Enrolling Dependents

Who Can Enroll

Windstream health benefits are available to all U.S.-based employees (regularly scheduled to work at least 30 hours per week) and their eligible dependents. Eligible dependents include spouses, dependent children and dependent grandchildren.

When enrolling, you will need to have your dependents’ Social Security numbers (SSNs) and birth dates available if they are not already enrolled in a Windstream plan. You will also need to provide required documentation, like birth certificates and marriage licenses, to enroll dependents who were not enrolled in 2017. Submit copies or scanned copies only. Documents will not be returned to you. Since you may need to order documents from vital records/your local clerk’s office, please begin collecting these documents immediately. Windstream does not retain copies of documents submitted.

What to do if you experience a life event

Add your dependents and enroll through the Web Benefits System, then return your dependent eligibility documents within 30 days of the event. All documents must be submitted by the deadline.

Be sure to have the personal information of the dependents you want to cover on hand when you enroll. You may also need to submit dependent verification documents. If this applies to you, be sure to follow the instructions for returning this material so your family members aren’t dropped from the plan. Remember, if your spouse is offered medical insurance where they work but chooses to be on a Windstream medical plan, a spousal surcharge will be added.

Collect your eligibility documents as listed in the Dependent Eligibility Guide. Submitting this form will not enroll your dependent in benefits coverage. You must add them to the benefits system first AND enroll them in the coverage you want them to have before submitting this document.

Qualifying events such as a marriage, death, birth or divorce are effective on the date of the event. Should you have a qualifying event before the end of 2017, you will need to make the change with your current 2017 benefits provider within 31 days of the event.

Windstream employees should call 844.689.7832

EarthLink employees should email benefits411@ELNK.com

Broadview employees should email humanresources@broadview.net

Should the event occur during or after Annual Enrollment, you will need to update your benefits for BOTH 2017 and 2018. If you need to make benefit changes to your 2018 coverage as the result of a life event, visit the Mercer Marketplace 365 website or call a Mercer Marketplace 365 benefits counselor at 866.553.9409. Changes must be made within 31 days of the life event.

Keep in mind
When changing your benefits due to a life event, the changes you make must be consistent with that event. For example, you cannot add a spouse to your medical coverage after having a baby; you can, however, add your new child to your coverage.

 

Click here to review the New Hire and Life Event Eligibility Guide.

Enrolling Dependents in New Coverage or Removing Dependents

If you are adding a dependent to coverage or amending coverage as a result of a life event, you must provide proof of the life event/ dependent’s eligibility to the Mercer Marketplace Benefit Center. Documentation must be submitted based on the deadlines below.

  • 2018 Open Enrollment – Deadline to submit documentation is November 24, 2017.
  • New Hire – Deadline to submit documentation is 31 calendar days from date of hire.
  • Qualified Life Event – Deadline to submit documentation is 31 calendar days from the life event date.

Life events requiring documentation include:

  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Marriage
  • Employee or dependent loss of other coverage
  • Guardianship or legal custody of a child

The following documentation is acceptable to provide proof of your life event or dependent’s eligibility. The dependent that has been added to coverage must correspond to the dependent in the documentation you submit.

Note: Please submit copies of all documentation as originals will not be returned.

If you experience…..

Then you must submit….

Employee or Dependent loss of other coverage

Dependent verification documentation stated below is required to prove dependent eligibility in order to be added to benefits, AND

  • Letter from employer that includes the coverage loss date and all dependents you wish to add to the new plan, OR
  • COBRA paperwork that includes the coverage loss date and all dependents you wish to add to the new plan.

If you add…..

Then you must submit….

Spouse

One of the following:

  • A photocopy of your marriage certificate, OR
  • Copy of most recently filed Federal Income Tax return (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ) listing spouse’s name and marked either “Married filing jointly” or “Married filing separately”. The entire tax return is not required, only the page that lists filing status and exemptions.*

Child under the age of 26

Natural Child – One of the following:

  • Photocopy of the child’s birth certificate showing the employee’s name as a parent, OR
  • Copy of most recently filed Federal Income Tax return (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ) showing the child as a dependent.*

Newborn Child – One of the following:

  • Photocopy of the child’s birth certificate showing the employee’s name as a parent, OR
  • Certificate of Live Birth from the hospital showing the employee’s name as a parent.

Stepchild – One of the following:

  • Photocopy of child’s birth certificate showing employee’s spouse’s name as a parent AND
  • Documentation as noted for the “spouse” dependent type, OR
  • Copy of most recently filed Federal Income Tax return (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ) showing the child as a dependent of the employee and spouse.*

Legal Guardian, Adoption, Foster Child – One of the following:

  • Temporary or Final Court Order with presiding judge’s signature seal, Adoption Final Decree with presiding judge’s signature seal, OR
  • Copy of most recently filed Federal Income Tax return (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ) showing the child as an eligible dependent type.*

Disabled Child age 26 or older

  • Documentation as noted for the “child” dependent type above, AND
  • Social Security Disability must have been awarded, please include SSI Award Letter.

Common Law Spouse

As determined by your employer and/or plan

  • A completed and signed Affidavit of Common Law Marriage.

States that recognize common law marriages: Alabama, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia (if created before 1/1/97), Idaho (if created before 1/1/96), Iowa, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio (if created before 10/10/91), Oklahoma (if created before 11/1/98), Pennsylvania (if created before 1/1/05), Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

*If submitting a tax form for verifications, please mark out all Social Security Numbers and financial data, which appear on the tax form.

If you have any questions regarding this request, or you experience a life event not listed above, please contact the Mercer Marketplace Benefit Center at 866 553 9409 and speak with a Benefit Counselor.

Your opportunity to make changes during the middle of the plan year is limited by the IRS rules that apply to employer-sponsored benefit plans, as your premiums are paid with pre-tax dollars. Under these rules, you can make changes to your benefit elections during the middle of the plan year only if you have a qualified life or status change event.

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