ELIGIBILITY AND PROCEDURES
If an employee has twenty (20) or more years of state service at any age, or ten or more years of state service and is age 55 or over, he/she is eligible for retirement and GIC health coverage. 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:
- 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.
- On the Insurance Enrollment and Change Form (Form-1) check box 6 (Retirement). Indicate the date of retirement and instruct the employee to review his or her health and life benefits.
- Review Insurance Enrollment and Change Form (Form-1) for completeness and sign it.
- Photocopy Insurance Enrollment and Change Form (Form-1) and file in the employee’s personnel file.
- Send the original Insurance Enrollment and Change Form (Form-1) to the GIC.
- Stop the GIC deductions in your payroll system.
- If the retiree and/or his/her spouse is age 65 or over, instruct the retiree and/or his/her spouse to go to Social Security to find out about their Medicare eligibility. If eligible for Part A for free, the retiree and/or spouse must enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B. Be sure the retiree indicates their Medicare plan choice in the Retirement Section of the Form-1 with the date of retirement.
Advise the 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.
- Instruct employee/retiree to indicate changes on Insurance Enrollment and Change Form (Form-1) and sign it.
- Review the forms for completeness and sign.
- Photocopy the forms and file them in the employee’s personnel file.
- Send the original forms to the GIC
- The GIC will determine the effective date of the change and notify the retiree.
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 retiree with enrollment, or can direct the retiree to the GIC. To process:
- The employee/retiree completes and signs the following forms:
- Insurance Enrollment and Change Form (Form-1).
- Beneficiary Designation 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).
Insurance Data Form
(IDF) 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(s) must show the parent-child relationship.
- For dependent coverage age 19 to 26 – Dependent Age 19 to 26 Form and a copy of birth certificate. The birth certificate(s) must show the parent-child relationship.
- 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.
- Obtain from the retiring employee a letter from their retirement board indicating that the retirement has been approved and the effective date of retirement.
- Verify that the forms above are completed accurately and completely. Ensure that both you and the employee/retiree have signed and dated all forms.
- Photocopy completed GIC forms and the letter from the retirement board and file them in the employee/retiree’s personnel file.
- Send original signed forms and copy of retirement letter 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 retiree 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 their optional life insurance coverage. To do so, he/she must complete Section 2 of Insurance Enrollment and Change Form (Form-1) 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 contact the GIC in writing, or by downloading the Insurance Enrollment and Change Form (Form-1) 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 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.
If the employee had the GIC Dental/Vision coverage, let the retiree know the following:
- Advise the employee/retiree that GIC Dental/Vision coverage automatically ends at retirement.
- The GIC recommends that the retiring employee compare the benefits of continuing Dental/Vision under COBRA, paying 102% of the premium, with the GIC Retiree Dental Plan benefits.
- If electing COBRA Dental/Vision, instruct the retiring employee to complete and return to the GIC the COBRA Dental/Vision form, located on our website. Coverage is limited to eighteen months. At that time, the retiree may elect to enroll in the GIC Retiree Dental Plan.
- If electing GIC Retiree Dental, the retiring employee completes and returns to the GIC the GIC Retiree Dental Application, located on our website. Advise the retiree that once enrolled, if he/she drops coverage, he/she may never re-enroll. If the retiring employee does not enroll in the plan at retirement, he/she may only enroll during the GIC’s spring annual enrollment period or with proof of involuntary loss of other dental coverage.
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.
FSA carrier must receive all completed claims by April 15.
To process a retirement for an employee with HCSA and/or DCAP:
- Complete GIC Offline Payroll Deduction Report Change Form
- Send the GIC Offline Payroll Deduction Report Change Form to the FSA carrier
- File a copy of the form in the employee’s personnel file. Do not send the form to the GIC.
To process a HCSA COBRA application:
- 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.
- File the COBRA Acknowledgement Form in the employee’s personnel file. Do not send the form to the GIC or the FSA carrier.
- The employee must send the Election Form to the FSA carrier within 60 calendar days from the date of their COBRA Notice.
- The FSA carrier will determine eligibility and notify the employee either by mail or email.
- The FSA carrier will provide COBRA payment information. The amount to the employee will include a 2% administrative fee.
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission.