Optional Life Insurance

If you are enrolled in the University Plan and want additional life insurance coverage, you can enroll in the Optional Plan.  The Optional Plan gives you the flexibility of setting your own level of coverage. The Optional Plan covers you only. 

Please note: If you choose a level of Life Insurance coverage that requires completion of a Statement of Health, you will receive an email from MetLife. It is important to respond to this email because your chosen level of coverage is subject to approval by MetLife. 

Optional Plan Coverage Options

You may elect coverage through the Optional Plan at the following levels, to a maximum of $1.5 million:

  • $5,000 (minimum) flat amount
  • $50,000 flat amount
  • 1 x salary
  • 2 x salary
  • 3 x salary
  • 4 x salary
  • 5 x salary
  • 6 x salary
  • 7 x salary
  • 8 x salary


Enrollment is not automatic for the Optional Plan.  You must be enrolled in the University Plan to be eligible for the Optional Plan.

Enroll as a New Hire

You have 30 days to enroll as a new hire. If you enroll within 30 days, you can complete your enrollment in Employee Self-Service > Benefits > Benefits Enrollment in Wolverine Access.  You will not be required to provide a health statement as long as your selected Optional Plan coverage is less than $650,000.

Enroll as a Newly Eligible Faculty or Staff Member

If you become newly eligible for life insurance due to a promotion or job change, you will receive an application form. Return your completed form to SSC Benefits Transactions.  If you enroll within the 30 days allowed, you will not be required to provide a health statement as long as your selected Optional Plan coverage is less than $650,000.

Enroll at Any Other Time

Outside of the 30-day window provided for a new hire or new eligibility, you can apply to enroll at any time you choose, but you will be required to provide a health statement that is satisfactory to MetLife. MetLife may also require a physical examination.

Please note: You may enroll in the University Plan first (automatic to new hires and newly eligible employees) and then add the Optional Plan at a later date, though this requires a health statement.  In addition, if you elect coverage that exceeds $650,000, or if your coverage increases over $650,000 at a later date because your salary increases, your coverage is capped at $650,000 until you provide a satisfactory health statement to MetLife.

Effective Date

If you are newly eligible, your insurance will become effective on your service date or the first day you are newly eligible if you enroll within 30 days. If you are not actively at work on the day your insurance would otherwise become effective, you will become insured on the day you return to active work. If a health statement is required, your insurance will become effective on the day the health statement is approved by MetLife, the Benefits Office has been notified, and you are actively at work.

Optional Plan Rates

The cost of your Optional Plan depends on the coverage you select, your age, your smoking status, and your salary. The amount of coverage you choose and its cost will increase when your salary increases if your coverage is based on your salary. Your cost will increase similarly when you move into the next higher age bracket.

If you are a nonsmoker, you get a discount on the Optional Plan premium. A nonsmoker is defined as a person who has not smoked for 12 months. If you do not indicate your nonsmoker status on the application, you will be defaulted to the smoker rate.

If you are paid monthly, your premiums will be deducted from your monthly paycheck; if you are paid bi-weekly, your premiums will be deducted from your first and second paycheck of the month.  Premiums are deducted on an after-tax basis.

Use the Optional Life Insurance Rate Calculator to determine your monthly cost. 

Monthly Cost Examples

The following examples show how your rate will be calculated when you use the Optional Life Insurance Rate Calculator.

  • If you choose a flat dollar amount of coverage, your rate -- based on your age and smoking status -- will be multiplied by the amount of coverage you choose, and then divided by 1,000 to get your monthly rate. 

    Age 30-34, Smoker, $50,000 of coverage 
    ($0.026 x $50,000)/1,000 = $1.30 monthly rate

  • If you choose coverage based on a multiple of salary, your rate -- based on your age and smoking status -- will be multiplied by your annual salary that you enter, then multiplied by the level of coverage you choose (1 to 8 times your annual salary), and then divided by 1,000 to get your monthly rate. 

    Age 30-34, Smoker, $20,000 salary, 4 x salary coverage 
    ($0.026 x $20,000 x 4)/1,000 = $2.08 monthly rate

Monthly Rate Per $1,000 of Coverage
Age Standard Non-Smoker Rate
<30 $0.024 $0.011
30 - 34 $0.026 $0.024
35 - 39 $0.032 $0.029
40 - 44 $0.049 $0.042
45 - 49 $0.084 $0.072
50 - 54 $0.139 $0.119
55 - 59 $0.218 $0.185
60 - 64 $0.338 $0.307
65 - 69 $0.607 $0.512
70 & older $1.088 $0.709

Will Preparation Services

If you are enrolled in the Optional Plan, MetLife fully covers the legal fees associated with the preparation or updating of a will by one of the MetLife Legal Plan attorneys. Contact MetLife at 800-821-6400 for additional information. Download and review information on how to create a will.

When You Retire

When you retire from the university, you will be covered under the Retiree Life Insurance Plan.

During retirement the amount of insurance will decrease as your age increases until you reach age 66, at which time coverage at $2,000 becomes effective and will remain in effect for the rest of your life.

Under present policy, which is subject to change, the entire cost of your life insurance coverage after you retire from the university is paid by the university. Retirees with a date of service on or after July 1, 1988 will pay the full cost of benefits up to the month they turn age 62.

For Forms and More Information

Refer to the University Group Term Life Insurance Plans book for complete information. Download enrollment forms to apply for life insurance or increase your coverage.