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  • Special Enrollments/Life Events

    What is a Life Event?

    In most cases, the benefits you choose during enrollment can’t be changed for the rest of the year. However, when something happens in your life that significantly affects your coverage or coverage needs, you may be able to change some of your selections before then. These situations, known as life events, allow you to take part in a 30-day special enrollment period.

    Life events generally fall into two categories:

    • Changes to the size of your household, like:

      • Getting married, divorced, etc.

      • New birth, adoption, etc.

    • Changes to coverage or coverage eligibility (that affect you, your spouse/partner, or your dependents), such as:

      • Taking (or returning from) approved, unpaid leave

      • A covered dependent turning 26, and no-longer qualifying for coverage on your medical plan

      • YOU turning 26, and losing access to a parent’s medical coverage

      • Your spouse/partner starting a new job, with benefits

      • Your spouse/partner leaving a job, and losing access to those benefits

      • You, your spouse, or your partner changing employment status in a way that affects benefits eligibility (such as switching from part time to full time, and thereby qualifying for new benefit plans)

      • Having a spouse or partner with an Open Enrollment window that doesn’t match with your Open Enrollment window at Waters

      • A significant change in the cost of your day care.

        • This doesn’t apply if your dependent care provider is a relative. (Aunt Nessie upping her hourly nanny rate by $1.50 doesn’t count as a life event.)

      • A change in Medicaid or Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) eligibility

        • Gaining/losing this type of coverage gives you 60 days to apply for enrollment changes to any affected coverage, instead of the 30 day rule that applies to other life events

      • Etc.

    But these are just examples. In general, if something big has happened (or is going to happen) in your life that affects you coverage needs, it’s a good idea to see if you qualify for a special enrollment.

    Now, life events don’t give you a blank check to change all your coverage, but you will be able to make changes that are consistent with your event.

    For Example

    When Hannah had a baby girl, after a few long days (and nights), she logged onto and declared the birth event. She then went through and chose the benefits they needed at this time, like medical insurance. They know babies don’t get teeth for several months, so there was no need to add her to Michele’s dental and pay the extra premium at this time, and there is always next year’s open enrollment.

    To get started with (or declare) your life event, enter your information at You’ll have to declare the event and complete your Special Enrollment no more than 30 days after the event occurs. For some life events, you must provide verification of the event.

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    • Medicaid and the Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP): If you or your children are eligible for both health coverage from Waters AND for Medicaid or CHIP, your State may have a premium assistance program that can help pay for coverage.ernment-provided health coverage, focused on the children of those with limited means.

    If you miss the Special Enrollment deadline…you won’t get to make any changes to your benefits for this life event. Missing the deadline means you will have to wait for the next Open Enrollment to make adjustments. All elections made during your Life Event 30 day window will have an effective date retro back to the Life Event’s effective date. The exception to this rule would be some of the Voluntary Programs, like Colonial’s/Paul Revere’s Critical Illness Plan, which will use an effective date of the day you complete your enrollment in this plan. Your effective date will be shown to you once you are making your election.

    Learn more about special enrollments and other types of life events at or speak to your Waters Benefits Now representative at 1-866-994-5111.

    Open Enrollment: Your yearly opportunity to enroll and re-enroll in Waters benefit plans.

  • Rehires

    If you leave and are then rehired by Waters more than 30 days after your term date, you’ll have to follow the New Hire Enrollment process.

    However, if you leave and are rehired by Waters within 30 days of your benefits end date, your coverage will be reinstated at the same level it was when you left the company. Keep in mind though, that adjustments may be made to some plans (like contributions to flexible spending accounts), to reflect your time away from Waters.

    For Example

    Less than a month after Jun left his job at Waters to help his brother run his software company, the business went under.

    Fortunately, that meant when Jun was hired back by Waters, he had been away for less than 30 days and his previous benefits elections (including his medical plan and the Limited Purpose Health FSA) were restored to what they had been before he left.

    To make up for his month away though, Jun increased his per-paycheck FSA contributions so he could still get the maximum tax advantage.

    If Jun had been away longer than 30 days, he may still have been hired back, but he’d have to re-enroll in his benefits as a New Hire. He’d also lose dibs on the best coffee mug.

    If, during the time you’ve left and returned to Waters, you’ve had a life event that would qualify you for a Special Enrollment, contact the Waters Benefits Now Call Center at 1-866-994-5111.

    For Example

    While Jun was away from Waters, he turned 26 years old, which meant he was no longer eligible to receive vision and dental coverage from his parents. But Jun was fortunate again, as becoming ineligible for your parents’ coverage is a life event. So he was able to qualify for a Special Enrollment and sign up for vision and dental coverage through Waters.

    If he hadn’t had a life event, he would not have been allowed to change his elections.

    New Hire Enrollment: The process for new employees at Waters to sign up for benefits.

    Open Enrollment: An annual opportunity to review and make elections/changes for the upcoming calendar year.

    Exceptions to Enrollment Windows

    Not all changes to your benefits elections need to be made during the enrollment windows mentioned above.

    • If you enroll in a Waters medical plan, you can start, stop, or change your contributions to your Health Savings Account at any time on

    • If you participate in the Retiree Health Care Reimbursement Plan, you can stop your contributions to this plan at any time. (Though you can’t restart them outside of Open Enrollment.)

    • If you turn 50 during the year, within 30 days following your birth date you can newly enroll in the Retiree Health Care Reimbursement Plan (see the “Make Changes” section on the web site).

    • You may enroll in the 401(k), or adjust your contributions to the account, at any time during the year. Visit

    • You can change your designated beneficiaries  for all plans at any time.

    • You can also enroll in, or make changes to your Pet Insurance and/or Auto/Home Personal Property Insurance, by visiting our Discount and Voluntary Plan Marketplace called BenefitHub. Read more about BenefitHub HERE.

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    • Health Savings Account: Learn more about setting aside money in an HSA to pay medical costs throughout the year.

    • Retiree Health Care Reimbursement Plan: Over 50? You can set aside money to pay for health expenses in retirement.

    • Open Enrollment: Your yearly opportunity to enroll and re-enroll in Waters benefit plans.

    • Pet Insurance: Health insurance for the fluffy friends in your life.

    • Auto/Home Personal Property Insurance: You have the option to shop competitive pricing for the carriers in your area using BenefitHub.

    • Waive coverage: If you receive medical coverage from your spouse/partner, or your parent (if you’re under 26), you can choose to waive Waters medical coverage.

    • Working spouse/partner surcharge: If your spouse or partner is eligible for medical coverage from their employer, but waives that coverage and chooses Waters coverage instead, you’ll have to pay $650 annual surcharge, pre-tax, divided by each of the semi-monthly or bi-weekly pay dates.

    • Declaring your beneficiaries: Make sure you register your beneficiaries for all your plans by going to,, for your 401(k) beneficiaries, and for any Waters Equity Plans you may have. Plus, you can enter, review, or update your beneficiary choices at any time.