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Life Event (Change in Family Status) Benefit Elections

To submit new benefit elections when you have a life event or change in family status, sign on to Benefitfocus, Purdue's online benefits system.

  1. Visit, select “Benefits Enrollment (Active) – Benefitfocus (Fac & Staff)” or, if applicable, the “Benefits Enrollment (Inactive) – Benefitfocus (Retirees/LTD/COBRA)” button.

  2. Log in with your Purdue career account or create a Benefitfocus username and password, if you are a pre-65 retiree, COBRA or LTD participant.

  3. Once logged in, you will see a personalized welcome page. To begin the Life Event process, click on the “To Enroll, Make a Change, and View Your Benefits CLICK HERE” gold button located at the top right of your screen.

  4. On the “Manage Your Benefits” page, select “Life Change” from the menu on the left and follow the steps to complete. Click here for step-by-step instructions.

"Change in family status" is the Internal Revenue Service rule that allows you to adjust your benefit selections when unforeseen circumstances occur between open enrollments. Only specific events qualify as a change in family status.

Qualifying events include:

Birth or Adoption


Arrival/Departure of Family Members to the USA

Death of Dependent


Judgment/Decree/Court Order for Coverage

Involuntary Loss of Coverage

Beginning/Ending of Unpaid Leave

Gained Coverage Under Another Plan

How it works

If a qualifying event occurs, you must report it within 31 days, and the family change must relate to the benefit change you are requesting. As an example, adding or dropping medical plan dependents is common in the case of birth, marriage or divorce.

If you don't request a change in benefits within the 31-day period following your family change, you cannot make changes until the next open enrollment period. 

  • If you are covered by a Federal Health Plan, voluntary loss of your spouse's employment does not qualify as a change in family status.
  • The change in family status provision doesn't apply to the health care flexible spending account program. A health care FSA cannot be modified, even if you have a change in family status.
  • Dependent Care FSAs may be modified with special qualifying events.  Please see the Dependent Care FSA page for more information.
  • Switching medical plans mid-year is not allowed. You can only add or drop dependents from your current plan.
You may drop dental insurance mid-year only when you've gained coverage under another plan. To qualify for this benefit change through a change in family status, you will be required to furnish proof that you have gained dental coverage.