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Dependent Eligibility

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

Enrolling Dependents in New Coverage or Removing Dependents 

Windstream offers health and welfare coverage to spouses and dependent children of employees. If you enroll or remove a spouse or child in a medical, dental or vision plan, you will need to submit government or employer issued documentation of your qualifying life event. Several weeks after enrollment, you will receive a letter in the mail from the Dependent Verification Center requesting certain documentation to prove the eligibility of your dependent(s). The letter will include your deadline and will have instructions on how to submit your documents.

Documentation is required for those enrolling dependents in a medical plan for 2017 who were not enrolled in a Windstream medical plan in 2016. Documentation is also required for those who are enrolling a dependent in medical, dental or vision coverage for 2017 who were not enrolled in any of the three plans in 2016. Documentation is not required for dependents removed from coverage during the annual enrollment window.

What happens if I fail to submit the correct documentation by the deadline?

Added dependents (spouses and children) who are not verified by the deadline will be dropped from the plan and will not have insurance coverage. Any health expenses incurred by your dependents will be your responsibility.

Paycheck deductions will continue for those you wish to remove from the plan until all information is provided and verified. Refunds and retroactive premium adjustments are not provided, so returning your documentation promptly is important.

What type of documentation should I submit?

Federal Tax Returns: Please provide the first page only, black out all monetary amounts, and black out the first 5 digits of any SSN. State tax returns/federal worksheets are not accepted. Tax returns must be from 2014 or 2015. On or after 5/1/17, only 2015 and 2016 forms will be accepted.

Proof of Joint Ownership: May be established prior to the current year; however, the statement provided must be issued within the last 6 months.

Government Issued Proof of Marriage or Divorce: Certificate must indicate that marriage has been registered with the appropriate government entity, as required by each state or county. Submit copies only, not originals. The copy must reflect that the original document was sealed, signed, or stamped and filed with the appropriate government entity.

Birth or Death Certificate: Provide the Government-Issued death certificate or long-form birth certificate with the names of the child’s parents. Short-Form birth certificates are not accepted since they do not contain the parent’s names. If your child is married and has changed his/her last name, you must provide documentation showing the progression of the name change (e.g. government issued proof of marriage).

Government or Employer Issued Change in Status Letter: Letter from employer stating event allowing a change under their plan, the change made, and the effective date of the change.

Remember: To have coverage, all dependent eligibility documents must be submitted to the Windstream Benefits Center by December 31, 2016 or within 31 days of your qualifying event or hire date (event date + 30 calendar days) if enrolling after the annual enrollment window.

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 you submitted in the past. 

Having your spouse or child’s SSN in the system is required under the Affordable Care Act for IRS documentation to prove coverage.  

The law requires Windstream to store Social Security Numbers for all family members enrolled in insurance. Please make sure that the SSN for each of your dependents is correct. Failure to update the SSN will result in a tax penalty for you and may cause issues with processing your claims. 

In addition, having this information allows Windstream’s benefit vendors to verify your dependent’s coverage quickly, coordinate with Medicare when needed, and ensure claims are processed timely.

All personal information in the Web Benefits System and on file with your insurance providers is maintained securely.