Update on March 26, 2013
For a complete list of life insurance questions and answers, see your Life Insurance Booklet.
Q) If I reduce or cancel my optional life insurance, may I reinstate it later?
A) Yes, but only if you provide medical evidence of insurability acceptable to the insurance carrier. Retirees may only apply to reinstate coverage up to the amount they had at retirement.
Q) If I never had optional life insurance as an active employee, am I eligible for it as a retiree?
Q) What will optional life insurance cost after I retire?
A) Optional life insurance rates increase when you retire and as you age. Refer to the rate section for current basic and optional life insurance rates. Note: if you are a RMT, you are only eligible for basic life insurance.
Q) I have optional life insurance and have been tobacco-free for the last twelve months. When may I change my status from smoker to non-smoker to qualify for the non-smoker optional life insurance rates?
A) You may apply for non-smoker optional life insurance status during annual enrollment. The change will become effective the following July 1. Active employees should return their application to their GIC Coordinator and retirees should send a letter or a completed GIC Insurance Enrollment and Change Form (Form-1) to the GIC.
Q) How does one file a death claim?
A) If the state insured has GIC life insurance, send a letter to the GIC, including the deceased's name, Social Security Number, and a certified copy of the death certificate along with a life insurance certificate or copy of the deceased's annual GIC benefit statement (if available). After the GIC processes the information and approves the claim, the life insurance carrier will pay the beneficiary(ies). The GIC will also send the surviving spouse a survivor health insurance application. (Surviving spouses are not eligible for life insurance coverage). A legally separated or divorced spouse covered by the GIC at the time of the insured's death is ineligible for survivor health coverage, but may elect GIC COBRA health coverage.
Q) How do I change my life insurance beneficiary information (e.g., if a beneficiary dies or changes his/her name or address)?
A) Active employees should see their GIC Coordinator for a beneficiary form. Retirees should write to or call the GIC for a new beneficiary form. Send completed beneficiary forms to the GIC, not the life insurance carrier.
Q) What happens to my life insurance when I leave my job with the Commonwealth?
A) If you leave state employment, or become ineligible for life insurance due to a reduction in hours, you may apply for life insurance portability coverage or convert to a non-group policy with the carrier. Portability coverage, which is a term life insurance policy, provides more favorable rates than converting to a non-group whole life policy. Persons with medical conditions that materially affect their life expectancy are ineligible for portability coverage, but are eligible for a conversion policy. When you terminate state service, the GIC's life insurance carrier will send you information about your options. Keep in mind that you must submit your forms before the deadline specified in the carrier materials.
Q) What happens to my life insurance coverage if I should become disabled and cannot pay the premium?
A) If you are under age 60 and are permanently and totally disabled, you may apply for a waiver of your monthly life insurance premium for your life insurance coverage. You must apply for the waiver of life insurance premium within 24 months of the onset of this disability. For a premium waiver application, call the GIC. Keep in mind that you must continue to pay the monthly life insurance premium until the waiver is approved. If you are 60 or over, you are not eligible for a waiver of premium.
Q) What life insurance benefits am I eligible for if I have a terminal illness?
A) If you are terminally ill with a life expectancy of less than 12 months, and you wish to use some of the proceeds from your life insurance coverage, you may apply for an "accelerated benefit" for your own use in an amount between 25% and 75% of your total amount of life insurance coverage. The balance of the proceeds paid to your beneficiaries upon your death. For an application, call the GIC.
Q) What happens to my life insurance when I retire from state service?
A) When you retire, your basic life insurance continues. At retirement, you should review the amount and cost of your optional life insurance coverage to determine whether it makes economic sense for you to keep it: optional life insurance rates increase substantially when you retire and as you age. You may maintain, reduce or cancel, but not increase, your optional life coverage at retirement (or at any time thereafter). To do so, complete the GIC’s Form-1 (available on the GIC’s website) and send it to the GIC, or put your request in writing and mail it to the GIC, P.O. Box 8747, Boston, MA 02114-8747. On your written request, be sure to include your name, address, and GIC ID number.
Q) I have a life insurance beneficiary designation on file with the GIC and I’m getting divorced or am divorced. Does this affect my GIC life insurance beneficiary?
A) It is always a good idea to review your GIC life insurance beneficiary designation to make sure it reflects your current intent. Under Massachusetts law [G.L. c. 190B, § 2-804], if you designated your spouse as a beneficiary before the divorce, that beneficiary designation will be revoked at the time of the divorce unless the divorce agreement, a court order, or a marital contract specifically said otherwise, or you designate a new beneficiary after the divorce. Accordingly, the GIC recommends that you check your GIC benefit statement mailed to you each January to be sure your beneficiary information is correct. You can designate your former spouse, or choose another beneficiary, after your divorce by completing a GIC Beneficiary Form, available through your GIC Benefits Coordinator or by calling the GIC. A post-divorce beneficiary designation is not revoked.
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission.