Insurance for Retirees

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Social Security




Did you know that when you retire from UAMS, you may be eligible to continue some of your insurance?

Eligibility is the “10-70 rule.”

The definition of a “retiree” for insurance purposes is someone who at the time they leave the University’s employment:

1. Has been covered under the insurance plan for the past ten consecutive years;
2. Has worked for the University of Arkansas for ten consecutive years; and
3. Has a combined age and continuous years of University of Arkansas service equal to 70 or more.

For example, if you are age 48 and have worked at UAMS for 25 years, and have been covered under the benefit plans for at least the last ten years prior to leaving, you would be eligible for retiree insurance. Your reason for leaving doesn’t have to be retirement.

If you do not meet the retiree criteria, you would still be eligible to continue your medical, dental and vision coverage for up to 18 months under COBRA.

Modified “65-5” rule effective 1-1-2017:  In addition to the guidelines above, medical and/or dental insurance will be offered to employees who retire at age 65 or older and immediately prior to retirement completed 5 or more consecutive years of UA service and had 5 or more consecutive years of continuous coverage under the plan.

What insurance may I continue?

If you meet the “retiree” criteria, you may keep three of your plans:

  1. Medical
    –  If you are under age 65 and not yet eligible for Medicare, you may keep your UA employee coverage under the Classic plan.
    –  If you are Medicare-eligible (age 65 or older), you may enroll in the UA United Healthcare Medicare Advantage plan.  This is an “open access” PPO plan, meaning you can see any doctor or provider that accepts Medicare, regardless if they are in or out of United’s network.  View this presentation from 2020 to learn about this plan or read the 2020 UHC plan book.
  2. Dental – same UA dental plan as employees
  3.  Life – $10,000 life insurance policy (must meet the 10-70 criteria).  Note:  this policy will no longer be offered to those retiring after 12-31-2020, although current retirees with this coverage may keep it.

You can pick and choose from the three retiree plans. For example, if you want to elect dental but not medical, you may do so.

What does it cost?


Please be aware that these rates are subject to change and may be different when you retire.  As an active benefits-eligible employee, your department is paying a portion of your premiums.  But as a retiree you are would pay 100% of the total premium.

How do I enroll?

As soon as you set your retirement date, preferably at least a month ahead of time, contact our office at 501-686-5650 to set up an appointment.  This is especially critical if you will be at least age 65 when you retire, as we need to notify UnitedHealthcare in advance to send you a Medicare Advantage enrollment kit.  You would enroll in this plan directly through UnitedHealthcare.  We recommend you enroll over the phone (number is in the kit).

What else do I need to know?

Three to six months before you retire, schedule an appointment with a Fidelity or TIAA representative to discuss your retirement benefit options.  Or if you are an APERS member, contact APERS at 1-800-682-7377.

Information about your other benefits:  What happens to my benefits when I leave UAMS? (scroll down this site to find this document)

The following will help you understand what Medicare Parts A, B and D are about, how to sign up, and tips on applying for Social Security.

Medicare & Your UA Medical Benefits
Social Security/Medicare presentation (seminar conducted by Social Security)

Retiree benefits letter for 2020 from UA System Office

Visit the UA System benefits website for more information about retiree health coverage or if you need a Medicare Part D Creditable Coverage Letter (needed only if you don’t elect or are not eligible for the UA retiree insurance and instead opt to buy a Part D prescription plan on the market).

Visit the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) website.  There are great resources here to help you understand Medicare and your options for Medigap or Medicare Advantage plans.

Fidelity webcasts  about Social Security, Medicare and other topics of interest

Benefit plan information on these web pages is in a summary format and is not intended to replace actual plan documents. UAMS reserves the right to amend or terminate all or any part of any benefit plan.