University of Wisconsin–Madison

Death of Employee

Overview

If you are the family member of a UW-Madison employee who has recently passed away, you should reach out to the employee’s HR Contact immediately for information about how to continue benefits and apply for any death benefits available.

Please review the Death Benefit information provided by Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF).

Accident Plan

If family members were covered at the time of the employee’s death, coverage ends at the end of the month in which the employee passed away. UW-Shared Services, Service Operations will send a continuation notice to the employee’s family. The family then has 60 days from the date of the continuation notice to elect continuation coverage. If the family does not receive the continuation notice timely, they should contact UW-Shared Services, Service Operations at serviceoperations@uwss.wisconsin.edu or (888) 298-0141 (7:45-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday).

Coverage for a spouse and/or children may continue for up to 36 months or until they no longer meet the eligibility requirements of the plan, whichever occurs first.

Any premiums paid for coverage months following the date of death will be refunded.

State Group Health, Supplemental Delta Dental, and DeltaVision

Supplemental Delta Dental and DeltaVision

If family members were covered at the time of the employee’s death, coverage ends at the end of the month in which the employee passed away. The UW Shared Services will send information to the employee’s family. The family then has 60 days from the date of the continuation notice to elect continuation coverage. If the family does not receive the continuation notice timely, they should contact the UW Shared Services at serviceoperations@uwss.wisconsin.edu or (888) 298-0141.

Coverage for a spouse and/or children may continue for up to 36 months or until they no longer meet the eligibility requirements of the plan, whichever occurs first.

Any premiums paid through UW payroll for coverage months following the date of death will be refunded.

State Group Health

If family coverage was in force at time of death, covered dependents have the right to continue coverage for life or until eligibility ceases. The employer health insurance premium contribution ends at the end of the month in which the employee passes away. Coverage for covered dependents will then continue automatically at the full premium rate (no employer contribution).

Please contact ETF at 1-877-533-5020 for more information about how the premiums will be paid.

  • If family coverage was in force and the employee was vested in the Wisconsin Retirement System at the time of death, any unused sick leave credits can be used to pay the monthly premium, or the credits can be escrowed (saved) for future use. See the Sick Leave Conversion Credit brochure for details.
  • Surviving family members may voluntarily terminate coverage by providing written notification to the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF). Coverage will end on the last day of the month in which ETF receives written notification to end coverage.

Any premiums paid through UW payroll for coverage months following the date of death will be refunded.

Life Insurance

State Group Life

Survivors should contact the employee’s HR Contact to report the death. Securian will send a claim form to the beneficiary.

If Spouse and Dependent coverage was in force at the time of the employee’s death, coverage for spouse and dependents ends 90 days after the date of death (no premium due during this period).

Surviving family members may convert Spouse and Dependent coverage to an individual whole life insurance by submitting a conversion application and first premium directly to Securian within 90 days from the date of death (each family member must convert coverage separately). Surviving family members can contact the UW Shared Services at serviceoperations@uwss.wisconsin.edu or (888) 298-0141 for a conversion application.

Any premiums paid through UW payroll for coverage months following the date of death will be refunded.

Individual & Family Group Life (I&F)

Survivors should contact the employee’s HR Contact to report the death. Securian will send a claim form to the beneficiary.

If Spouse/Domestic Partner and/or Child coverage was in force at the time of the employee’s death, coverage for dependents ends at the end of the month in which the employee passed away.

Surviving family members may convert Spouse/Domestic Partner and Child coverage to an individual whole life insurance policy by submitting a conversion application and first premium directly to Securian within 31 days from the date of death (each family member must convert coverage separately). Surviving family members can contact the UW Shared Services at serviceoperations@uwss.wisconsin.edu or (888) 298-0141 for a conversion application.

Any premiums paid through UW payroll for coverage months following the date of death will be refunded.

UW Employees, Inc Life (UWE)

Survivors should contact the employee’s HR Contact to report the death. Securian will send a claim form to the beneficiary.

Any premiums paid through UW payroll for coverage months following the date of death will be refunded.

University Insurance Association (UIA) Life

Survivors should contact the employee’s HR Contact to report the death. Securian will send a claim form to the beneficiary.

Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)

If death was accidental, call the Zurich American Insurance Company at 1-866-841-4771 to report the death and request a claim form. Zurich must receive the claim form within 90 days of death.

If family coverage was in force at the time of the employee’s death, covered family members have 60 days from the employee’s date of death to convert coverage to an individual policy (each family member must convert coverage separately). Family members may convert coverage by contacting Zurich American Insurance Company at 1-800-834-1959 (reference UW System Policy # GTU-8364005). Family members can also contact the UW Shared Services at servicecenter@uwsa.edu or (888) 298-0141 for a conversion application.

Any premiums paid through UW payroll for coverage months following the date of death will be refunded.

Income Continuation Insurance (ICI)

Coverage ends upon employee’s death.

Any premiums paid through UW payroll for coverage months following the date of death will be refunded.

Spending & Savings Accounts

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

Funds remaining in the employee’s Health Care, Dependent Day Care or Limited Purpose FSA account is accessible after death for expenses incurred by the employee or eligible dependents prior to the date of death. Surviving family members must submit a claim form and proof of death to the FSA Administrator to receive reimbursement. Contact the FSA vendor to start the claims process.

Health Savings Account (HSA)

How the employee’s HSA is handled when they pass away depends on whom they designated as the beneficiary.

  • If the employee’s spouse was designated the beneficiary, the HSA will be treated as the spouse’s HSA after the employee’s death.
  • If the beneficiary is someone other than the spouse, the HSA stops being an HSA as of the date of death and the fair market value of the HSA becomes taxable to the beneficiary in the year the employee passes away.
  • If no beneficiary designation was made, the employee’s estate will be the death beneficiary.

Survivors should contact the HSA administrator to report the death and for information regarding how to access funds.

Retirement Plans

Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS)

Survivors should contact the employee’s HR Contact to report the death. The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) will send a claim form to the beneficiary.

UW 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Program (SRP)

Survivors should contact SRP provider(s) for information regarding benefits payable upon death.

Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC)

Survivors should contact WDC at 1-877-457-9327 for information regarding benefits payable upon death.