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Life Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions About Life Insurance

What kinds of term life insurance plans are available?
What happens to my life insurance in the event of a layoff, illness or other types of leave?
What happens to my life insurance during a period of personal leave without pay?
What happens to my life insurance when I retire?
What happens to my life insurance when I resign or my appointment ends?

Dependent Coverage
We will be having/adopting a child soon. How do I add this child to my health, dental, and life insurance coverage?
How long can my child be insured as my dependent?
How do I change my life insurance beneficiaries?

Minnesota Life Insurance Beneficiary Information
I already have a beneficiary form filed with the University. Why do you want me to complete a new one?
I have a will that tells how I want my life insurance benefits divided; do I need a beneficiary form too?
I have a trust set up. How do I make sure the trust receives my life insurance benefits?
Who will have access to my beneficiary information when it is stored electronically and how secure will this information be?
How will life insurance benefits be paid if I don't designate specific beneficiary(ies)?
Will I still be able to change my beneficiaries at any time?


What kinds of term life insurance plans are available?
Under the State of Illinois plan, all eligible employees automatically have employer-paid life insurance equal to their annual salary. Employees can elect to purchase additional life insurance up to eight times their salary at the employee's cost. Optional coverage for spouse and children is limited to $10,000 each. Enrollment in the State optional plans is guaranteed within the first 10 days of employment; thereafter, evidence of good health is required.

For brochures or more information, contact the UPB Benefits Services office.

What happens to my life insurance in the event of a layoff, illness or other types of leave
The life insurance plans may be continued during seasonal layoff, illness, family and medical or educational leaves without pay. The State contribution continues to be paid, and the employee is billed monthly by the UPB Benefits Services office for any insurance premium formerly deducted from the paycheck. Premium bills are mailed to the home addresses of employees off the payroll. The first bill will arrive at about the same time as the first paycheck is missed and then monthly thereafter. The bill will be itemized and is due within 10 days. Failure to pay a premium bill will result in termination of the life coverage until the member returns to work. Re-enrollment in some plans will be subject to evidence of good health.

What happens to my life insurance during a period of personal leave without pay?
Members on personal leave without pay may continue coverage for up to 24 months subject to the member's payment of 100% of the premium, which includes the employer contribution. Employees on personal leave will receive monthly premium bills from the UPB Benefits Services office. Premium bills are mailed to the home addresses of employees off the payroll. The first bill will arrive at about the same time as the first paycheck is missed and then monthly thereafter. The bill will be itemized and due within 10 days. Failure to pay a premium bill will result in termination of the life coverage until the member returns to work. Re-enrollment in some plans will be subject to evidence of good health.

What happens to my life insurance when I retire?
When you retire and begin receiving a monthly annuity from the State Universities Retirement System (SURS), your State life insurance records are transferred to the retirement system. The amount of State-paid life insurance reduces to $5,000 if you are age 60 or older at retirement or when you turn age 60 after retirement (until age 60 coverage is based on your pre-retirement salary). Optional State life is available in increments of the State-paid amount. Premiums to be paid by the retiree will be deducted from the monthly retirement annuity check.

What happens to my life insurance when I resign or my appointment ends?
Under the State plan, life insurance may be continued at the employee's expense. Basic coverage may be converted to any form of individual life insurance policy (except term insurance) offered by the Life Insurance Plan Administrator. Optional life insurance coverage may also be converted to an individual policy or may be continued through a portable term group policy. Should the employee choose to continue coverage through one of these methods, the full premium must be paid directly to the Life Insurance Plan Administrator. To continue optional life insurance coverage, the member must contact the Group Insurance Representative within 31 days of the date the member terminates employment.

Under the University plan, you may take your policy with you should you terminate your employment with the University. Your premiums stay the same with a nominal direct-billing fee added. You also have the option to convert your policy to a permanent whole-life insurance plan offered by ING/ReliaStar Life Insurance Company. However, premiums for a permanent insurance policy are generally higher than those available for term coverage.


Dependent Coverage

The following information is for the State of Illinois Plan unless otherwise indicated.

We will be having/adopting a child soon. How do I add this child to my health, dental, and life insurance coverage?
You may add a dependent to your health, dental, and life insurance within 60 days of the date of birth or adoption. Benefit coverage changes are effective the latest day of the date the request for change was signed, or the date the event occurred. Coverage for newborns and adopted newborns may be retroactive to the date of birth if the coverage request was made within 60 days of birth. You may add a dependent through the State Plan Changes selection in the Benefits section of NESSIE.

How long can my child be insured as my dependent?
Children may remain insured as dependents until their twenty-sixth birthday regardless of student status, martial status or residency. Adult veteran children must live in Illinois in order to be eligible for coverage. Also, if the veteran adult child is age 26 or older they must be unmarried. Annual certification may be required for some dependents.

An exception to termination at age 26 may be made provided the child has been continuously insured since February 11, 1983 and is considered dependent for income tax purposes.

Children who cease to be eligible as dependents may continue coverage on their own by paying the full cost for up to 36 months under a Federal law referred to as COBRA. It is the member's responsibility to notify the UPB Benefits Services office if the dependent ceases to be eligible.

How do I change my life insurance beneficiaries?

State Plan
Complete the online Beneficiary Election form through Minnesota Life.

University Plan
Complete the Request for Change of Beneficiary form and submit it to the UPB Benefits Services office.


Minnesota Life Insurance Beneficiary Information

I already have a beneficiary form filed with the University. Why do you want me to complete a new one?
Even if nothing has changed, use of this new beneficiary form will ensure that your beneficiary designations are safely, clearly, and properly recorded in the new database.

I have a will that tells how I want my life insurance benefits divided; do I need a beneficiary form too?
Yes. In order for the will to govern the distribution of your life insurance benefits, you must designate your estate as the beneficiary. Simply type "my estate" in place of a beneficiary name.

I have a trust set up. How do I make sure the trust receives my life insurance benefits?
Type the legal name of the trust in place of the beneficiary name.

Who will have access to my beneficiary information when it is stored electronically and how secure will this information be?
Access and use of this information is strictly limited to the administration of the life insurance plan. Your Group Insurance Representative will still have access to the information when you need it. In addition, the Group Insurance Division and Minnesota Life will be able to access the information in order to process life insurance claims.

How will life insurance benefits be paid if I don't designate specific beneficiary(ies)?
If you do not name a beneficiary for your group insurance life benefits, and you do not have a previous form on file with the University, the "Facility of Payment" provision outlined on page 12 of your State of Illinois Group Life Insurance Program booklet will determine the beneficiary(ies).

Will I still be able to change my beneficiaries at any time?
Yes, so long as you have not previously designated an irrevocable beneficiary. You may go to this site at any time to make a change.

Please note: The State Universities Retirement System (SURS) also requires you to complete a beneficiary designation form for your retirement benefits. The group insurance life beneficiary designation form is a different form and covers different benefits than the SURS beneficiary designation form.


Maintained by University Human Resources | Contact Information | Last Update: 12-January-2012 | ID: 91