ELIGIBILITY AND PROCEDURES

Ensure that the employee has confirmed his/her retirement eligibility with his/her retirement board and applies for retirement benefits. To continue GIC Life and Health or Retiree Dental benefits as a retiree, the retiree must be eligible for and receiving a monthly pension.  If the retiree becomes no longer eligible to receive a retirement or pension allowance from a GIC participating retirement system, he/she will no longer be eligible for any GIC benefits.

To process a retirement:

  1. Refer the retiring employee to the GIC’s website for the Retiree/Survivor Benefit Decision Guide or have the retiring employee contact the GIC to get a guide mailed to him/her. Also instruct the retiring employee to read the frequently asked questions for retirement on our website:  www.mass.gov/gic/faqs.
  2. On the Employment Status Change Form (Form-1A), indicate the date of retirement and instruct the retiring employee to review his or her health, life, and retiree dental options.
  3. Review the form for completeness and sign it.
  4. Photocopy Employment Status Change Form (Form-1A) and file in the retiring employee’s personnel file.
  5. Send the original Employment Status Change Form (Form-1A) to the GIC.
  6. Update the HR/CMS or UMASS payroll system. 
  7. If the employee and/or his/her spouse is age 65 or over, instruct the employee and/or his/her spouse to contact Social Security to find out about their Medicare eligibility.  If eligible for Part A for free, the employee and/or spouse must enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B.  Be sure the employee indicates their Medicare plan choice in the Retirement Section of the Employment Status Change Form (Form-1A) with the date of retirement.

Advise the retiring employee that the GIC will direct bill him/her for the premium until the GIC can arrange to have premiums deducted from their pension, usually in three or four months.

CHANGING HEALTH PLANS AT RETIREMENT

At retirement, an employee with GIC health coverage may change his/her health plans.

  1. Instruct the employee to indicate changes on Employment Status Change Form (Form-1A) and sign it. 
  2. Review the form for completeness and sign.
  3. Photocopy the form and file it in the employee’s personnel file.
  4. Send the original form to the GIC
  5. The GIC will determine the effective date of the change.

ENROLLING IN A HEALTH PLAN AT RETIREMENT

If an employee is retiring and does not have GIC coverage, he/she may enroll in GIC coverage.  However, he/she cannot enroll until he/she is actually receiving a retirement allowance or pension.  You, the Coordinator, can assist the retiring employee with enrollment, or can direct him/her to the GIC.  To process:

  1. The The retiring employee completes and signs the following forms:
    • GIC Retiree/Survivor Enrollment/Change Form (Form-RS).
    • For family coverage, must also provide:
      • For spousal coverage – copy of marriage certificate.
      • For dependent coverage under age 19 – copy of birth certificate(s).  The birth certificate must show the parent-child relationship to the insured or his/her spouse.
      • For dependent coverage age 19 to 26 – Dependent Age 19 to 26 Enrollment/Change Form and a copy of birth certificate. The birth certificate must show the parent-child relationship to the insured or his/her spouse.
      • For former spouse – provide following sections of the legal separation or divorce decree: page with absolute date, health insurance language, signature pages, and former spouse’s address.
    • Life Insurance Beneficiary Form-319 for Basic Life insurance (one to three beneficiaries) or G-500 (four or more beneficiaries or special designations such as estate or trust).
  2. Verify that the forms above are completed accurately and completely.  Ensure that both you and the retiring employee have signed and dated all forms.
  3. Photocopy completed GIC forms and file them in the retiring employee’s personnel file.
  4. Send original signed forms to the GIC.  The GIC will determine the effective date of coverage and will notify the retiree.

OPTIONAL LIFE INSURANCE

If the employee who is retiring has Optional Life insurance coverage, instruct him/her to review it and the rate chart (available on our website).  The cost increases with age and at retirement.  If the employee makes no change to his/her optional life coverage, he or she will be responsible for the retiree optional life insurance premium, which can be substantial. The retiree may decrease or cancel his/her optional life insurance coverage.  To do so, he/she must complete Optional Life Insurance section of Employment Status Change Form (Form-1A) before submitting it to the GIC.

If the retiree decides to cancel or decrease his/her Optional Life insurance coverage at a later date, he/she must download the Employment Status Change Form (Form-1A) from our website, completing and sending it directly to the GIC. The effective date of the cancellation/decrease is the first of the second month following receipt of the retiree’s request.

LONG TERM DISABILITY

Advise the employee/retiree that Long Term Disability coverage automatically ends at retirement.  You do not need to do anything.

GIC DENTAL/VISION AND RETIREE DENTAL

If the employee had the GIC Dental/Vision coverage only, let the retiree know the GIC recommends comparing COBRA Dental/Vision with Retiree Dental Plan benefits:

  • Advise the employee that GIC Dental/Vision coverage automatically ends at retirement.  Here are the employee’s options:
  • Continuing Dental/Vision under COBRA, paying 102% of the premium.  If electing COBRA Dental/Vision, instruct the employee to complete and send to the GIC the COBRA Dental/Vision form located on our website.  Coverage is limited to eighteen months.  At that time, the employee may elect to enroll in the GIC Retiree Dental Plan.
  • If electing GIC Retiree Dental, the employee completes the GIC Retiree Dental section on the Form-1A and sends to the GIC the GIC Retiree Dental Application, located on our website.  Advise the employee that once enrolled, if he/she drops coverage, he/she may never re-enroll.  If the employee does not enroll within 60 days of retirement, he/she may only enroll during the GIC’s spring Annual Enrollment period or with documentation of a qualifying status change event.

FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNTS (HCSA AND DCAP)

If an employee leaves state service during the plan year whether he/she resigns, retires or involuntarily separates, participation in HCSA and DCAP will terminate as of midnight the day of termination. The employee will be able to submit claims for eligible health care expenses incurred on or before the last day of active employment. In order for the employee to use the HCSA account after terminating state service, the employee may elect to contribute to the HCSA account under COBRA by making direct payments on an after-tax basis.

DCAP: The employee may file claims for eligible dependent care expenses against the account balance until the account is exhausted. They will not be reimbursed in excess of what they have contributed to the plan at that time. Claims can be filed with dates of service through the end of the Plan Year.

The FSA carrier must receive all completed claims by April 15.

To Process a Retirement for an Employee with Flexible Spending Account Benefits:

  1. Inactivate the HCSA/DCAP and pre-tax fee amount deductions in HR/CMS or the UMASS payroll system.
  2. HCSA/COBRA: Give the employee the Health Care Spending Account Continuation Coverage Under COBRA General Notice and Election Form and the COBRA Acknowledgement Form for you and the employee to sign and date.
  3. File the COBRA Acknowledgement Form in the employee’s personnel file.  Do not send the form to the GIC or the FSA carrier.
  4. The employee must send the Election Form to the HCSA/DCAP carrier within 60 calendar days from the date of their COBRA Notice.
  5. The FSA carrier will determine eligibility and notify the employee either by mail or email.
  6. The FSA carrier will provide COBRA payment information. The amount billed to the employee will include a 2% administrative fee.

This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission .