you are only offering benefits to those who are eligible. In addition, it:

  • Helps control the cost of benefits for all
  • Ensures compliance
  • Protects everyone from legal & financial risk
  • Provides peace of mind that everyone’s loved ones are covered

 

Who would be considered an ineligible dependent?

Make sure your plan does not contain these types of dependents:

  1. Dependent children over the limiting age. See your policy for details.
  2. Any spouse over the termination age. Check your policy to see if this is applicable.
  3. A spouse who works for the same employer. Most policies don’t allow a spouse to be covered as both an employee and dependent.
  4. If divorce occurs, review your policy to see how it handles an employee’s former spouse and/or former stepchildren. Once the divorce is finalized, they may be ineligible.

 

When is the best time to review?

The best time to do a dependent review is when you have time to do it. It might make sense to do it during your annual enrollment process. Others might elect to ask for this information when employees are updating their beneficiaries. But it is important to review this list during regular intervals to ensure that you are providing and paying for benefits to only those who are eligible.

Contact your NIS Representative if you have any questions.

National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.

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Erin Woulfe

Erin Woulfe

Erin Woulfe likes to write about things that matter. Keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the public sector world, she blogs about the latest legislative news and employee benefit trends that affect our school, city and county clients. She’s been with NIS since 2002. “I love connecting to our clients and providing them with the tools they need in order to administrate their plan,” says Erin. “Whether that be materials to educate their employees on certain benefits, how to effectively communicate change within an organization, or providing tips and how-to’s to help them make their job easier.”