Life Events - Retiring from the University of Michigan:
Your Benefits in Retirement

Critical Deadline

You and your spouse must enroll in Medicare during the Special Enrollment Period. If you do not, you will pay a higher premium rate, and coverage will be delayed for several months. Special enrollment periods are:

  • If you have not started income payments from Social Security by the time you retire, you should apply for Medicare 90 days before you turn age 65.
  • If you plan to retire after age 65, you must apply within 30 days of your retirement.
  • Your OQA (Other Qualified Adult) must enroll in Medicare Parts A and B when they first become eligible.  Medicare becomes their primary insurer regardless of your employment status 

Frequently Asked Questions

When I retire, when do my U-M active employee benefits end? 
Active employee benefits end the 1st of the month following the retirement date, unless the date of retirement is 1st of the month. Benefits end on the date of retirement if the date of retirement is the 1st day of the month.

When do U-M retiree benefits start? 
Retiree benefits start the 1st of the following month unless the date of retirement is is 1st of the month, in which case benefits start on the 1st day of the month.

What do I need to do to continue benefits in retirement?
Benefits coverage in effect at the time of your retirement continue automatically as long as retiree premiums are paid within 30 days of the due date. Retirees participate in annual Open Enrollment to make benefits changes, however they may not add new dependents. Only eligible dependents covered at the time of retirement who remain eligible may continue to be covered during retirement.

Special Offer to U-M Retirees from the Department of Recreational Sports

The Department of Recreational Sports offers U-M retirees a one-month complimentary membership as a healthy retirement gift if you sign up one month after the official date of your retirement. Contact Recreational Sports for details. 

Department E-mail:
Department Website:

Health Plan

  • Only the person(s) covered under your health plan at the time of your retirement can remain on the coverage.
  • No one can be added to the coverage after you retire.
  • Each year at Open Enrollment, you may change your health plan.
  • Plan costs may vary each year.

Dental Plan

If you are enrolled in Dental Plan Option 1, 2, or 3, coverage for you and your eligible dependents will continue into retirement.  See the Dental Plan for monthly rates.

Vision Plan

If you are enrolled in the Vision Plan, coverage for you and your eligible dependents will continue into retirement.  See the Vision Plan for monthly rates.

Legal Services Plan

If you are enrolled in the Legal Services Plan, coverage for you and your eligible dependents enrolled in the plan at retirement will continue into retirement. See Legal Services Plan for monthly rates.

Life Insurance

If you are enrolled in Group Life Insurance when you retire, you will be transferred to the Retiree Life Insurance Plan, and the amount of coverage will be reduced to the retirement level for your age.  The amount will continue to reduce each year until you turn age 66, when the coverage becomes $2,000.  Life insurance for your spouse, other qualified adult, and children ends at retirement.

Other Plans after Retirement

The following plans end upon retirement:

  • Long-term Disability
  • Dependent Group Life Insurance for your spouse, other qualified adult, and dependent children.  You may convert these policies to an individual policy through MetLife.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts:
    • Health Care Account — Only expenses incurred on or prior to the date of retirement are eligible to be reimbursed, unless coverage is continued under COBRA.
    • Dependent Care Account — Expenses are reimbursed up to the balance in the account at the time of retirement for expenses incurred through the end of the plan year of participation.
  • If you are enrolled in Long-Term Care, contact your plan administrator directly.
    • MetLife — 800-638-5433
    • John Hancock — 888-231-4324

The university reserves the right to change these benefit plans or discontinue its contribution to these programs at any time.


  • If you or anyone on your health plan coverage will be 65 at the time of your retirement, you must make arrangements with Social Security to begin Medicare coverage within 30 days of retirement.
  • Forms will be given to you at retirement counseling to take to Social Security.

University Coverage and Medicare Enrollment

Most individuals when they turn age 65 (and certain disabled individuals) are eligible to participate in the federal Medicare Health Insurance Program administered by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA).

If you have already applied for Social Security income payments, HCFA generally will notify you several months before you turn age 65 that you have been automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance). Part A is free. Part B requires a monthly premium payment which will be deducted from your Social Security check.

U-M Health Plan Coverage

After you are retired and eligible for Medicare, all of your U-M health plan coverage will be changed to coverage that fills in the gaps that Medicare does not pay. Medicare provides coverage in most cases, but not all, that is similar to the coverage you had as a U-M faculty or staff member. You will have minimal coverage if you fail to enroll in Medicare at the appropriate time. No health plan will pay for benefits Medicare would cover. If you plan to live outside of the United States longer than six months or to continue working after you retire, you should advise your retirement counselor.

Click here to download the booklet, Your Retirement Benefits (PDF) to view online or print.

Next: Life Insurance in Retirement

The University of Michigan in its sole discretion may modify, amend, or terminate the benefits provided with respect to any individual receiving benefits, including active employees, retirees, and their dependents. Although the university has elected to provide these benefits this year, no individual has a vested right to any of the benefits provided. Nothing in these materials gives any individual the right to continued benefits beyond the time the university modifies, amends, or terminates the benefit. Anyone seeking or accepting any of the benefits provided will be deemed to have accepted the terms of the benefits programs and the university's right to modify, amend or terminate them.