As a retiree, you can change your NYSHIP health insurance plan (option) once during a 12-month period for any reason. You are no longer restricted to the same option transfer period as active employees.
In order to continue your health insurance into retirement, and have the state continue to pay the employers share of your health insurance premiums, you must meet ALL three of the following eligibility requirements:
1. Hiring Date and Years of Service
You were hired before April 1, 1975, and have:
- at least five (5) years of state service; benefits-eligible* 1OR,
- at least five years of combined service with the state and one or more participating employer (such as the Thruway Authority) or participating agency (such as a town or school district)
You were hired on or after April 1, 1975, and have:
- at least ten (10) years of benefit eligible state service; OR,
- at least 10 years of combined service with the state and one or more participating employer or participating agency
2. Membership in the NYS Retirement System
You are a member of a New York State administered retirement system2AND are qualified for retirement.
You are not a member of a New York State administered retirement system BUT you satisfy one of the following conditions:
- You meet the age requirement of the Employees’ Retirement System retirement tier in effect at the time you last entered service; OR,
- You are qualified to receive Social Security disability payments.
3. NYSHIP Enrollment
You are enrolled in the New York State Health Insurance Plan (NYSHIP) or you are a dependent of an enrollee at the time of your retirement.
Continuing Your Coverage
In order to continue your coverage during retirement, you must complete the following paperwork BEFORE your last day of work.
PS-404 - Health Insurance Transaction Form
This form documents your decision to continue your benefits into retirement and update any changes.
- Complete the “Employee Information” section on the front.
- Sign and date the “Authorization” section on the back.
PS-405 - Dual Annuitant Sick Leave Credit Election Form
This form documents your choice to apply your Sick Leave Credit at Full Value (100%) or Dual Annuitant option (70%).
If you elect the “Single-Annuitant” Option
- 100% of your sick leave credit will be used to offset your monthly health insurance premium and will terminate upon your death.
If you elect the “Dual-Annuitant” Option
- 70% of the reduced sick leave credit will be applied towards your monthly health insurance premiums. Upon your death, the same 70% will be applied towards the monthly health insurance premiums for your enrolled dependent(s). If you do not indicate a choice before your retirement becomes effective, you will default to the “single-annuitant” option.
Where to Submit These Forms:
BSC Benefits Administration
W. Averell Harriman State Office Campus
1220 Washington Avenue
Building 5, Floor 4
Albany, NY 12226-1900
Deferring Your Coverage
If you have health insurance coverage through your post-retirement employer or as a dependent through your spouse’s employer, you are eligible to defer1 your NYSHIP retiree coverage.
PS-406.2 Form - Deferred Health Insurance Form for Retirees*
If you decide to defer your coverage, you must complete the PS-406.2 Form - Deferred Health Insurance Form for Retirees.
- Complete entire form.
- Attach proof of coverage under another group health insurance plan (you cannot defer without proof of coverage).
*You ONLY need to return this form to BSC Benefits if you plan to defer health insurance.
Once your PS-406.2 has been processed you will receive a PS-410 Form - State Service Sick Leave Preservation which documents your request to preserve your sick leave for later use. Keep a copy of this form for your records. It is your responsibility to provide this form to Civil Service when you reactivate your NYSHIP benefits.
If you die while you are in deferred coverage status and had family coverage at the time of retirement, your dependents may be eligible to re-enroll in NYSHIP. A written request must be sent to the Employee Benefits Division to re-enroll in NYSHIP within 90 days of retirees’ death.
How Do I Pay for My Health Insurance?
Retirees are responsible for the same annual premium as active employees. The rates appear higher because you pay your annual premium in 12 installments, while active employees pay their annual premiums in 26 installments.
There are two ways to pay for your health insurance in retirement:
1. Pension Check Deduction
- Deductions from your pension check may take several months to begin.
- You may be billed directly by Civil Service until deductions from your pension check can begin.
2. Direct-pay billings
- You will be billed by Civil Service and can pay premiums directly.
NYSHIP requires retirees and their dependents to be enrolled in Medicare parts A and B when first eligible for primary Medicare coverage due to age or disability. You do not need to enroll in part B until you retire from state service.
To review specific and complete details regarding Retiree Health Insurance refer to the General Information Book (GIB) below.