135-48.42. Enrollment.

(a) Except as otherwise required by applicable federal law, new employees must be given the opportunity to enroll or decline enrollment for themselves and their dependents within 30 days from the date of employment or from first becoming eligible on a partially contributory or other contributory basis. Coverage may become effective on the first day of the month following date of entry on payroll or on the first day of the following month. New employees age 19 and older not enrolling themselves and their dependents age 19 and older within 30 days, or not adding dependents when first eligible as provided herein may enroll during annual enrollment, but may be subject to a 12-month waiting period for preexisting health conditions, except for employees who elect to change their coverage in accordance with rules established by the State Treasurer for optional or alternative plans available under the Plan. Children born to covered employees shall be covered at the time of birth so long as the Plan receives notification within 30 days of the date of birth and the employee pays any additional premium required by the coverage type selected retroactive to the first day of the month in which the child was born.

(b) Except as otherwise required by applicable federal law, newly acquired dependents (spouse/child) age 19 and older enrolled within 30 days of becoming an eligible dependent will not be subject to the 12-month waiting period for preexisting conditions. A dependent can become first eligible due to marriage, adoption, legal guardianship, entering a foster child relationship, and at the beginning of each legislative session (applies only to enrolled legislators). Effective date for newly acquired dependents if application was made within the 30 days can be the first day of the following month. Effective date for an adopted child can be date of adoption, or date of placement in the adoptive parents' home, or the first of the month following the date of adoption or placement. Firefighters, rescue squad workers, and members of the National Guard, and their eligible dependents, are subject to the same terms and conditions as are new employees and their dependents covered by this subdivision. Enrollments in these circumstances must occur within 30 days of eligibility to enroll.

(c) Eligible employees younger than age 19 and dependents younger than age 19 may be enrolled during annual enrollment and shall not be subject to any waiting period for a preexisting condition.

(d) When an eligible or enrolled member applies to enroll the member's eligible dependent child or spouse, the member shall provide the documentation required by the Plan to verify the dependent's eligibility for coverage.

(e) Eligible employees and retirees may only change their elections, including adding or removing dependents, during the Plan year due to a qualifying event as defined under federal law. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, retirees and surviving spouses may disenroll from the Plan during the Plan year without a qualifying event. Retirees and surviving spouses may also disenroll their dependents from the Plan during the Plan year without a qualifying event. (2008-168, s. 3(g); 2009-16, s. 3(c), (g); 2009-281, s. 1; 2011-85, ss. 1.7(c), 2.6(d), 2.10; 2011-96, ss. 2(d)(1), 3(c); 2012-173, s. 2(b); 2013-324, s. 3; 2015-100, ss. 1, 5; 2017-135, s. 3(a).)