Learn More About Life Insurance

For a complete list of life insurance questions and answers, see your Life Insurance Booklet .

How to enroll in Optional Life Insurance if you are a new state employee

State employees can enroll in Optional Life Insurance of up to eight times salary within 10 days of hire.  Complete the Enrollment/Change Form-1 and return to your GIC Coordinator.

How to apply for Optional Life Insurance if you are an active state employee

Active state employees can apply for optional life insurance any time during the year. Complete and return the Enrollment/Change Form-1 to your GIC Coordinator. Your agency will send the form to the GIC and we will notify the life insurance carrier, which will send you instructions on how to apply online or get an application.  If you do not complete the Evidence of Insurability process by the due date indicated by the life insurance carrier, your file will be closed. If approved, the GIC will advise you and the employee of the effective date.

How to enroll in or increase my optional life insurance if you are a state employee actively at work and have had a qualified status change (marriage, birth or adoption of a child, divorce, or death of spouse)

Complete and return the Enrollment/Change Form-1 and attach documentation of the qualifying event.  The GIC must receive the proof and form within 31 days of the qualifying event.

If you are a state employee or retiree and you reduce or cancel your optional life insurance, you may reinstate it later

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.

How to cancel or reduce your optional life insurance coverage

To cancel or reduce your coverage, complete and return the Enrollment/Change Form-1. Employees, return to your GIC Coordinator; retirees send to the GIC.

If you never had optional life insurance as an active state employee, you are not eligible for it as a retiree

Your spouse (or your dependents) are not eligible to enroll in GIC basic and optional life insurance

Only state employees and retirees are eligible to enroll in GIC basic and optional life insurance.

What optional life insurance will cost after you retire if you are a state employee

Optional life insurance rates increase when you retire and as you age. Talk with a financial advisor about other programs that might be more beneficial at retirement. If you make no change to your Optional Life coverage at retirement, you will be responsible for the retiree's Optional Life premium, which can be substantial. 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.

When to change your status from smoker to non-smoker to qualify for the non-smoker optional life insurance rates, if you have GIC optional life insurance and have been tobacco-free for the last twelve months. 

You may apply for non-smoker optional life insurance status during annual enrollment. The change will become effective the following July 1. Active state employees should return their application to their GIC Coordinator and state retirees should send a completed Benefit Statement Change form to the GIC.

How to file a death claim

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.

How to change your life insurance beneficiary information (e.g., if a beneficiary dies or changes his/her name or address)

Active State employees should see their GIC Coordinator for a beneficiary form. State Retirees should write to or call the GIC 617.727.2310 ext 1 to request a beneficiary form. Send completed beneficiary forms to the GIC, not the life insurance carrier.

What happens to your life insurance when you leave your job with the Commonwealth

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. Call the Hartford 1.877.320.0484 for additional information.

If you are leaving state service but are not retiring and are at or above Social Security’s normal retirement age as outlined in the chart below, you are not eligible for life insurance portability coverage

Year of Birth Normal Retirement Age
1937 or before 65
1938 65 + 2 months
1939 65 + 4 months
1940 65 + 6 months
1941 65 + 8 months
1942 65 + 10 months
1943 through 1954 66
1955 66 + 2 months
1956 66 + 4 months
1957 66 + 6 months
1958 66 + 8 months
1959 66 + 10 months
1960 or after 67

If you have GIC life insurance coverage when you leave state service and are above Social Security’s normal retirement age (as listed above), you are not eligible for portability.

What happens to your GIC life insurance coverage if you should become disabled and cannot pay the premium

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 or your request will be denied. 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.

What GIC life insurance benefits you are eligible for if you have a terminal illness

If you are terminally ill 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 effective July 1, 2016 to an increased maximum of 80% of your total amount of life insurance coverage. Insured employees are eligible for this benefit if the attending physician proves satisfactory evidence that you have a life expectancy of 12 months or less. Upon payment of the accelerated life benefit, future life insurance premiums will be waived regardless of your age.  The remaining balance is paid to your beneficiary when you die.

The remaining balance of the proceeds paid to your beneficiaries upon your death. For an application, call the GIC at 617.727.2310, Ext. 4.

What happens to my life insurance when you retire from state service

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 Employment Status Change form 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.  On your written request, be sure to include your name, address, and GIC ID number (usually your Social Security number).

If you have a life insurance beneficiary designation on file with the GIC and you are getting divorced or are divorced, this may affect your GIC life insurance beneficiary

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 or online through MyGIC 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 Coordinator or by calling the GIC at 617.727.2310 Ext. 1.  A post-divorce beneficiary designation is not revoked.


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