Updated on June 25, 2015
Please refer to Medicare Q and A for additional information on Medicare and your GIC benefits.
Q) I am retiring from state employment from a GIC-eligible agency and am eligible for a retirement pension. What are my GIC benefit choices?
A) As a retiree you may continue, change, or enroll in health coverage with the GIC, and may enroll in the GIC Retiree Dental Plan. Enrollment and changes must be received within 60 days of retirement. If you are Medicare eligible, you must enroll in a GIC Medicare Plan. State employees who are retiring may want to consider reducing or dropping their optional life insurance. You may do this at any time completing and returning to the GIC an Employment Status Change Form (Form 1A) or by writing to the GIC. However, you may not increase the amount of your optional life insurances at retirement.
Q) I am retiring from a GIC participating municipality and am eligible for a retirement pension. What are my GIC benefit choices?
A) As a retiree you may continue, change, or enroll in health coverage with the GIC. Enrollment and changes must be received by the GIC within 60 days of the retirement. If you are Medicare eligible, you must enroll in a GIC Medicare plan. If your participating municipality offers GIC Retiree Dental Coverage, you may enroll in that plan at retirement.
Q) How do I find out whether I am eligible for a state pension?
A) The State Retirement Board (or your retirement board) determines whether you meet eligibility requirements for a state pension. Call or visit your retirement board before you retire to confirm your pension benefits and arrange to receive your monthly pension check. The Board can also tell you about cost-of-living increases, taxes, and when to expect your first check.
Q) Will I be eligible to continue my GIC health and life benefits when I retire from state service?
A) Yes, providing you receive a pension from a state retirement system.
Q) Will I be eligible to continue my GIC health benefits when I retire from municipal service?
A) Yes, providing you receive a pension from a municipal retirement system or another retirement system eligible for GIC benefits.
Q) What are my basic life and health insurance premiums as a state retiree?
A) See the rate pages for details.
Q) What are my GIC health insurance premiums as a municipal enrollee?
A.) See the municipal rates page for the monthly retiree premiums for your municipality or contact your municipality.
Q) I do not have GIC health benefits as a state or municipal employee. May I elect the benefits upon my retirement?
A) If you were eligible for GIC benefits at retirement, you can enroll in GIC health insurance as a state or municipal retiree as long as you have been approved and continue to receive a retirement or pension allowance from the State Board of Retirement or a participating public retirement system and the GIC receives the forms within 60 days of the retirement. Otherwise, you must wait until the next Annual Enrollment to enroll.
Q) I do not have GIC health insurance benefits as a retiree. May I enroll in GIC health insurance benefits?
A) If you were eligible for GIC benefits at retirement, you may enroll in GIC health insurance benefits during the GIC’s spring Annual Enrollment period or within 60 days of a qualifying event (e.g. involuntary loss of coverage elsewhere, marriage, or spouse's open enrollment.) In order to be eligible for GIC health insurance, you must be eligible to collect and continue to collect a monthly pension from the State Retirement Board or another participating public retirement system.
Q) What should I do while I am still working to make sure my health insurance continues when I retire?
A) Before you retire, see your GIC Coordinator at your work site to complete the Form-1A(State) or Form-1AMUN(Municipal) to continue coverage. The GIC recommends that you return the completed form to your coordinator before your retirement date to ensure timely billing or your premium and continuity of coverage.
If you are and/or your spouse are eligible for Medicare Part A(for free), state law requires that you enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B and select one of the GIC's Medicare Plans in your geographic area to supplement your Medicare benefits.
Refer to the Benefit Decision Guide for general information, or contact the plans for more detailed information about your health plan choices. When selecting a plan, you should consider benefits, convenience, and how your health may change after you retire.
Q) May I change health plans when I retire?
A) Yes. You may change health plans at retirement. The GIC must receive the form within 60 days of the retirement. Thereafter you may change plans only during annual enrollment, if you move outside of your plan's service area or if you become eligible for Medicare (at which point you must enroll in a GIC Medicare Plan). Annual enrollment changes are effective the following July 1.
Q) How do I pay the premiums for my health and/or life insurance (state retirees only) coverage after I retire? (Municipal Retirees - Contact your benefits office for details.)
A) Premiums will be deducted from your monthly pension. As it frequently takes several months to receive your first pension check, the GIC will bill you directly for the retiree share of premium (20%) until your GIC deductions begin. It’s important to pay this monthly bill by the due date to avoid termination of coverage.
Q) What should I do if I do not receive a premium bill from the GIC after I retire (State retirees only)?
A) Although this happens infrequently, if you have not received a bill within 60 days of retirement, call the GIC to avoid losing your coverage. Do not send a payment without a bill unless you are instructed to do so.
Always keep the GIC informed of your correct address so that you will receive bills and other important materials. See family status FAQs for details. If you plan to be away for several months, or you are ill, make arrangements for your mail to be forwarded, or for a relative or friend to pay your bills for you.
Q) If I am retired and waive my pension, what happens to my GIC benefits?
A) Your GIC benefits as a retiree end. You are, however, eligible to continue benefits as a Deferred Retiree.
Q) What happens to my GIC benefits if my pension is revoked?
A) You will no longer be eligible for GIC benefits.
Q) What happens to my GIC benefits if I withdraw my retirement money from my retirement system?
A) You will no longer be eligible for GIC benefits.
Q) What coverage do I lose when I retire from state service?
A) Long Term Disability, the Health Care Spending Account (HCSA), and the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) are for active state employees only. Your coverage in those plans ends when you retire from state service. You may elect to continue to contribute to HCSA through COBRA by making direct payments on an after-tax basis. Eligibility for this option is determined by the plan administrator, ASIFlex.
Q) As an active state employee, I had GIC Dental/Vision coverage. What happens to this coverage when I retire?
A) The GIC Dental/Vision plan is for eligible active state employees only and your enrollment in the plan ends at retirement. You may continue your former dental/vision coverage for up to 18 months through COBRA. You will be billed directly for 102% of the premium under this option. You may also elect to enroll immediately, or when COBRA Dental/Vision coverage ends, or you can enroll in the Retiree Dental Plan. In general, COBRA dental benefits are more comprehensive than those in the Retiree Dental Plan, but have a higher premium.
Q) What will my health and life insurance coverage (state retirees only) cost after I retire?
A) The premium costs change at least annually; refer to the rate chart for current rates .
Q) What will optional life insurance cost after I retire (state retirees only)?
A) Optional life insurance premium rates change, increasing when you retire from the state and as you age. At retirement, review the amount of your optional life insurance coverage to see if it makes economic sense for you to keep it; if you have paid off your major debts (such as your home and education loans), a savings vehicle may be a more appropriate alternative. You may only cancel, decrease, or maintain your current level of optional life coverage after you retire. Keep in mind that if you do not change your Optional Life Insurance election at retirement, you will be responsible for the retiree life insurance premium, which can be substantial.
Q) When I left state or municipal service, I kept my money the state or municipal retirement system. I am now planning to retire and collect a state or municipal pension. How do I pick up retiree health coverage with the GIC?
A) If you retire from a state/municipal agency that is eligible for GIC benefits, and are approved for retirement benefits with your retirement board, you must apply with the Employment Status Change (Form-1 for State Retirees or Form 1AMUN for Municipal Retirees) and Retiree/Survivor Enrollment/Change form within 60 days of your retirement date. Otherwise, you must wait until the next Annual Enrollment to enroll. If you are Medicare eligible, you must enroll in one of the GIC Medicare Plans. If you are not Medicare eligible, you will enroll in a GIC Non Medicare plan. The GIC will determine eligibility and notify you of your health coverage effective date.
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission .