Dental and Vision Benefits for PEF Retirees

This page provides general information on the dental and vision plans available to retired PEF employees. The Benefits Unit does not recommend or endorse any plan. Retirees are advised to assess their health insurance needs and then decide which option is best.

A PEF member’s dental and vision coverage will end 28 days after the last day of the payroll period in which he/she worked.  Members who are retiring have the following three options for continuing dental and vision coverage:

Option 1:  Dental and Vision Benefits through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)

About COBRA: COBRA is a federal law that requires most employers sponsoring group health plans to offer employees and their families the opportunity for a temporary extension of all types of health insurance coverage.  This option is offered when coverage under the regular program would otherwise end. 

COBRA for NYS Retirees: COBRA offers a continuation of the GHI Preferred Dental Plan (Emblem) and Davis Vision benefits, and retirees have the option to choose either one or both.  Since COBRA is an actual continuation of benefits, coverage remains the same for a retiree as it was when he/she was an active employee.  And, the same rules apply for using your benefits.  Under COBRA the retiree may keep this coverage for up to 36 months.  Monthly payments will be made directly to the NYS Department of Civil Service.

How to Enroll in COBRA: COBRA dental and vision information, including an enrollment application, is mailed to all retirees who had health insurance when they were active employees. Those employees who did not have health insurance must write and request this information and an application from the Department of Civil Service. This request must be made within 60 days of the effective date of retirement.

Also, if an employee had individual dental or vision coverage as an active employee but would like family coverage as a retiree, he/she must request this coverage in writing from the Department of Civil Service. There is a waiting period of three months for those individuals who want family dental or vision coverage. If a retiree opts for this plan, he/she has individual dental and vision coverage during the waiting period and dependents DO NOT have coverage. Upon the completion of the waiting period, all family members are covered under the plan.

End of COBRA Period: When COBRA comes to an end, the retiree may then CONVERT to the Emblem Health (GHI) Direct Payment Plan.  Information on this conversion policy is automatically sent to COBRA enrollees.  Retirees are advised to review this information carefully to decide if they want to enroll in the conversion policy.

Option 2:  Emblem Health (GHI) Direct Payment Plan

All New York State employees regardless of negotiating unit, who are enrolled in health insurance are automatically sent enrollment information on GHI Retiree Dental Plan at the time of their retirement. 

  • You must enroll no later than 90 days post-retirement, or immediately following the end of COBRA coverage.  You should automatically receive an enrollment form and summary of benefits after you retire, or at the end of the COBRA Period.  This plan is a conversion policy that is administered by Emblem Health (GHI).
  • Additional information on this policy may be obtained by contacting Emblem Health at 1-800-947-0101.

Option 3:  NYS PEF Retiree Plan for Dental/Vision

Dental Coverage:  Sun Life Dental (effective 1/1/2018):

  • You must be an active dues-paying PEF Retiree member to participate. 
  • Three benefit levels are available:  Individual, Individual + Spouse and Family coverage. 
  • You will be billed monthly.
  • If you terminate coverage after your initial enrollment, you will not be allowed to re-enroll in coverage.  However, if you terminate your coverage and have a Qualified Status Change, you may re-enroll if you do so within 120 days of the date of your Qualified Status Change. 
  • Additional information on this plan can be obtained by contacting Sun Life at 1-844-738-8118, Group #5487131.

Vision Coverage:  Davis Vision (effective 1/1/2018):

  • You must be an active dues-paying PEF Retiree member to participate.  
  • Individual, Individual + Spouse, and Family coverage are available.  
  • Coverage runs from November 1 through October 31 of any given year. 
  • The benefit must be renewed/repurchased yearly. You will receive renewal notices yearly (There is no monthly payment plan).
  • Purchase of the Davis Vision benefit provides product and service discounts.  
  • To purchase this benefit visit:, or call Membership Benefits at 1-800-342-4306, Ext. 243.
  • For program details you can log onto the Open Enrollment section of the member site at and enter Client Code: 2395, or call 1-844-681-4498.  You may also visit:

For Additional Information on Option 2 or 3 – Contact the PEF Retirees Department at (518) 785-1900 or 1-800-342-4306, ext. 289.