Financial Planning, Retiree Medical Benefits Revised

By Sandra Howe
Staff Writer

The Benefits Office has announced revisions in University policies governing financial planning subsidies and retiree medical benefits.

On June 1, the University increased its reimbursement for the costs of certain financial planning services from 55 percent to 80 percent. Up to $560 of the cost of these services is covered for full-time faculty and staff aged 40 and over with at least 10 years of full-time service at Boston College.

Under the revised retiree benefits package, which does not affect current enrollees, employees are eligible for retiree medical benefits upon completion of 15 years of continuous full-time service after age 47. Those employees 56 or older as of Sept. 1 with at least five years of continuous full-time service are still eligible for the retiree medical benefit at age 62 or over after only 10 years of full-time service.

Burke said the University, one of relatively few higher education institutions to offer comprehensive retiree medical coverage, will continue to pay full monthly premiums for eligible retirees aged 65 and over who enroll in one of its retiree medical groups.

For future retirees, the University will pay 50 percent of the monthly premium for spouses aged 65 and over who enroll in one of the post-retirement medical plans. Although this represents a 50 percent decrease from previous years, Burke said, this benefit is less expensive than an employee's share of a family premium prior to retirement.

Since Medicare is not available until age 65, eligible employees who retire early may continue their regular group medical coverage until they reach age 65 by paying the same monthly amount as active employees. Previously, employees were required to pay 50 percent of the total premium, which was higher than the active-employee amount, according to Burke.

Future retirees may enroll in one of two group medical plans: Harvard Community Health Plan's "First Seniority/Plan 65," which remains the same; or Blue Cross-Blue Shield's "Boston College Medex" plan, which is similar to the "Medex 3" plan available to current retirees. Both supplement Social Security's Medicare coverage.

For more information on these changes, call the Benefits Office at ext. 2-3329.

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