Support Staff - Term Life Insurance

Support Staff Term Life Insurance

The University offers two term life insurance plans: the Basic Term Life Insurance Plan and the Optional Term Life Insurance Plan. Both plans are insured and administered by New York Life Group Benefit Solutions (NYL GBS). 

Please note that New York Life Insurance Company recently acquired Cigna Group Insurance. As part of this transition, Cigna has changed its name to New York Life Group Benefit Solutions. The transition does not impact your current coverage or access.

You can buy additional life insurance, and can supplement your coverage with Voluntary Benefits.

Term Life Insurance Coverage

The Basic Term Life Insurance plan is provided by Columbia University at no cost to you. You will automatically receive Basic Term Life Insurance of one times your Annual Benefits Salary, up to $50,000.

The Basic Term Life Insurance plan pays a lump sum benefit to your beneficiary in the event of your death while actively employed by the University.

The Plan can also pay a living benefit. If you become terminally ill, you may elect to have the Plan pay out a benefit while you are still living. Any amount you receive will reduce the benefit paid to your beneficiary.

You may elect additional amounts of coverage of one to five times your Annual Benefits Salary up to a maximum of $1,000,000, including your Basic Term Life Insurance coverage amount. The premium payment for additional coverage is paid with post-tax dollars.

The benefit will be determined using your Annual Benefits Salary rounded to the next highest $1,000. You will see your personal monthly premiums on CUBES based on your age. Log in to CUBES to add or update beneficiaries at any time during your employment.

You pay a monthly premium for each $1,000 of Optional Term Life Insurance coverage. Your premium is based on your age as of January 1:

Life Insurance Monthly Cost

Example: An employee, age 41, with an Annual Benefits Salary of $40,000, elects Optional Term Life Insurance of 3X Annual Benefits Salary ($120,000).

You must provide Evidence of Insurability (EOI) and be approved by New York Life Group Benefit Solutions if:

  • You are newly hired and elect Optional Term Life Insurance coverage in excess of 3X your Annual Benefits Salary, or $500,000 Guaranteed Issue Amount, whichever is less;
  •  You wish to increase the level of your coverage by more than 1X your salary or beyond the Guaranteed Issue amount during Benefits Open Enrollment.

If you need to provide EOI, the process steps and required forms are available online via CUBES.

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance

For Officers, Non-Union Support Staff (NUSS), Local 2110, SSA, and Local 100 members

Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance is available to purchase. 

For TWU Only

A basic Accidental & Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance plan is provided by the University to TWU members at no cost. When you are hired, without having to provide Evidence of Insurability, you automatically receive basic AD&D insurance of one time your Annual Benefits Salary, up to $50,000. 


Information Notice

New Hire Opportunity: As a new hire, take advantage of the one-time opportunity to enroll in Optional Term Life Insurance without providing Evidence of Insurability for amounts up to the Guaranteed Issue Amount of 3X salary or $500,000.

Imputed Income: If you purchase Employee Optional Term Life Insurance and the combined value of your Basic Term life Insurance plus your Employee Optional Term Life Insurance exceeds $50,000, the premium based on IRS table rates minus the premium you pay for the employee coverage in excess of $50,000 is considered imputed income and subject to tax due to IRS regulations. Spouse Optional Term Life Insurance imputed Income is calculated in a similar way, but without a $50,000 exclusion.