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Applying for Insurance

Front of Michigan Capitol from downtown Lansing Michigan
Michigan Office of Retirement Services

Applying for Insurance

Applying for Insurance

Important Deadlines

Insurance for retirees begins on their retirement effective date. Since active coverage continues through the end of the month in which an employee terminates employment, there is typically no gap in coverage.

However, any state employee who is applying for the retiree prescription coverage with Medicare must submit a completed application along with all proofs, by the 15th day of the month prior to the insurance effective date. If the application is received later, insurance for everyone on that contract may be delayed a month.

If an employee files their application after they terminate employment, or waive coverage when first eligible, there could be a six-month wait to begin coverage.

Note: Defined Contribution participants in the Personal Healthcare Plan can purchase SERS retiree insurance at full cost if they apply prior to termination. Once they cancel the Insurance they will be unable to re-enroll in the future.


Any employee over the age of 65 must be in enrolled in Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical) Medicare in order to enroll in the retiree insurance and prescription drug programs.

If an employee is actively working when they reach Medicare eligibility they will only be covered by Part A; however, they must apply for Part B 2-3 months prior to retirement to ensure they are enrolled when they apply for retiree insurance.


In the event that an employee loses active coverage due to their retirement, and has a break in coverage, for example due to late or incomplete applications, COBRA can be offered for that time period. The member has 60 days from the date of loss of coverage, or the date the COBRA election notice is provided (whichever is later), to sign up for COBRA. Employees can contact the Employees Benefit Division to apply for COBRA.

More information

Use the R1107G - Your Insurance and Medicare handout to help state employees who are Medicare eligible and considering retirement. It's important for employees to enroll in Medicare on time if they'll be at least 65 when they retire. Please distribute this handout to your employees who fit this profile to help them have a smooth transition into retirement.

Forms and additional information for employees can be found here.