Insurance Benefits in Retirement

This page provides an overview of the university's insurance programs for eligible retirees. Contact Human Resources to make an appointment with your retirement coordinator to confirm your eligibility and options for insurance programs after retirement.

Insurance Program Overview

Premium Rates

Premium Rates

Since payroll deduction will no longer be possible after retirement, you will be responsible for paying your premiums directly to Payflex, the university’s administrator for retiree insurance plans. If you are Medicare eligible, you will also be responsible for paying rates on Medicare Part B. Go to for an estimate of your cost.

Depending on your age, hire date, and retirement eligibility date, your premium rates cost will vary for your university medical, dental, vision, and life insurance. Review the rates sheets and subsidy information below.

Norman Retiree Rates: 2020 Norman Retiree Rates

HSC Retiree Rates:  2020 HSC Retiree Rates

Eligible for Retirement Before 1/1/2016

The university will 100% subsidize medical insurance premiums for employees and retirees that were eligible for retirement before 1/1/2016.

Eligible for Retirement On or After 1/1/2016 and Hired Before 1/1/2008

The university will subsidize medical premiums for employees who were hired before 1/1/2008 and who become eligible for retirement on or after 1/1/2016 at the percentages shown in the table below. The subsidy percentage paid by OU is locked in by the employee's years of service at retirement and their age when participation begins.

Age Medical Insurance Premium Subsidy for Employees Eligible on or after 1/1/2016
Years of Service
10-14 15-19 20-24 25+
Under 55 Employees can retire with 25 years of service. No university subsidy until age 55.
55-61 No subsidy

Must meet Rule of 80

Must meet Rule of 80
62-64 55% 65% 75% 85%
65+ 65% 75% 85% 100%

If you are receiving OTRS benefits in retirement, part of that benefit includes an OTRS contribution toward your medical insurance premiums. The OTRS insurance subsidy is designed to decrease the retiree health insurance premium, which will decrease both your share and OU’s share of your insurance premium. See the example calculation below. The OTRS insurance subsidy is applied the same way when the university pays 100% of a retiree’s insurance premium – in that case, it reduces OU’s share of the premium. You can review the background about the above matrix and this cost sharing method here.

Example Calculation for an OTRS retiree with 75% university medical subsidy:

Example Norman Amount
Example HSC Amount
 A Total Premium for Pre-65 Retiree $789.31 $804.36
 B  OTRS Insurance Subsidy (amount paid by OTRS) $105 $105
 C Remaining Premium (A - B) $684.31 $699.36
 D OU Insurance Subsidy (amount paid by OU: 75% of C) $513.23 $524.52
 E Retiree's Remaining Premium (C - D) $171.08 $174.84

Eligible for Retirement On or After 1/1/2016 and Hired On or After 1/1/2008

Employees hired on or after January 1, 2008, may continue to participate in the OU medical and dental plans at group rates upon retirement at their own cost by paying the full premium without university subsidy. This plan provision was adopted in 2007.


Medical Insurance

If you qualify for university retirement and have been enrolled in the university’s medical insurance for 5 years immediately prior to retirement, then you are eligible to participate in a group medical insurance plan as a retiree. You may continue to cover any eligible dependents you are covering at the time of your retirement at an additional cost. 

When you retire, your active employee medical insurance coverage will end, and you will receive a Certificate of Credible Coverage from the university's current insurance provider. Retain this certificate for your records. You will then be enrolled in OU's retiree medical insurance group plan, and new insurance cards will be mailed to your home.

Review this handout for a helpful overview of retiree medical insurance and Medicare:
OU Medical Insurance When You Reach Age 65 or Retire

Opting Out
If retirees have other medical insurance coverage through another employer or their spouse, they may consider a one-time opportunity to opt-out of OU retiree medical plan coverage and preserve future eligibility. To initiate the opt out action, complete the Retiree Medical Insurance Eligibility & Opt Out Form and return it to HR. Keep in mind that if you opt out, your covered dependents opt out as well.

Retirees who have opted out and wish to return to the OU medical insurance plan have 31 days from the loss of other creditable coverage to come back on the OU retiree health plan. To reinstate coverage, a retiree must show proof of continuous coverage to PayFlex or the current vendor for the 24 month period preceding their return to OU medical coverage. Contact Human Resources for more information.



The Medicare program has two parts: Part A is the Hospital Insurance and Part B is the Supplementary Medical Insurance (which covers services like doctor visits and lab tests). Medicare will serve as your primary coverage, while the university medical insurance will serve as a supplement, paying any eligible expenses not covered by Medicare.

Review this handout for a helpful overview of retiree medical insurance and Medicare:
OU Medical Insurance When You Reach Age 65 or Retire

When you’re first eligible for Medicare, you’ll need to sign up for Part A during a 7-month enrollment period that begins three months before the month you turn 65. The university requires you to begin enrollment in Medicare Part B three months prior to retiring to receive the maximum benefit offered through the university medical insurance plan. The effective date of your Medicare Part B should be the first day of the month after your active employment ends. Alert: Avoid delays and penalties by enrolling in Medicare Part A and Part B during the appropriate enrollment period. Contact the Medicare office for more information.

Pharmacy Benefit:
OU offers a Medicare Part D pharmacy benefit through a BlueCross BlueShield Medicare Rx plan. If you choose to enroll in OU’s Part D pharmacy benefit, then you do not need to enroll in Part D with the Medicare office. If you choose to enroll in OU’s pharmacy plan, make sure you send HR your Medicare ID number and effective dates for Parts A and B.

The Part A and Part B programs are funded differently. Part A is paid by taxes, whereas Part B is funded partially by the federal government and partially by premiums that you will pay when you become eligible for those benefits. Contact the Medicare office about your monthly cost for Medicare Part B, which can vary depending on your income earnings.


Dental Insurance

If you qualify for university retirement and have been enrolled in the university’s dental insurance for 5 years immediately prior to retirement, then you are eligible to participate in a group dental plan for retirees.

You have the option to enroll in the Delta Dental Basic Plan or the Delta Dental Premium Plan. The Basic plan is 100% covered by the university for the retiree only. You can add dependents to either plan at your cost.


Vision Insurance

If you are currently enrolled in OU’s vision insurance, your coverage will terminate at the end of the month in which you retire. You have the option to continue this coverage at your own expense for up to 18 months through the COBRA continuation plan, and the rates are the same as for active employees. To continue vision insurance through COBRA, complete and return the form provided by HR within 31 days of your retirement.

After the 18 months, your COBRA coverage will end. If you need to continue your vision insurance, you may consider contacting a vision insurance provider to negotiate rates on a private plan for you and any dependents you may cover.


Life Insurance

If you qualify for university retirement and are currently enrolled in the university’s life insurance plan, you may continue a portion of your university life insurance coverage in an individual policy. Please complete the retiree life insurance form (available from HR) within 30 days of your retirement if you intend to retain life insurance. You are responsible for paying the entire premium for your retiree life insurance. The amount of coverage will be determined by the amount of group life insurance coverage you have at the time of retirement. The guidelines are: 

  • If you retire before age 62, the amount of insurance you had immediately before you retired will be reduced by 50% to a maximum coverage of $50,000 and a minimum coverage amount of $10,000.  When you reach age 62, your coverage amount again will be reduced by another 50%.
  • If you retire at age 62 or over, the amount of insurance you had immediately before you retired will be reduced to 25% to a maximum coverage amount of $25,000 and a minimum coverage of $5,000. 

To see if the amount of life insurance you carried as an active eligible employee can be converted to an individual permanent policy, please contact Lincoln Financial Group, the university’s life insurance vendor.

When you reach age 70, the university’s life insurance coverage will end; before your coverage expires, you may consider purchasing your own individual policy from a life insurance company.

Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

If you are currently participating in the Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you may use funds for expenses incurred up to your retirement date. You have the option to extend this benefit for 18 months through the COBRA continuation plan. Ask your retirement coordinator for details.

Making Changes

Changes to Your Insurance

After you retire, you are allowed to make certain changes to your medical and dental coverage during the annual benefits enrollment period each fall. Details will be mailed to your home address during the enrollment period, so make sure you always notify HR when you have a change in address.

Outside of the open enrollment period, you may make changes to your coverage only if a Qualifying Life Event such as marriage or the birth of a child has occurred. Contact PayFlex, the university’s administrator for retiree insurance plans, for questions about qualifying events at (800) 359-3921. 

Changes to Your Personal Information, Investments, or Beneficiaries

After you retire, you may need to update your address, investment options, or beneficiary designations. Learn more about Changing Your Information in Retirement.

Remember: Keep Your Address Updated

After retirement, always notify Human Resources of a change in address. We mail time-sensitive insurance materials to our retirees advising them of significant changes in coverage or a change of insurance companies. It is crucial we have current information to prevent a lapse in coverage. Learn more about Changing Your Information in Retirement.


Retiree Medical Insurance
These documents describe OU medical insurance available to retirees.
Campus: Norman, OUHSC, Tulsa
Campus: Norman, OUHSC, Tulsa
Campus: Norman, OUHSC, Tulsa
Campus: Norman, Tulsa
Campus: OUHSC, Tulsa
Campus: Norman, Tulsa