Skip to main content

The Empire Plan is a unique health insurance plan designed especially for public employees in New York State. Empire Plan benefits include inpatient and outpatient hospital coverage, medical/surgical coverage, Centers of Excellence for transplants, infertility and cancer, home care services, equipment and supplies, mental health and substance abuse coverage and prescription drug coverage.

New York State of Opportunity


TO: Agency Health Benefits Administrators
FROM: Employee Benefits Division
SUBJECT: Management Confidential (M/C) Group Life Insurance Plan Annual Update
DATE: August 2, 2017

The Employee Benefits Division is preparing for the 2017 Annual Update of the Management/Confidential (M/C) Group Life Insurance Plan enrollment records. 

Post the attached notice to inform your M/C enrollees of the 2017 M/C Group Life Insurance Plan Annual Update. 


For the plan year September 1, 2017 through August 31, 2018, Personal Life premium rates will decrease 10.4% while Dependent Life premium rates will increase by 4.8%. The actual rate increase for Dependent Life coverage will vary as the rates per age bracket have been updated consistent with Internal Revenue Code Table 1 rates. The current plan year Accidental Death and Dismemberment premium rates will remain in effect. The Accident and Sickness rates will remain at zero.  Additionally, the administrative charge rate for the plan has decreased to 2.3%.


The annual update will automatically produce a change in payroll deductions for NYS employees. The annual update to enrollee premium for Participating Employers will be reflected in the August 4, 2017 monthly bill.  

Changes to an enrollee’s premium occur when: 

  • Any enrollee has reached a higher five-year premium age bracket as of September 1, 2017,
  • Any enrollee whose age as of September 1, 2017, requires a reduction in coverage, or
  • Any enrollee who elected coverage at a multiple of annual salary whose salary has changed by an amount sufficient to affect the total amount of coverage. 


Updated life insurance coverage for NYS enrollees who have chosen a multiple of salary option for their coverage amount is based upon the annual salaries as reported by the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) for the following payrolls:                       

Administration Payroll checks dated July 12, 2017
Institution Payroll checks dated July 20, 2017 

Updated life insurance coverage for PE enrollees or NYS enrollees whose salary is not reported by OSC, is based upon the annual salaries reported by the agency Benefits Administrators. The annual salary can be accessed by running the BEA_LIFE_ANN_SAL_LIST Report.

Enrollees whose salaries change between the dates above and September 1, 2017, should submit a request for an adjustment in their coverage to reflect the salary change.  Once the agency listing has been obtained, Benefits Administrators should review the listing and report any incorrect salaries to the Employee Benefits Division, ATTN: M/C Life Insurance Unit, no later than September 30, 2017. 

Additional compensation paid on a permanent basis such as location pay, geographic differential, or special allowance, will be included in the annual salary.  However, shift differential, overtime pay, and maintenance adjustments are not included in the annual salary for life insurance purposes. 

Enrollees requesting to increase or decrease their multiple of salary option must fill out a PS-934, M/C Life Insurance Transaction Form, check the “Change in Coverage” box in item 14 and select one of the options in item 15, that is either greater or less than their current option choice. Enrollees may increase their multiple of salary option up to five times their annual salary, however the maximum benefit allowed under this policy is $500,000. Increases in coverage requests require enrollees to mail a completed Statement of Health form to MetLife.

Enrollee’s Age
Percentage of Coverage Retained
65 but less than 70
70 but less than 75
75 but less than 80
80 and older

The employee’s premium will be based on the reduced amount of coverage. In no case, will an employee’s coverage be reduced below $15,000. If after the reduction the enrollee’s coverage is not an even $1,000, it will be increased to the next higher $1,000. 

When an actively working, enrollee reaches age 65, 70, 75, or 80 and their Life Insurance is reduced, their spouse’s coverage may also be reduced. At no time, can spousal Life Insurance benefits be more than 50% of an enrollee’s Life Insurance benefit, with a maximum benefit of $20,000. 


If the enrollee selected the multiple of salary option, retired, and continues coverage under the Plan, the amount of the enrollee’s Life Insurance coverage will be reduced effective on the September 1 coincident with or next following, the day the enrollee reaches age 65 or 70.

 Enrollee’s Age
 Percentage of Coverage Retained
 65 but less than 70
 70 but less than 75
 Reduced to $15,000


Spouse coverage may be reduced when the enrollee’s Life Insurance benefit is reduced. Spouse coverage will equal 50 percent of the enrollee’s coverage or $20,000, whichever is less. 


All active employees, regardless of age, as well as retirees under age 70 will be covered for Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) benefits equal to their life insurance coverage but not above $250,000.  Retired enrollees, age 70 and over, are not eligible for AD&D coverage. 


Individuals previously enrolled as “smokers” who have not smoked since September 1, 2016, may now apply for the special non-smoker premium discount.  To apply for non-smoker status, enrollees must complete a PS-934 “Management/Confidential Group Life Insurance Transaction” form, including checking “Other” in block 14 and then submitting the completed form to their agency Benefits Administrator.  These forms must be returned to you by September 30, 2017, and forwarded to and received by the M/C Life Insurance Unit by October 31, 2017. 


Effective dates of new payroll deductions and changes in the amount of life insurance coverage for NYS employees on the OSC payroll system will change automatically on the Institution and Administration paychecks dated as follows:

 First Paycheck with New Deduction
 Effective Date of Changes in
Life Insurance Coverage
 Institution Current
 Administration Current
 Institution Lag
 Administration Lag

Effective dates of new payroll deductions and changes in the amount of life insurance coverage for PE enrollees will be September 1, 2017.

Enclosure: Notice to Enrollees


Notice To Enrollees