Oct. 21, 2009

Enrollment for group life insurance changes ends Oct. 30

By now, faculty and staff should have received a packet from CIGNA describing a special enrollment period, Oct. 19-30, during which life insurance coverage purchased under the Group Universal Life (GUL) plan -- for faculty and staff members, dependents, spouse or same-sex partner -- can be increased without medical underwriting or needing to take a medical exam.

At the start of Cornell employment, all employees receive a basic term life insurance policy, equivalent to one-half the amount of their annual salary, up to $50,000, for which Cornell pays the premiums. New employees can also purchase coverage from one to five times their salary without providing evidence of good health to the insurance company. The GUL plan provides a way for Cornell staff and faculty to increase life insurance coverage based on multiples of one's annual salary.

Because circumstances and needs change over time, faculty and staff can increase or decrease coverage amounts at any time by contacting CIGNA. Normally, however, if you wish to purchase more life insurance after your first 60 days of employment, you have to submit answers to health-related questions and wait for the insurance company to assess your responses.

During this special enrollment period, if you are a Cornell staff or faculty member currently enrolled in the GUL plan, you can elect additional life insurance protection equal to one times your annual salary without showing proof of good health. Your total coverage cannot exceed 10 times your annual salary or $2 million. Family members and dependents also may take advantage of the special enrollment period, but the offer is based on fixed amounts of coverage. See the brochure for details, or go to http://www.ohr.cornell.edu/whatsNew/whatsNewBenefits/whatsNewBenefitsLife10-09.html, or call CIGNA life insurance using the contact information below.

The GUL plan offers:

You can check the amount of life insurance you already have by referring to the materials sent to your home or going to Employee Essentials at https://ee.ohr.cornell.edu. If you have any questions about enrolling in the GUL plan, call the CIGNA Customer Service Center at 1-800-231-1193 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Paul Bursic is director of Benefit Services.