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Survivor Benefits

For complete information on continuation of health insurance for dependent survivors, visit the "Dependent Survivor Coverage" section in your NYSHIP General Information Book.

The complete survivor's guide, "Information for Survivor's of New York State Employees", is available here.

Health Insurance

Outstanding hospital, medical, or prescription drug bills may be covered expenses under the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP). Ask the employee's Human Resources Office for assistance. If you are not sure how to contact the Human Resources Office or still have questions, please write or call:

Employee Benefits Division
New York State Department of Civil Service
Albany, New York 12239
Website: www.cs.ny.gov
Phone: (518) 457-5754 (Albany area) or 1-800-833-4344

NYSHIP protects you. If the employee dies while on the State payroll, you (the enrolled spouse) and your enrolled dependent children will continue to receive NYSHIP coverage without charge for five biweekly payroll periods beyond the payroll period for which your spouse's last health insurance deduction was taken.

As the unremarried enrolled spouse, you and your eligible dependent children may be allowed to continue coverage under NYSHIP after the extended benefits period ends. If you or your enrolled dependent children are eligible for dependent survivor coverage but choose not to participate or fail to make the required payments, NYSHIP coverage will end permanently. You and your eligible dependent children may not re-enroll in the State program.

Your eligibility to continue coverage under NYSHIP and the cost of your premium will depend on the following circumstances:

  • If your spouse died as a result of a work-related illness or injury, regardless of your spouse's age at the time of death or length of service, the State will pay 100 percent of the cost of NYSHIP coverage up to the cost of the Empire Plan premium for you and your dependents as long as you remain eligible.
  • If your spouse's death was not the result of a work-related illness or injury:
  • If at the time of death your spouse was an active employee who had 10 years of service and was within 10 years or less of retirement, you and your dependents will make the same contribution that active employees make toward the cost of the Empire Plan or HMO premium.

    If at the time of death your spouse was an active employee who had 10 years of service but was not within 10 years of retirement, you and your dependents would be required to pay both the employer's and the employee's share of the premium.

If you lose eligibility or die, your enrolled dependents may continue their coverage as dependent survivors until they no longer meet the eligibility requirements as dependents. If they no longer meet these requirements, they may enroll through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) which is a Federal continuation of coverage law or convert to a direct-pay contract.

Survivors are covered by the same rules as retirees for changing options.

If you and your dependents are not eligible for survivor coverage under NYSHIP, you may be eligible to continue coverage in NYSHIP for up to 36 months under COBRA or convert to direct-pay contracts. There are deadlines for applying. Call the employee's Human Resources Office for information.

Dental Insurance

Outstanding dental bills may be covered under a State or union sponsored Dental Insurance program. Dental Insurance for the surviving dependents will continue for a period of time indicated by the State or union sponsored Dental Insurance Plan. The Human Resources Office and/or union benefit fund will advise you about this coverage. Ask about COBRA continuation coverage. If you have further questions, please contact the Employee Benefits Division at the address and telephone number listed above.

Workers' Compensation

If the deceased has a workers' compensation case pending because of an on-the-job injury or occupational illness, you should request information on the case from the Human Resources Office of the agency where the employee worked. If the deceased was represented in this case by an attorney, you should consult the attorney.

If you would like more information, we urge you to contact the Human Resources Office of the agency where the employee worked.