Death

If you experience the death of a family member, notify the University of Michigan about your loss as quickly as possible. You may call the SSC Contact Center at (734) 615-2000 or (866) 647-7657 (toll free), Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Contact Center representative will need to know if the deceased was an active or retired university employee or a dependent of a university employee or retiree. It is also helpful if you have the following information available when you call:

  • Social Security Number of the deceased
  • Date of death
  • Name of next of kin
  • Address and phone number of next of kin

Once the death has been reported, a Benefits Counselor will review the benefits in which the deceased employee, retiree, or dependent had been enrolled and will contact you by mail.

Continuation of Benefits for Survivors of Active Faculty or Staff Members

Surviving spouses, Other Qualified Adults (OQA), and eligible dependents of active employees who are enrolled in a University of Michigan health plan on the date of the employee’s death may be eligible to continue health and prescription drug coverage with university contributions. All other benefits will end at the end of the month following the employee's death.

The surviving spouse or (OQA) of an active employee who was hired on or after July 1, 1988, may be eligible to continue health and prescription drug coverage but must pay the full cost of benefits up to the month in which the faculty or staff member would have turned age 62. When the age requirement has been met, the surviving spouse or OQA will receive university contributions towards their health and prescription drug coverage.

To qualify for health and prescription drug coverage, the following eligibility criteria must be met:

Eligibility

  • The spouse was married, or the OQA registration was in effect at least one year prior to death;
  • The staff member completed 10 years of continuous service with at least a 50% appointment during the entire duration of the 10 year period;
  • The spouse or OQA and their eligible children are enrolled in the university’s health plan at the time of the employee’s death; and
  • The spouse or OQA is not eligible to participate in a medical insurance plan through a current or former employer.

Duration

Coverage will end upon the earlier of one of the following dates:

  • Death of the surviving spouse or OQA;
  • Remarriage of the surviving spouse or registration of a new OQA;
  • Employment of the spouse or OQA by an employer who offers medical insurance; or,
  • Election of the spouse or OQA to discontinue coverage.

Dependent children’s coverage will end when they no longer meet the eligibility criteria for a dependent child or when the surviving spouse or OQA’s coverage ends, whichever is earlier.

COBRA

If all eligibility criteria are not met, health plan coverage may be continued for up to 36 months from the date of the employee’s death under the provisions of COBRA. Dental, vision, and the Health Care Flexible Spending Account may also be continued under COBRA. If you become eligible for Medicare benefits while on COBRA, you will no longer be eligible to continue your health plan on COBRA. Your COBRA coverage will end the first of the month of your Medicare eligibility/enrollment.

Continuation of Benefits for Survivors of Retired Faculty or Staff Members

Surviving spouses, Other Qualified Adults (OQA), and eligible dependents of retired faculty and staff members who are enrolled in University of Michigan benefit plans on the date of the retiree’s death, may be eligible to continue those benefits with university contributions.

The surviving spouse or Other Qualified Adult (OQA) of a retiree who was hired on or after July 1, 1988 may be eligible to continue those benefits but must pay the full premium cost up to the month in which the retiree would have turned age 62. When the age requirement has been met, the surviving spouse or OQA will receive university contributions towards their health plan, prescription drug plan, and dental plans.

To qualify for coverage, the following eligibility criteria must be met:

Eligibility

  • The spouse was married, or the registration of the OQA was in effect, at least one year prior to death;
  • The spouse or OQA and their eligible children are enrolled in the university’s benefit plans at the time of the retiree’s death; and
  • The spouse or OQA is not eligible to participate in benefits through a current or former employer.

Duration

Survivor’s coverage will end upon the earlier of one of the following dates:

  • Death of the surviving spouse or OQA;
  • Remarriage of the surviving spouse or registration of a new OQA;
  • Employment of the spouse or OQA by an employer who offers medical, dental or vision plans; or,
  • Election of the spouse or OQA to discontinue coverage.

Dependent children’s coverage will end when they no longer meet the eligibility criteria for a dependent child or when the surviving spouse or OQA’s coverage ends, whichever is earlier.

COBRA

If all eligibility criteria are not met, benefits may be continued for up to 36 months from the date of the retiree’s death under the provisions of COBRA. If you become eligible for Medicare benefits while on COBRA, you will no longer be eligible to continue your medical plan on COBRA. Your COBRA coverage will end the first of the month of your Medicare eligibility/enrollment.