Learn More About Leaving State Service

An overview of your health and other benefit options when you leave employment with a state agency.

Updated on May 28, 2015

Options are listed in order of recommended selection. For all options, complete and return to your GIC Coordinator an Employment Status Change Form (Form-1A).

When your GIC coverage ends if you are leaving state service

Your coverage ends at the end of the month following the month you end state service, provided that your premium for that month is paid.

What your health and life insurance options are if you are leaving state service, but are not vested in the retirement system, and are not eligible for a state pension

If you are leaving state service for any reason other than termination for gross misconduct, you may continue your coverage or pick up other coverage with some limitations on time and/or benefit levels. Your options are as follows:

  • Commonwealth Health Connector health coverage (contact the Health Connector Authority for information and enrollment: 1.877.623.6765 ):

Benefits: A choice of health insurance options with different benefits and prices. Depending on which plan you choose, your monthly premium for the Health Connector could be lower than the monthly premium for COBRA or conversion coverage. Unlike COBRA coverage, Health Connector coverage does not have a maximum coverage period. You can continue coverage as long as you pay your premiums on time.
Drawbacks: Benefits may not be as comprehensive as the coverage you had through the GIC. If you enroll in Health Connector coverage, you are waiving your right to elect health insurance under the GIC's COBRA or conversion options. This option is only available for Massachusetts residents.

  • COBRA health only. You have 60 days to elect COBRA coverage, but the coverage begins on the first day of the month after your coverage as an active employee ended. To avoid owing retroactive premiums, send in your COBRA application promptly to the GIC:

Benefits: Allows you to stay in the same health plan with the same benefits.
Drawbacks: You pay 100% of the premium, plus 2% for administration (no Commonwealth contribution). Maximum coverage period is 18 months.

  • Convert to Non-Group health coverage with your current health plan (contact your health plan for the application):

Benefits: You can keep coverage indefinitely as long as you pay the premium.
Drawbacks: Benefits are almost always less comprehensive than GIC coverage.

  • Life Insurance Portability - You may continue your basic life and/or optional life coverage (application to continue coverage will be mailed to your home from the life insurance carrier):

Benefit: Continue your life insurance at a competitive rate.
Drawback: Does not include health insurance.

  • Convert to Non-Group life coverage with the current carrier (form available through life insurance carrier).

Benefit: Ability to continue life insurance coverage.
Drawback: Benefits almost always less than GIC plan coverage.

How to continue your health and life coverage with the GIC if you are leaving state service, but are not retiring, you are vested in the retirement system and are eligible for a state pension and will retire from a GIC-eligible agency, and you are leaving your retirement monies in the State's retirement system

You may elect Deferred Retirement coverage provided you keep your money in the state or other GIC-eligible retirement system. If you are getting health coverage elsewhere, the GIC suggests that you, at a minimum, keep life insurance paying 100% of the premium. At retirement, you may apply for GIC health coverage; the Commonwealth will contribute its premium contribution in force at the time you retire. If you are not getting health coverage elsewhere when you leave, you may keep your basic life and health insurance, paying 100% of the premiums until retirement. 

If you decide not to leave your money in the state or other GIC-eligible retirement system, or if it is transferred to a retirement system not eligible for GIC benefits, your eligibility for GIC benefits as a Deferred Retiree ends. You may elect to pick up health insurance through the Commonwealth Health Connector (Massachusetts residents).

How to continue your health and life coverage with the GIC if you are leaving state service and are eligible for a retirement pension

If you have been approved and continue to receive a retirement or pension allowance from the State Board of Retirement or another participating public retirement system, you are eligible for GIC health insurance coverage. See the Retirement section for additional information.

If you elect not to retire, the GIC recommends that you elect Deferred Retirement coverage (see ten or more years of state service above).

How to cancel your coverage if you are enrolled under the COBRA Deferred Retiree provision

Complete the Enrollment/Change Form (Form-1) and send to the GIC. Or, send a letter to the GIC requesting that your coverage be terminated. Include your name, address, and GIC ID number (usually your Social Security Number). Coverage will be terminated at the end of the month in which your premium is paid.


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