Updated on February 14, 2012
Q) If I die is my surviving spouse eligible for GIC health insurance?
A) If you (the state employee/retiree) have coverage through the GIC at the time of your death, your surviving spouse is eligible for GIC health insurance coverage until he/she remarries or dies regardless of your retirement benefit option. However, he/she must apply for survivor spouse coverage by contacting the GIC for a survivor application; survivor coverage is not an automatic benefit. Upon approval, the GIC will bill your surviving spouse or deduct from the survivors pension the survivor share of the health insurance premium. The surviving spouse may elect family coverage to cover eligible dependants. For additional information see dependant age 19 and over section.
Q) Will my spouse have coverage if I pre-decease him/her?
A) If you pre-decease your spouse, he/she is eligible for survivor coverage provided your coverage was in force at the time of death. The cost will be deducted if the survivor receives a pension. If not, a bill will be sent for the premium each quarter. Coverage may be kept until remarriage. Survivor coverage is offered once the GIC is notified of your death.
Q) I am a surviving spouse of a Commonwealth or participating municipality employee/retiree enrolled in a GIC health plan and am turning age 65. What do I need to do?
A) When you are age 65, visit your local Social Security Administration Office to see if you are eligible for Medicare Part A for free. If you are eligible, you must enroll. If you are retired or not working, you must also enroll in Medicare Part B and enroll in a Medicare Plan sponsored by the GIC. The GIC will contact you about your options.
Q) I am a legally separated or divorced employee/retiree. When I die, is my legally separated or former spouse eligible for survivor health insurance?
A) No. Your legally separated or former spouse may continue coverage under COBRA for up to 36 months after your death. Alternately, if your separated or former spouse a Massachusetts resident, he/she may purchase health insurance directly from the Massachusetts Health Connector (1-877-623-6765).
Q) I am the former spouse or legally separated spouse of a Commonwealth or participating municipality employee/retiree who has died and was covered under his/her GIC health coverage. Am I eligible to continue GIC health coverage?
A) GIC health coverage for an employee's /retiree's former spouse ends when the employee/retiree dies. Former spouses and legally separated spouses are not eligible for survivor health coverage, but may apply for continuing coverage through COBRA or non-group conversion. Contact the GIC for additional information. Alternately, if you are a Massachusetts resident, you may purchase health insurance directly from the Massachusetts Health Connector (1-877-623-6765).
Q) I have GIC health insurance as a surviving spouse. When does my coverage end?
A) Survivor health insurance coverage ends when you stop paying your premiums, remarry, or die, whichever occurs first.
Q) I am a surviving spouse of a state or municipal employee and work for the state or a participating municipality and eligible for GIC health insurance benefits. Am I eligible for survivor coverage?
A) Surviving spouses who are eligible for coverage as a state or participating municipal employee or retiree are not eligible for survivor coverage. If you as a surviving spouse terminate your state or municipal when the coverage ends, you may be eligible for survivor coverage. Contact the GIC for details.
Q) I am a survivor who is remarrying. What happens to my GIC coverage?
A) Your coverage as a survivor ends at the end of the month in which you remarry. You are eligible to continue your coverage under COBRA for up to 36 months or to convert to non-group coverage with your health plan. Alternately, if you are a Massachusetts resident, you may purchase health insurance directly from the Massachusetts Health Connector (1-877-623-6765).
Q) I am a GIC insured and cover a dependent under age 19. If I die, and there is no surviving spouse, is my orphan child eligible for GIC health insurance coverage?
A) Your orphan is only eligible for GIC health insurance if he or she is does not have a living parent and is under age 19. The child’s legal representative must contact the GIC’s continuing coverage unit to apply for coverage on behalf of the orphan. A copy of the certified death certificates for both of the orphan’s parents must be submitted to the GIC.
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission.