Death of a Family Member

If a member of your family dies, it's easy to overlook benefits issues that require your attention. At this difficult time, this page will help you to keep track of action you need to take on benefits issues.

Health, dental, and vision plans

  • If you find yourself suddenly without health insurance because you were covered by the health plan of your deceased spouse or domestic partner, review your MIT Health Plan, Dental Plan, and Vision Plan options, and enroll in the plan that meets your needs.
  • Make necessary changes to your MIT health plans within 31 days of the official date of your spouse's death.
  • If losing your spouse or partner changes your financial situation and your eligibility for Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program, you have 60 days to make corresponding changes to health-related benefits. Learn more about SCHIP. 

Life insurance

  • Visit Atlas to evaluate your participation in the MIT Optional Life Insurance Plan.
  • Increase or decrease coverage at any time of the year, and review your life insurance beneficiaries to make sure they are current. Use the forms below.
  • Contact MIT Benefits to file a claim for a dependent covered under the MIT group life insurance.

Retirement plans

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

In the Event of Your Death

Surviving spouses or partners should know the following:

  • If you have been an employee at MIT for 10 years or more and have a family membership in a medical plan at the time of your death, your surviving spouse may continue an individual or family membership at the current subsidized group rate until age 65. Your spouse's family membership will include only those family members covered at the time of your death. Additional family members may be eligible for continuation under COBRA.
  • If at your death you had fewer than ten years of service at MIT, your surviving spouse and children may continue membership under COBRA at 102% of the full unsubsidized group rate for up to 36 months.

Why the Period for Making Changes is Limited

Most of the benefit plans offered through MIT are paid with pre-tax dollars. In exchange for that tax advantage, you legally cannot enroll in, cancel, or make changes to your medical, dental, or reimbursement account plans outside of the annual Open Enrollment period, unless you experience a qualifying change in your life like the one described above.

MIT's policy for allowing changes outside Open Enrollment in the case of certain qualifying life events is consistent with the federal Department of Labor guidelines under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).