Eligibility for Retiree Benefits

Officers

Medical (which may include prescription and vision coverage) and dental benefits are available to retirees. To be eligible for retiree medical and dental benefits, you must be 55 years or older and have 10 or more years of service with the University, after age 45. Certain employment statuses do not apply to the service requirement; please contact the Columbia Benefits Service Center at 212-851-7000 or hrbenefits@columbia.edu for confirmation of your eligibility. Coverage is available for you and your spouse/same-sex domestic partner if they were eligible prior to your retirement, as well as eligible dependent children. Children over age 19 can be covered until they turn age 26, only if they are full-time students.

In some instances, you can elect one medical plan, and your spouse/same-sex domestic partner or your eligible dependent can be covered under a different medical plan if only one of you is eligible for Medicare.

You have the option to waive the University Retiree Medical and/or Dental Plan benefits. If you choose to waive, please note the following:

  • Plan coverage can be waived for up to five years from your retirement date

  • If you do not contact Columbia and elect coverage within those five years, you will permanently forfeit your eligibility for retiree medical and dental coverage

  • You can elect to enroll based on a Qualified Life Status Change, or during the annual retiree enrollment period that takes effect on January 1 of each year

  • You will be asked to provide proof of prior coverage when you request reinstatement in one of the Columbia University retiree medical plans

To retire with tuition exemption, college tuition scholarship and/or primary tuition scholarship benefits, an Officer must be 55 years or older and must have completed 10 years of continuous benefits-eligible service as a regular, full-time Officer on and after age 45, and must have retired immediately after terminating employment with Columbia University.

Learn more about tuition benefits for retired Officers.

Support Staff

Medical benefits (which includes prescription drug coverage) are available to retirees. To be eligible for retiree medical benefits, you must be 55 years or older and have 10 or more years of service with the University. Coverage is available for you and your spouse/same-sex domestic partner if they were eligible prior to your retirement, as well as eligible dependent children. Children over age 19 can be covered until they turn age 26, only if they are full-time students.