Retiree Health Insurance Changes

Know your retirement effective date if planning to retire this year

We’ve all been hearing about changes coming to UM retiree health insurance eligibility. Changes approved by the Board of Curators in April 2016 will go into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

The changes involve eligibility for retiree health insurance. CAFNR Business Services wants to make certain everyone is prepared for these changes.

Debbie MitchellDebbie Mitchell, manager III business administration. Photo by Jacob Shipley.

First on your list, says Debbie Mitchell, manager III business administration, is to double check your access category. Although you have likely received personalized emails indicating your category and what that means, it’s best to make sure you have been placed in the correct category. You can use this calculator or chart to figure out where you fall.

Anyone who falls into the B or C category needs to consider that, if they retire Jan. 1, 2018, or after, they will have to be at least 60 years old with a minimum of 20 years of service to be eligible for UM coverage at retirement. Those in category B will be eligible for the UM retiree health insurance benefits with no changes to retiree insurance subsidy if they retire at age 60+ and 20+ years of service by their retirement date; those in category C will be eligible for the UM coverage at a fixed $100/year for every year of service at a maximum of $2,500 if they retire at age 60+ and 20+ years of service by their retirement date. Those in category A will experience no changes in retiree health insurance benefits no matter when they retire. Those in category D are not eligible for UM retiree health insurance.

Debbie encourages anyone in categories B and C considering retirement by Dec. 31, 2017, to talk to your department or division human resources specialist as soon as possible. It’s best to have your notice of intent to retire submitted by June 30 to ensure a smooth transition.

“Employees need to make sure they’re making the right decision,” Debbie says.

Also, it’s imperative this year to calculate your retirement effective date accurately, if you decide to retire by the end of the calendar year since changes go into effect Jan. 1, 2018. Many things factor in to your retirement effective date, including vacation accruals, etc. Your HR specialist has a vacation accruals calculator to help you determine your retirement effective date.

Most importantly, after you’ve set up your effective date with your HR specialist, Debbie says, “keep to your plan once it’s made!” If you deviate from the vacation hours planned, it will affect your retirement effective date and could cause a delay in the receipt of your retiree insurance or first pension check.

If you do not know your department or division HR specialist, please contact Debbie Mitchell directly and she will put you in touch with the right person ( or 573-882-0091.)

UM HR Service Center professionals can also answer questions about eligibility and effective dates. Contact them at 573-882-2146, toll-free at 800-488-5288, or via email at