Divorce is a challenging process even under the best of circumstances. There are a number of resources available to support you as you navigate the process.
As part of your divorce process you, the courts and your legal representative and/or mediator (if applicable) may require documentation of your assets and insurance coverages. UMass Amherst does not have access to the balance of your mandatory or voluntary retirement accounts however your retirement plan administrator will be able to provide the required documentation.
Retirement plan vendors may be able to provide you a sample Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QuaDRO), providing language that each is able to implement. Please have the relevant portions of your proposed divorce decree and/or QuaDRO reviewed by your retirement vendor(s) to ensure they can implement the language as written (avoiding the possibility of the need to return to court to have amended language approved by the court).
If your name changes as part of the process, please update Human Resources by providing a copy of your Social Security card with your new name.
MA Group Insurance Commission (GIC) Health Insurance
If your spouse or former spouse is covered under your GIC health insurance plan you are obligated to notify the GIC of the change and provide corresponding legal documentation. The GIC's website reads, in part:
If you fail to report a legal separation, divorce or remarriage, your health plan and the GIC have the right to seek recovery of health claims paid or premiums owed for your former spouse. Failure to report a remarriage in a timely manner will result in financial liabilities and/or cancellation of coverage to the insured and/or former spouse.
If your spouse is covered under your GIC health plan you must notify the GIC when you are legally separated or divorced by sending the GIC a letter with your name, GIC identification number (usually it is your Social Security Number), address, signature, and your divorced or legally separated spouse's name and last known home address. You must also send a copy of the following sections of your legal separation agreement or divorce agreement: page with the "absolute" date (the date your divorce or legal separation became final), the health insurance provisions, and signature pages. The GIC will send you and your former spouse information about continuing coverage. If you fail to report a legal separation, divorce or remarriage, your health plan and the GIC have the right to seek recovery of health claims paid or premiums owed for your former spouse. By law, the legally separated or former spouse can be removed according to the terms of your divorce agreement. If the former spouse provides proof of other health coverage and does not wish to remain on the GIC's coverage he/she can be removed from your policy. If you, or your former spouse, remarries, coverage for your former spouse can no longer be secured under your family health insurance plan. This is true even if you do not cover your new spouse on your GIC health insurance plan. Failure to report a remarriage in a timely manner may result in financial liabilities. Depending on language in the divorce agreement, your former spouse may be eligible as an individual for a divorced spouse rider or COBRA coverage. If your divorce agreement allows you to remove your former spouse and/or dependents from your GIC health insurance plan you may do so by completing and submitting a GIC Enrollment/Change Form (Form1) at the HRESC with a copy of the divorce agreement (including page reflecting date of divorce absolute and signature page).
GIC Optional Life Insurance
Upon legal separation or divorce you may enroll for up to four times your annual salary in GIC Optional Life Insurance (if you do not already carry this amount of coverage or more) without passing a medical evidence of insurability exam. To do this you must complete a GIC GIC Enrollment/Change Form (Form1) to the HRESC within 31 days of the qualifying event with legal proof of separation or divorce.
If your divorce agreement allows you to remove your former spouse and/or dependents from your dental/vision insurance coverage you may do so by:
- For USA/MTA and MSP/MTA employees: completing and submitting a BHE Insurance Enrollment Change Form at the UMass Amherst Human Resources Employee Service Center with a copy of the divorce agreement (including page reflecting date of divorce absolute and signature page.
- For Non-Unit employees: completing and submitting a Non-Unit Dental Insurance Enrollment Change Form at the UMass Amherst Human Resources Employee Service Center ith a copy of the divorce agreement (including page reflecting date of divorce absolute and signature page.
- AFSCME and PSU/MTA employees: please contact MA Public Employees' Fund
- IBPO employees: please contact Insurance Administrators Inc. at 617-773-8947
- NEPBA employees: please contact Benefits Strategies
- Non-Unit physicians, please contact the UMass Medical Human Resources Department
Other changes you may wish to consider
Include changing your:
- Tax withholding status in HR Direct
- If not prohibited by your divorce agreement/QuaDRO/DRO, changing designation of beneficiaries for life insurance and retirement plans
- MA State Employees Retirement System benefits (MSERS/pension system/defined benefit plan) SERS Option D form and When Option D comes before Option C. Contact the MA State Board of Retirement to confirm your SERS beneficiary(ies).
- MA Group Insurance Commission basic and optional life insurance coverages and beneficiaries. Contact the GIC to confirm your GIC life insurance beneficiary(ies)
- Contact the University 403(b) and/or Commonwealth 457/SMART vendor(s), if applicable, to confirm your account balance and beneficiary(ies).
- A change in family status is also a qualifying event to make a change your GIC Flexible Spending Account