Retirees changing benefits due to life events

A USG retiree will be permitted to make a change in the level of healthcare coverage that he/she took into retirement, if he/she has a qualifying event. The change in retiree healthcare coverage must be consistent with the qualifying event. Questions about your benefits may be directed to benefits@uga.edu or 706-542-2222.

check mark A retiree must request a coverage change within 30 days of the qualifying event.

check mark Appropriate documentation, specific to the qualifying event, must be presented to UGA Human Resources office before a change in healthcare plan coverage will be granted or approved.

There are only four (4) instances of a qualifying event that a University System of Georgia institution may consider in granting a change in the level of healthcare coverage for a USG retiree. They are:

  1. Becoming eligible for Medicare

  2. The addition of a dependent(s) because of marriage, birth, adoption or a Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO*)

  3. The loss of a dependent’s health benefit coverage through a change in a spouse’s group coverage, through COBRA coverage, through Medicare, or through Medicaid

  4. A change in a spouse’s employment status that affects coverage eligibility under a qualified health plan

*A Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO) is a court-ordered remedy resulting from a divorce, legal separation, annulment, or change in legal custody. A QMCSO requires that an individual provide healthcare coverage for an enrolled dependent(s) that has been approved by the court. The court order and effective date of healthcare plan coverage for a court-designated enrolled dependent(s) must be presented to the institutional Human Resources office from which an individual retired, within 90 days of the court’s decision.

30-day deadline

For each of the four (4) qualifying events that are identified above, one must file a timely request with UGA Human Resources. For instances other than a qualified medical child support order (QMCSO), “timely” means within 30 days of the qualifying event. A failure to complete a change form within 30 days of a qualifying event will prohibit the retiree from making such changes. Unless otherwise noted, the effective date for changes in healthcare coverage will be the first day of the month following approval by UGA Human Resources.

Reducing or canceling coverage

Retiree healthcare premiums are not paid with pre-tax dollars. Therefore, a retiree may reduce his/her healthcare coverage, or, discontinue his/her healthcare coverage at any time during the plan year. If you wish to reduce your healthcare coverage, or, if you wish to discontinue your healthcare coverage, please submit your request in writing to UGA Human Resources: 215 S. Jackson Street, Athens, GA 30602.

BE AWARE: As a retiree, if you elect to discontinue your healthcare coverage, you will not be permitted to re-enroll at a later date. If you reduce your level of healthcare coverage, you will not be permitted to increase your coverage at a later date without establishing one of the four (4) qualifying events previously identified.