Fact Sheet for Surviving Spouses

Important Information before you get started!

This fact sheet is for Surviving Spouses of Faculty or University Staff members who participated in the CU 401(a) retirement plan whether they were active employees or retirees at time of death.  If you have questions regarding eligibility, please contact Employee Services’ Benefits Administration at 303-860-4200, option 3. 

Surviving Spouse benefit and eligibility

Continuation of benefits for surviving spouses of active Faculty, University Staff and Retirees who participate in the University of Colorado 401(a) Retirement Plan.    

The University provides continuation of medical and dental benefits for surviving spouses (common-law spouses, civil union and domestic partners) and eligible dependent children who are enrolled in a CU medical plan and/or CU dental plan on the date of the employee/retiree’s death. All other benefits will end at the end of the month following the employee/retiree’s death. The surviving spouse must make an election to enroll within 60 days of the death of the active employee/retiree or their right to continuation of coverage under this policy is forfeited and will no longer be available.  

Active Employee benefit and eligibility

The University will continue to provide a monthly contribution to offset the total premium for the medical plan (please see SURVIVING SPOUSE RATE CONTRIBUTION CHART below).  There is no University contribution provided for the CU dental plans.

  • There are no active employment length of service requirements for eligibility under this benefit.
  • The employee must have been actively participating in the University of Colorado 401(a) plan.
  • The surviving spouse and dependents are required to be enrolled in a CU medical plan and/or CU dental plan at the time of the employee’s death. 
  • Surviving spouse and dependent children are required to continue enrollment in the same medical and/or dental plan they had at the time of employee’s death for the remainder of the plan year (July 1-June 30) unless they fall under these exceptions: 
    • Surviving Spouse changes their residence making them ineligible for the plan (i.e., moving out of state). The surviving spouse may enroll in the CU Health Plan – High Deductible, which has in and out-of-network benefits.
    • If Surviving Spouse is enrolled in the CU Health Plan – Extended, this plan is not eligible for continuation of coverage under the surviving spouse policy. You must elect another plan. NOTE: Surviving spouse/ dependent may continue the CU Health Plan – Extended under the provisions of COBRA.  
  • If the surviving spouse and/or dependent children become Medicare eligible, they are required to enroll in a CU Medicare plan option and follow the eligibility requirements for enrollment. 
  • Surviving spouse and dependent children are eligible to change plans during the University’s annual Open Enrollment (April/May).  
  • Surviving dependent children are not eligible for coverage as a surviving dependent only. Surviving dependents can be enrolled only as a dependent of the surviving spouse and are required to meet dependent eligibility requirements. 
  • For two years (24 months) following the employee’s death, the surviving spouse will receive 100% of the University’s contribution for active employees enrolled in the CU medical plans.      
  • Commencing on the third year (25th month) after the date of the employee’s death, the surviving spouse will receive a varied University contribution, based on the number of retirement-eligible years of CU service prior to the employee’s death. For example, if the employee had 10 years of CU-eligible service, CU will contribute 50% of what the University would contribute for the active employee’s medical plan.  The surviving spouse is responsible for the remaining 50% of University’s cost.   

 

YEARS OF SERVICE CU CONTRIBUTION PERCENTAGE
Up to 2 5%
2 10%
3 15%
4 20%
5 25%
6 30%
7 35%
8 40%
9 45%
10 50%
11 55%
12 60%
13 65%
14 70%
15 75%
16 80%
17 85%
18 90%
19 95%
20 or more 100%

 

Retiree benefit and eligibility

The University will continue to provide medical and/or dental plan benefits and contribute the same percentage amount toward the medical plan premium as was contributed to the deceased’s retiree medical plans. There is no University contribution provided for the CU dental plans.

  • The surviving spouse and dependents are required to be enrolled in a retiree CU medical plan and/or retiree CU dental plan at the time of the retiree’s death. 
  • Surviving spouse and dependent children are required to continue enrollment in the same medical and/or dental plan they had at the time of retiree’s death for the remainder of the plan year (July 1-June 30) unless they fall under these exceptions: 
    • If surviving spouse and dependent children are non-Medicare eligible, and enrolled in the CU Health Plan – Medicare/High Deductible plan, they can enroll in a non-Medicare plan.
    • If surviving spouse changes their residence making them ineligible for the plan (i.e., moving out of state).  The surviving spouse may enroll in the CU Health Plan – High Deductible, which has a national network.
    • If the surviving spouse and/or dependent children become Medicare eligible, they are required to enroll in a CU Medicare plan option and follow the eligibility requirements for enrollment.
    • Surviving spouse and dependent children are eligible to change plans during the University’s annual Open Enrollment (April/May).
  • Surviving dependent children are not eligible for coverage as a surviving dependent only.  Surviving dependents can only be enrolled as a dependent of the surviving spouse and are required to meet dependent eligibility requirements. 

Enrollment – active and retiree Surviving Spouse

The surviving spouse has a one-time irrevocable opportunity to enroll in the surviving spouse benefit within 60 days of the employee/retiree’s date of death. 

  1. Contact an Employee Services benefits professional at 303.860.4200, option 3 for guidance on enrollment.
  2. Complete a Surviving Spouse enrollment form within 60 days of the employee/retiree’s date of death. 

Premium payments

The University will bill you each month for your surviving Spouse benefits. Please see the Rate Sheet. You will receive your benefits bill around the second week of the month to pay for the coverage received the prior month. For example, you will receive a February bill to pay for your January coverage. Payment is due by the end of the month in which you receive your bill.

You may remit your payment via check:

Employee Services

Benefit Remittances

1800 Grant St., Suite 400

Denver, Colorado 80203

Or

You may elect to have your premiums directly debited from your checking or savings account each month. Direct debit will deduct premiums from your checking or savings account around the 20th of each month for the total amount due. This option also pays in arrears; the debit taken in February pays for your January coverage.  To enroll, complete and sign the Banking Authorization Form.

Termination/Ineligibility of Surviving Spouse benefit

If the surviving spouse waives coverage, re-enrollment will not be permitted, eligibility ends.

  1. Surviving spouses who become eligible and are enrolled in another group medical plan are ineligible for coverage with the University. Notify a benefits professional immediately.
  2. Failure to pay premiums for the plans will result in termination of coverage.  Re-enrollment will not be permitted and eligibility ends.

Last updated: 9/17/2018