College employees paid through HR/CMS are eligible for insurance through the State Group Insurance Commission (GIC) if they are considered full-time, or if they regularly work at least 18.75 hours per week in a position for which the regular work week is 37.50 hours or at least 20 hours per week in a position for which the regular work week is 40 hours.
A new employee must return completed GIC enrollment forms to HRD within 10 business days of hire date to activate coverage. After a new employee's original enrollment period:
- An employee may not enroll in basic life and health insurance until the GIC annual enrollment period unless there is a qualified family status change.
- An employee may not enroll in optional life insurance until the GIC annual enrollment period unless there is a qualified family status change.
- An employee who does not elect optional life coverage when first employed, may apply at a later date but will need to provide satisfactory medical evidence of insurability.
- An employee may not enroll in long term disability insurance until providing satisfactory medical evidence of insurability.
Insurance premiums are paid in advance. Current employee premium rates and details on all insurance plans may be found in the applicable brochures available in HRD.
If you enroll in health insurance, your coverage will begin on the first day of the month that follows 60 days of continuous employment.
You may select from a variety of health insurance plans, including an indemnity plan (GIC Indemnity Plan), a preferred provider organization (Commonwealth PPO), and many regional health maintenance organizations (HMOs). The indemnity plan allows you freedom of choice in selecting providers of health services. The PPO combines the flexibility of a traditional medical plan and the benefits of an HMO. HMOs require that you utilize participating physicians and health facilities, but they may offer lower premiums and pay higher percentages of some services.
If you elect family coverage, the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) requires certified documents for dependents covered under the plan, such as a copy of a marriage certificate for a spouse and a copy of a birth certificate/hospital statement/adoption paper/appointment as legal guardian for a dependent child. (Specific documentation also is required when employees with family coverage want to switch to individual coverage because of a change in personal circumstances.)
Coverage has been expanded to your unmarried dependent children ages 19 - 26. Unmarried dependents are eligible for up to age 26 or two years after losing dependent status according to IRS rules, whichever occurs first.
When a dependent's coverage ends, the dependent may elect to continue individual health coverage for a limited time under COBRA at 102 percent of the applicable premium.
Unmarried dependent disabled children over age 19 may be eligible to continue coverage under the parent's health plan. The employee must submit a letter to the GIC requesting coverage. The letter must be accompanied by a physician's statement.
Employees not eligible to receive state-subsidized health insurance through GIC, i.e., contract employees or employees who work fewer than required hours, can purchase health insurance on a pre-tax basis from the Commonwealth Choice Program available through the Commonwealth Health Connector. Employees can choose from an array of health insurance carriers offering different benefit levels, co-payments and premiums. Payment for coverage can be made by a pre-tax payroll deduction. For information, visit the Commonwealth Health Connector's web site at www.mahealthconnector.org or call 1-877-MA-ENROLL.
If employees meet the State Retirement Board's requirements as a state retiree, they are eligible to continue insurance through the GIC. Retirement arrangements should be made by scheduling an appointment with HRD several months before the planned retirement date. Employees with health insurance coverage who discontinue employment at the College may continue that coverage for a period of time under COBRA .
Dental insurance coverage for non-unit employees begins the first day of the month that follows 60 days of continuous employment. Coverage for faculty, unit professionals and AFSCME unit classified employees begins the first day of the month that follows 6 months of employment. (For AFSCME employees, vision care coverage is also included in their Health and Welfare Plan.)
You may elect either individual or family dental insurance coverage. Dental insurance may also be continued for a period of time after state employment ends, under the provisions of COBRA.
If you enroll in life insurance, your coverage will begin on the first day of the month that follows 60 days of continuous employment.
You may elect $5,000 in basic term life insurance for a nominal portion of the monthly premium. You may also elect additional optional term life insurance in $1,000 increments up to $1,000 less than your annual salary or in multiples of annual salary up to eight times your annual salary. You pay the full premium for optional life insurance. Cost is based on age and the amount of insurance. Employees who become state retirees may continue life insurance coverage.
Long-Term Disability Insurance
If you enroll in long-term disability (LTD) insurance, your coverage will begin on the first day of the month that follows 60 days of continuous employment. If you are absent due to a personal illness or injury on the date that LTD insurance would otherwise have become effective, the effective date is deferred until you are actively at work for one day.
LTD coverage provides income protection when you are disabled by a non-job-related illness or injury. The coverage replaces a percentage of regular pay after you have been totally disabled for 90 consecutive days. You are responsible for paying the full premium for LTD insurance. The cost is based on your age and annual salary.
Dependent Care Assistance
The Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) allows employees tax-advantaged opportunities in paying the cost of dependent care with pre-tax dollars. This program gives you the opportunity to set up and use a dependent care reimbursement account to help pay for dependent care, while at the same time increasing your spendable income. The reimbursement account increases your spendable income by taxing your earnings after dependent care has been deducted. Please contact HRD if you would like more information about the program.
Health Care Spending Account (HCSA)
The HCSA program, offered through the Group Insurance Commission, allows you to pay for certain non-covered health related expenses with pre-tax dollars, thus reducing your federal and state income taxes. Expenses must be medically related. Examples include physician's office and prescription drug co-payments, medical deductibles and coinsurance, eyeglasses and contact lenses not covered by your health or vision plan, orthodontia and dental benefits not covered by your dental plan, and most over the counter drugs. If you participate in the HSCA, you will be charged a nominal monthly pre-tax administrative fee. It is important to estimate your expenses carefully, as the Internal Revenue Service requires that any unused funds in a participant's account at plan year-end be forfeited. The fall open enrollment period takes place in November and December for the following calendar year. You must re-enroll each year in the plan.