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My Benefits | My Child is Graduating College, or Turning 26

My Child is Graduating College, or Turning 26

The following web page answers these questions and supports Academic Administrators, Faculty, Institutional Officials, P&S, and Merit Supervisory & Merit Confidential employees who are currently employed at the university.


4-6 Months Prior

  • Create a checklist of items that might need changed when your child graduates college, or turns 26, the following items could be considered:
    • Health, dental, and vision insurance
    • Health Care or Dependent Care Flex Spending
    • Voluntary Term Life (VTL)
    • Emergency contacts
    • Tax forms
  • For more information on: health, dental, and vision coverage, voluntary term life and accidental death & dismemberment, flex spending, and beneficiaries, please see the detailed sections below.

2-4 Months Prior

  • Review all insurance plans that you might be eligible for to determine what plan works best for you and your spouse/partner and possible dependents.
    • Are you eligible to enroll in any of the UNI health, dental and/or vision plans? To see what plan would work best for you and your soon-to-be spouse/partner and possible dependents visit our website.
    • Are you married? Is your spouse/partner employed? Do they qualify for health, dental and/or vision coverage through their employer? If so, you will want to compare those options to the UNI plans to see what plan works best for you and your family.
    • If you choose to stay in a UNI plan, did you consider signing up for the premium only plan or a flexible spending plan? The premium only plan will allow your premiums to be paid pre-tax instead of post-tax. The Health Care FSA will use pre-tax dollars to pay for co-pays, coinsurance, and deductible charges from your health, dental, and vision plans.
  • Review optional Voluntary Term Life Insurance. Are you currently enrolled in this benefit? If so, do you have your child covered? If your child is turning 26 you will need to cancel the coverage for that dependent.

1 Month Prior

  • When you have decided which plans work best for you plan ahead and find out what the enrollment process is.
  • Now that your child is a college graduate their health, dental, and vision coverage will terminate at the end of the month.
  • Now that your child is 26 their health, dental, vision, and VTL coverage will terminate on December 31st of the current year.
  • You may also need to update your tax information now that you have one less dependent. This can be done by logging into eBusiness Suite and selecting W-4 Form Employee Withholding Allowances under UNI Employee Self Service link.

Health, Dental, & Vision Coverage

The Affordable Care Act requires plans and issuers that offer dependent coverage to make the coverage available until the adult child reaches the age of 26.

Your dependent child may remain on your health, dental and vision plans until December 31st of the year in which they turn 26. They can be married, with a full-time benefit eligible position, and still remain on your plan.

Under the University of Northern Iowa’s group insurance plan if your child is over age 26, unmarried, and a full-time student at a college or university you are eligible to keep your adult child on your health, dental, and/or vision coverage. You will be required to complete an annual student status verification form and tax dependent status form. If your child does not currently qualify as your tax dependent per the IRS, you will be taxed on the fair market value of dependent coverage. This excess value will be included in your gross income.

Employees may elect to pay their portion of the family health and/or dental insurance premiums with after-tax dollars instead of pre-tax. Enrollment in this option will result in higher Federal and State Income Tax and Social Security and Medicare Tax withholding and therefore less take-home pay. Participation begins when your first health and/or dental insurance premium is deducted from your payroll, providing you enroll at the same time you enroll in the insurance plan(s). You have 30 days from the date of employment to enroll in the option, but if you delay enrollment beyond the time you enroll in the insurance plan(s), the first premium deduction may not be made after-tax.

Dependents with Disabilities

Coverage is available for an over age 26, unmarried, disabled dependent. The disability must have existed before the child turned 26 or while the child was a full-time student. Wellmark considers a dependent disabled when they meet the following criteria:

  • The child is claimed as a dependent on the employee's, plan member's, subscribers, policyholder's, or retiree's tax return; and
  • Enrolled in and receiving Medicare benefits due to the disability; or
  • Enrolled in and receiving Social Security benefits due to disability.

Documentation is required in order to add, or continue coverage for a disabled dependent.

To make a change due to a life event, please use Benefits Self-Service System.

Benefits Self-Service Login

Voluntary Term Life Insurance and Accidental Death & Dismemberment

You can continue Voluntary Term Life (VTL) and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage for a child up until age 26.

If you have additional questions, please contact Human Resource Services at 319-273-2423 or email your inquiry to and a member of the Benefits team will respond.