Basic Group Life Insurance

  • Permanent faculty (tenured & tenure-track), staff & administrators are eligible for university paid term life and work-related accidental death insurance coverage through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Group Life Insurance Program administered by MetLife.  

    Eligibility for the Program

    Permanent employees become eligible after a 90 day waiting period. They also become eligible for the work-related accidental death coverage unless the surviving spouse, minor children or parents are entitled to benefits under Act 101 of 1976, which provides death benefits to survivors of law enforcement officers, firefighters, ambulance, and rescue squad members killed in the performance of their duties.  Temporary employees are not eligible.

    Enrollment in the Program

    Employees who are eligible for this coverage will be automatically enrolled and will receive a Welcome Kit that includes a certificate of coverage and instructions on designating a beneficiary.

    Amount of Coverage

    The amount of insurance, as shown in your booklet certificate, will be based on your annual pay rate (excluding overtime, bonuses, etc.) up to a maximum amount that depends on your position. For most employees, when you reach age 70, the amount of your insurance will be reduced to 65 percent of the base amount; when you reach age 75, your insurance will be reduced to 50 percent of the base amount. However, you will be eligible to purchase an individual policy for the amount of coverage lost under the group program. See booklet certificate for details.

    Any increases or decreases in your insurance due to changes in pay will become effective on the January 1 following your change in pay if you are in an active pay status on that day or the last regularly scheduled workday before January 1. If you are not in an active pay status on either date, the increase or decrease will not become effective until you return to an active status.

    Payment of Benefits 

    In the event of your death while you are insured, your life insurance benefits will be paid to your beneficiary(ies). You should name your beneficiary(ies) by visiting the MetLife website at, registering and completing the online form.   If you do not have internet access, please call the MetLife Customer Service line at 1-855-972-5433, to request a form.  It is very important that you keep this information up to date so that your life insurance benefits will be paid to the proper person(s). A copy of your beneficiary form should be kept with your Welcome Kit.

    Coverage Beginning & End Dates

    Coverage is effective the day after you have completed 90 days of employment in an active pay status. If you go on an unpaid absence during the first 90 days of employment in an active pay status, your effective date of insurance coverage will be extended by the number of days you were on leave. If you are not in an active pay status on the date you would normally become insured, your insurance coverage will not become effective until you are returned to an active pay status. Your earnings statement will show that the Commonwealth is paying premiums during your first three months, but this is for the bookkeeping purposes of the Commonwealth; it does not entitle you to coverage prior to the waiting period being served. Your group life insurance ends at the earliest time indicated below.

    • When you fail to make any required contributions for your insurance while on an unpaid absence.
    • When you have been on an unpaid absence for 12 months, except for military leave.  Coverage during military leave may continue through active military duty.
    • At the end of the month in which you retire, terminate, or cease to be in an active pay status.
    • When you have been on injury leave (paid and unpaid) for 12 months, or if only paid injury leave is used beyond 12 months, until your paid leave is exhausted.
    • When this policy is discontinued.

    Your Work-Related Accidental Death Benefit insurance coverage ends when you cease to be physically present on the job.

    If You are Disabled

    If you become permanently and totally disabled while insured, your life insurance will continue as long as you are in an active pay status. If you remain disabled, you will be eligible to apply for Disability Life Insurance upon loss of active pay status or termination of employment. To qualify for this coverage, you must submit proof of the disability. Such proof may be submitted at any time following the disability, but no later than 12 months following the last premium payment.  When requested by MetLife, you must also submit annual proof that you are still disabled. If you believe you may be eligible for this protection, contact MetLife’s Customer Service Department at 1-855-972-5433.

    If your application is denied, you will be notified by the insurance carrier. If disapproved, MetLife will inform you that you may appeal the denial in writing and will provide instructions for the appeal.

    Converting to an Individual Policy

    If all or any part of your insurance under this program terminates, you will receive a conversion notice from MetLife.  You have a 31 day period following the date of termination, or 15 days from the date of your conversion notice, for a period not to exceed more than 91 days from the date your group insurance was terminated, to apply for an individual policy of life insurance in an amount not to exceed the amount of insurance lost. You will not be required to have a medical examination. If you should die during the timeframe conversion could have been exercised, your Group Life Insurance will be paid to your beneficiary(ies) as though your insurance had not terminated or been reduced. If you wish to apply for conversion, contact MetLife’s Customer Service Department at 1-855-972-5433.

    Cost of the Plan

    The cost of the Group Life Insurance Program is paid entirely by the Commonwealth. If you go on an unpaid absence that does not include benefits, you will be billed by MetLife for your premiums for up to one year. If you do not pay the premium, you will be dropped from the program.

    Group Life Summary Sheet