Human Resources

Becoming a Parent

Congratulations on the new addition to your family! Giving birth, adopting a child, or becoming a foster parent is a “Qualified Life Event" in terms of your benefits. That means you may make changes to some of your benefit elections within 31 days of the date of birth (or adoption).

Although you may be currently enrolled in benefits for yourself and other eligible dependents, coverage for your new dependent is not automatic.  Based on your Qualified Life Event, you may enroll for the first time, increase coverage, or add your new dependent on an existing benefit plan. Your share of the premium costs may be increased depending on the change.  Any change in premium costs will be effective on the first administratively possible pay period following receipt of the Benefits Enrollment & Change form. 

To add your child to your benefits, complete the Benefits Enrollment & Change form and return it with a copy of the child's birth certificate (or birth notice from the hospital) the WHOI Benefits Team:

  • MS#15
  • Fax: 508-457-2173
  • Email:

Please remember to password protect any documents sent via email.  The password should be sent to in a separate email.

Within 31 days of your coverage effective date, you must also submit a copy of the birth certificate, and social security number to otherwise your coverage is subject to cancellation.

Life Insurance

You may want to consider purchasing Child Life Insurance or changing the amount of Supplemental Employee Life Insurance that you currently have.  It is also a good idea to revisit your beneficiaries and complete new beneficiary designation forms.

Flexible Spending Accounts

You may also want to elect to participate in or change the amount you contribute to your Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA), Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA), or enroll in the WHOI Dependent Care Subsidy (DCS) Benefit.

New Parent Transition Program

Our Employee & Student Assistance Program (ESAP) offers a special 'New Parent Transition' program for parents.  The program is designed to provide new, veteran, and adoptive parents with the tools, resources, and live support needed to balance their home and work life.  The program's intention is to help parents organize their daily expectations, create new routines, and manage all of the responsibilities that come with being parents.

Please view the ESAP Brochure from E4 Health, our ESAP provider, for information on how to access the ESAP.  

Beneficiary Designation

It is important to keep a record of your beneficiary designations and to update them whenever your circumstances change. Keep a copy of all beneficiary designations and review them periodically. You may change your beneficiary designations at any time.  For more information on how to update your beneficiary information, please click here.

Last updated: December 29, 2016