Can human resources deny an early opt in to insurance before it’s usual yearly open enrollement with a life-changing event and me being 8m preg?

UPDATED: May 28, 2009

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UPDATED: May 28, 2009Fact Checked

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Can human resources deny an early opt in to insurance before it’s usual yearly open enrollement with a life-changing event and me being 8m preg?

My husband was unexpectedly laid off from the sheriff’s dept 2 weeks ago so we are now totally on my income and cobra. I am a full-time RN that waived my benefits since I did not need them and I called HR to opt into our plan and I was told not until Feb and good luck. I have been told by numerous peope that in a life-changing, unexpected event they have to allow me to opt in. I would think that this is considered an extenuating circumstance. I can’t continue cobra along with every other bill by myself so please tell me these people are right!

Asked on May 28, 2009 under Insurance Law, Ohio


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Well, usually life changing events is usually for flex benefits not insurance.  But you can do the following: Call the insurance company your company uses and explain the situation and see if they can tell you. Second, if you can qualify for early opt in, have them write you a letter and then present it to your employer.  The employer cannot fire you for this.

If you are still concerned and do not want to contact the insurance company, try the following two agencies:



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