Enrolling, Deferring, and Making Changes

Getting Started

Confirm Your Eligibility

When you decide to retire, you must first contact the Retirement Office in the Division of Human Resources to confirm that you’re eligible for Penn’s retiree health benefits. Contact Penn Benefits Retirement Office at (215) 898-7282.

If you’re interested in moving into retirement gradually through the Phased Staff Retirement Program, you then need to talk to your supervisor to see if that arrangement is a possibility. Regardless of whether you go through Phased Retirement or retire immediately, whenever you officially retire from Penn, you must elect or defer retiree medical coverage within the 90-day period prior to your last day of service.

90 Days to Elect or Defer Coverage

You must elect or defer retiree medical coverage within the 90-day period prior to your last day of service or you and your dependents will be deemed to have permanently waived coverage under the University’s retiree medical/prescription plans.

Electing Coverage

To elect coverage under Penn’s retiree health benefits, use Penn’s online benefits enrollment site at www.pennbenefits.upenn.edu or call the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENN-BEN (1-888-736-6236).

You must list yourself and the eligible dependents you’d like to cover when you enroll. If you (and your eligible dependents) do not enroll in the medical/prescription drug program and do not defer within 90 days prior to your last day of service, you/they will be deemed to have permanently waived coverage and will not be able to enroll at a future date.

Deferring Coverage

You may choose to defer medical/prescription drug coverage for yourself and your existing dependents who meet the eligibility requirements on your last day of service. This means that you can postpone enrolling in Penn’s medical/prescription drug coverage now and then elect it at a future date. If you or your eligible dependents do not wish to enroll at the time of your retirement because you/they have coverage under another plan, you can defer coverage using Penn’s online benefits enrollment site.

Note that in order for your dependents to enroll at some future date, you must also be enrolled at that same time. At that future date, you and/or your dependents will need to provide proof of your previous coverage prior to enrolling in Penn’s plan.

Remember that if you don’t enroll or defer within 90 days prior to your last day of service, you and your dependents will be deemed to have permanently waived coverage under the University’s retiree medical/prescription plans. 

Changing Your Elections

Each year, retirees will have an Annual Selection Period during which election changes may be made. Otherwise, you can only make changes if you have a qualifying event, which includes moving to a residence outside a covered service area, divorce, termination of a domestic partnership or the death of a spouse/same-sex domestic partner. Use Penn’s online benefits enrollment site at www.pennbenefits.edu when making changes to your elections. You have 30 days from the date of a qualifying event to make a change to your coverage.