Basic Life and Optional Life

Basic Life and Optional Life Brochure (PDF)

The Commonwealth provides $5,000 of Basic Term Life Insurance for all active state employees and most retirees who have health coverage through the GIC. The state currently pays 80 percent of the cost of this basic life term insurance to new hires and pays 85 percent for employees hired prior to June 30, 2003. It is recommended that all employees carry basic life insurance regardless of whether they take optional life or basic health insurance. You must have basic life insurance in order to obtain any optional life insurance. Additionally should you decide to take health insurance through your spouse (who works elsewhere) and your spouse looses his/her coverage, by carrying the basic life insurance you can add your spouse to the Commonwealth's health insurance at any time with proof of loss of coverage. Employees who leave state service as "deferred retirees" should continue to pay the full cost of this basic life insurance so that they can be "pre-qualified" for health insurance when they do retire and want to receive GIC health benefits.

Optional Life Insurance

Basic Life and Optional Life Brochure (PDF)

Optional Term Life Insurance is available to all news hires in their initial ten day enrollment period. New employees can purchase Optional Life Insurance from one to eight times their salary without proof of medical insurability. Current employees may apply for coverage at any time or apply to increase coverage by providing proof of good health. The benefits coordinator will provide a calculation of the cost of this insurance. Current employees complete a Form 1 with the campus benefits coordinator (ext. 6030). The Hartford will then mail the employee a Personal Health Application (evidence of insurability form) and will notify the employee if they have been approved for coverage). The insurance company can require the employee to have a complete physical exam at the employee's expense.

Qualifying Event - Ability to Purchase Optional Life Insurance

Family Status Change and Optional Life
Effective Oct. 1, 2008, insured employees with Basic Life and Health Insurance or Basic Life Insurance only, who have a qualifying family status change which occurs on or after October 1, 2008, are eligible to either enroll for Optional Life Insurance coverage up to four times salary, without a medical, or increase their Optional LifeInsurance amount up to four times salary without medical evidence. The effective date of this new coverage will be determined by the GIC. The following events qualify as a family status change: 
Marriage of Employee
Divorce of Employee
Birth/Adoption of a Child
Death of Spouse

Procedures - Within 31 days of the qualifying event, the employee can apply for or increase their Optional Life coverage up to four times without any medical evidence of insurability. Employee completes Change Form 1 in Human Resources and provides proof of the qualifying family status change. The Benefits Coordinator will calculate the cost of this Optional Life Insurance. The GIC must receive the request within 31 days of the qualifying family status change. Requests received after 31 days will require the employee to complete and pass medical evidence of insurability. 


Qualifying Event Documentation Required
Marriage: Copy of the marriage certificate
Divorce: The following sections of the divorce decree: 
     - section on health insurance
     - page with the absolute date
     - signature page
Birth or Adoption: Copy of the certified birth certificate or copy of the adoption agency's placement letter with child's name and date of birth
Death of a Spouse: Copy of the death certificate

Cost of Optional Life Insurance

Please note that the cost of optional term life insurance for "active employees" increases as the employee get older. The rates are additional higher for employees who smoke. Additionally the costs are "much higher" when the employee retires. It is therefore wise to review your benefit election and perhaps reduce your coverage as you enter retirement or earlier depending upon your individual circumstances.

Smoking Status Change:

During annual enrollment each year (April/May timeframe) employees who have stopped smoking any type of tobacco products may apply to change their status from "smoker" to "non-smoker" status, and reduce the cost of Optional Life Insurance. During Annual Enrollment employees can complete a Form 1 and check off the Non-Smoker section stating they have been tobacco free for the past 12 months etc.

Special Provisions Under Optional Life Insurance:

Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D Benefits).  In the event you are injured or die you or your beneficiary can receive additional benefits or "double indemnity" protection.  In the event of injury as a result of an accident benefits are computed as a percentage of the total benefit for losses such as loss of life, hands, feet, eyes, speech and/or hearing, thumb and index finger of same hand, quadriplegia, paraplegia, hemiplegia, brain damage, coma, air bad and seat belt benefits for loss of life in a car accident.

Accelerated life benefit - allows an insured to elect an advance payment of up to 75 percent of their death benefits if they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Portability - Active employees who leave employment or become ineligible due to a reduction in hours may elect Term Life Coverage similar to their Group Term Life Insurance. Contact the Hartford's conversion unit at 877.320.0484 ext. 1.

Beneficiary Assist and Travel Assistance read the GIC brochure:

Contact the GIC at 617.727.2310 ext. 1 or to report a death ext. 4 or go to for additional information about this coverage.  Notification of Death:  In the event of an employee death or member of employee’s immediate family, please notify the Benefits Coordinator for assistance at 978-542-6030.

Beneficiary Form State GIC insurance and Optional Retirement Plan

GIC State Term Life Insurance Beneficiary Form

Every January the GIC will mail you a list of your current benefits and who you have listed as your beneficiaries for life insurance as well as for retirement. For those employees in the Optional Retirement Plan your beneficiary for retirement will be blank. If you need to make a change to your beneficiaries for life insurance or for retirement, please come to Human Resources and complete a change of beneficiary forms (not available on line). 

Optional Retirement Plan (optional life and retirement Beneficiary Changes)

Member of the Optional Retirement Plan can purchase GIC Optional Life Insurance. Additionally members receive additional optional life insurance through the Board of Higher Education which has a different beneficiary form from the state optional life form. Members of the ORP who make changes to their beneficiary should additionally remember to make changes with their ORP provider regarding their actual retirement money held with either AIG Retirement, Lincoln Financial or TIAA-CREF.  Contact these agencies directly to receive new beneficiary forms for the "money" in your optional retirement account. To reach a plan administrator see the following website: