FAQ Index

    Questings

    Who is eligible to enroll in the Group Insurance Program through the State of Illinois at retirement?

    SERS members completing at least 8 years of service (Tier 1 employee) or 10 years of service (Tier 2 employee), receiving a monthly annuity from the State Employee Retirement Systems, and completing the required Retiree Insurance Form (3991), will be eligible to continue enrollment or enroll in the insurance program.

    Is Group Insurance guaranteed for life as is the pension benefit?

    Group Insurance is subject to change through legislation, contract negotiations and/or policy changes.

    What is the cost of health insurance?

    Member health insurance premiums are state-paid if you have completed 20 or more years of state service. If you have less than 20 years of service, the state will pay 5% for each full year of service and you will pay the balance (Example: 10 full years of service X 5% = 50% State Paid Health). Contribution Rates effective July 1, 2021

    Does creditable service with other public Retirement Systems count toward SERS service when calculating group health premiums?

    When a member retires under reciprocity, service with TRS, JRS, GARS, and SURS (SURS employees must have been eligible for State of Illinois Group Insurance coverage while contributing to SURS), count toward the 20 years as long as they are vested in SERS. Service with other systems such as IMRF, count for pension purposes but not for group insurance since these systems do not participate in the State of Illinois Group Insurance Program with CMS. Normally the last system the member was participating in carries the group insurance.

    Can changes be made to insurance at the time of retirement?

    Changes can be made to insurance at the time of retirement. Retirement is considered a qualifying event. Members can make changes within 60 days of the retirement event. Changes can be made at the MyBenefits website, or by contacting the MyBenefits Call Center at 1-844-251-1777 (1-844-251-1778 (TDD/TTY)). Instructions about the MyBenefits website are provided in the pension packet.

    What is the cost of dependent health coverage upon retirement?

    Dependent rates are the same for active and retired state employees. Dependent rates are lower if your dependent has Medicare Part A and B since Medicare is the primary insurance coverage when you are retired. Refer to the current Benefits Choice Option booklet for dependent premium rates. Dependent Rates

    What is the cost of dental and vision insurance for retirees, survivors and their dependents?

    Dental Rates for retirees, survivors, and covered dependents are the same as active members.  Vision coverage is provided at no cost to all members and dependents enrolled in a State health plan.

    If my spouse and I are both members, can one of us become a dependent on the other’s state insurance plan?

    You can remain a dependent at the time of retirement if you have been a dependent on your state retired or state employed spouse's insurance for one year. If you are an active employee and retire immediately from active employment with the state, you cannot become a dependent of your spouse.

    Where can I find information about the "Opt-Out" Financial Incentive?

    If you have completed 20 or more years of service and are currently enrolled in the State of Illinois Group Insurance Program or retiring with a break in coverage due to termination of state employment, you will be eligible for a $500 monthly incentive by completing the financial incentive packet and providing proof of comprehensive coverage from a source other than Central Management Services. If you have less than 20 years of service you will qualify for the $150 monthly incentive. Upon determination of eligibility by SERS, you may opt-out of the insurance program to receive the incentive at the time of retirement, during an open enrollment or due to a qualifying event (Gain of Other Coverage - the request to opt-out must be received within 60 days of the gain of the new coverage). If you are interested in the incentive program, contact SERS @ 217-785-7444 and you will be directed to a Group Insurance Representative.

    What happens to my life insurance when I retire?

    If you are under age 60 and retired, your life insurance is exactly the same; it's based on your last annual salary as a state employee. When you reach age 60, your basic life insurance reduces to $5,000. Any optional life that you purchase also reduces in increments of $5,000. If you wish to purchase additional life insurance (up to four times the basic State paid life coverage), you are required to complete and submit a statement of health to Minnesota Life. If approved, premiums will be deducted from your monthly pension check. Contact the MyBenefits Call Center at 1-844-251-1777 (1-844-251-1778 (TDD/TTY) to discuss increases or decreases to life insurance.

    Will I receive new state insurance identification cards when I retire?

    Insurance identification cards are not issued unless you change your health insurance carrier. There are no expiration dates on any of the ID cards. The group numbers are the same for active and retired state employees.

    If I'm traveling out of the country, will the State Health Plan policy cover me?

    You should contact your health carrier to discuss coverage if you are in a foreign country.

    What happens to my surviving spouse's insurance upon my death?

    Refer to Eligibility Requirements (pages 7-9) in the Retiree, Annuitant & Survivor Benefits Handbook.


    Medicare

    All Medicare information is located in the Retiree/Survivor Insurance Handbook, which can be found in our Insurance Section of the website (link is found on SERS home page).

    Basic Medicare Information contact CMS at (217)-782-7007