Employee Death and Survivorship

COVID-19: Contacting the Benefits Department

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Human Resources is working remotely until further notice. During this time, Craig Hall is not open to the public; walk-ins will not be accepted and forms cannot be dropped off in-person or faxed. During this time, we recommend submitting all requests and inquiries online in lieu of sending physical mail or leaving phone messages.

If you have a Benefits-related inquiry, including the submission of forms or documentation, the quickest way to receive assistance is to submit an online request.

We understand that the loss of a loved one can be difficult. In the event of the death of a family member that is employed at the University of Pittsburgh, the Benefits Department has developed resources to assist the surviving family member. The chart below offers explanations and guidance of benefit changes that occur when an employee passes away.

For other benefits-related procedures, please refer to this checklist.

Scenario Benefits (Medical, Dental, and Vision)
Employee with Individual Coverage

Coverage ends at the end of the month in which the employee passes away.

Employee with Two Adults Coverage (Spouse under 65)

Coverage converts into an Individual plan for the spouse/domestic partner.* This coverage will continue for three months (after the month of death) at the same rate. At the start of the fourth month, coverage continues at full cost.

Upon age 65, the spouse/domestic partner will transition to the Retiree plan if the employee was eligible for retiree benefits at the time of death. Coverage will transition to Post-65 retiree plans at full cost. If the spouse/domestic partner waives the plan, they cannot get back into it. If the spouse/domestic partner [re]marries, they are no longer eligible for the plan.

Employee under 65 with Family Coverage

Coverage converts into the Parent/Child(ren) plan. This coverage will continue for three months (after the month of death) at the same rate. At the start of the fourth month, coverage continues at full cost.

Coverage will last until the child ages out or the spouse/domestic partner* reaches age 65. If the spouse/domestic partner waives the plan, they cannot get back into it. If the spouse/domestic partner [re]marries, they are no longer eligible for the plan.

Employee with Two Adults Coverage (Spouse over 65)

The spouse/domestic partner will transition to retiree coverage if the employee was eligible for retiree benefits at the time of death.

The spouse/domestic partner* will accrue Defined Dollar Benefit (DDB) credits to cover the cost of the Post-65 retiree benefits for three months (after the month of death). Afterwards, the spouse/domestic partner will owe the full cost of coverage. If the spouse/domestic partner waives the plan, they cannot get back into it. If the spouse/domestic partner [re]marries, they are no longer eligible for the plan.

Employee with Parent/Child(ren) Coverage

Coverage converts into an Individual plan. This coverage will continue for three months (after the month of death) at the same rate. At the start of the fourth month, coverage continues at full cost. Coverage lasts until the child ages out.

*A completed and notarized Affidavit of Domestic Partnership must be on file with the Office of Human Resources Benefits Department. Learn more about Domestic Partner Benefits.