Contact Benefit Services

East Hill Office Building, First Floor
395 Pine Tree Road
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-3936
benefits@cornell.edu

Group Universal Life (GUL) Insurance

What's New

CIGNA will be mailing notices out to the home addresses of record for Group Universal Life (GUL) participants the week of February 24. If you have questions about CIGNA’s dividend notice, please contact CIGNA directly through the toll-free number provided in their letter. Information is also available in the FAQs.

Trusted Advisor

CIGNA’s Trusted Advisor, a website that allows you to review your coverage and make changes to your beneficiary designations, is now available for faculty and staff through Workday!

Workday now directly links you to CIGNA's website, the insurer of your basic life, group universal life and personal accident insurances.

All you have to do is go into Workday, click on All About Me>Benefits>External Links>Life Insurance. This will bring you to the new Trusted Advisor site where you can click on “My Account” and see your current coverages and payroll deduction values, listed.  

Please note that you may now also make changes to your beneficiary designations online. All previously completed paper forms continue to reside with CIGNA and will be honored in the event that you do not complete an online designation. You have the availability to change your beneficiary as often as you wish. 

Retirees can also access Trusted Advisor at to add or update beneficiary designations and view their retiree life insurance coverage. 

Eligibility

  • regular full-time or part-time employees of Cornell University, Cornell NYC Tech and County Extension Services who are appointed to work a minimum of 20 hours per week over a period of at least six months
  • members of the faculty or exempt staff who are appointed for 50% or more for at least one semester, with Cornell salary, or on an approved leave of absence without Cornell salary; not to include AD White Professors at Large.

Coverage

Coverage amounts are available from 1 through 10 times your base annual salary rounded to the next higher thousand.

The maximum amount of guaranteed insurance available within 60 days of your hire date, without evidence of insurability, is 5 times your base annual salary, or $1,000,000, whichever is less.

During these initial 60 days, you may also purchase coverage for your spouse/domestic partner in the amount of $40,000 without medical evidence of insurability.

Coverage is available for children who are at least 15 days of age to 19 years old. Children can be covered through the age of 24 if they are a full time college student. Coverage is up to $20,000 in $2,000 increments. It is the employee's responsibility to notify CIGNA Group Insurance when their child is no longer eligible for the benefit.

With satisfactory evidence of insurability, you can also:

  • purchase employee coverage over the guaranteed amount – up to 10 times your base annual salary, or $2,000,000, whichever is less
  • purchase spouse/domestic partner coverage up to $250,000 in $10,000 increments.

The rate structure allows for employees, spouses and domestic partners to pay for their insurance based on their individual ages.

You have the option of contributing to a Cash Accumulation Fund, which can be used as financial needs arise.  You can borrow against the money in your account or make a withdrawal.  The interest earned is income tax deferred as long as it remains in your account, presenting a tax-planning opportunity.

For questions or concerns regarding this insurance, please call CIGNA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-231-1193.

Basic Life Insurance

Endowed employees: the university provides one half your annual salary up to a maximum of $50,000.

Contract College employees: if you are enrolled in NYSERS, basic life insurance is provided under the NYSERS death benefit. If you are enrolled in ORP, basic life insurance is provided by CIGNA.

When Benefits are Paid

The CIGNA Group insures Cornell’s life and personal accident insurance programs. When a death occurs, CIGNA promptly processes the life insurance benefit and prepares a transaction to allow the appropriate beneficiaries to access the benefit of the insurance plan. If the insurance proceeds are greater than $5,000, CIGNA will automatically transfer the proceeds into a checking-type account to expedite payment. However, beneficiaries have two choices. They can elect to take the money in a lump sum, or accept the insurance company’s checking account draft book for drawing down the balance over time. CIGNAssurance, the checking account created for beneficiaries, is an interest-bearing account backed by the insurance company. It is not a bank-based checking account protected by FDIC insurance. Benefit amounts of less than $5,000 are automatically sent in a lump sum check from CIGNA. Questions regarding CIGNAssurance or direct cash payment may be directed to the CIGNA Service Center at 1-800-231-1193.

Beneficiary Information:

  • Paper beneficiary designations completed prior to Workday will remain the most current unless the employee enters Trusted Advisor and makes designations online.  These online designations will then become the most current;
  • Employees who are uncomfortable with entering beneficiary information online, may complete the beneficiary form on our website and fax or mail it to the fax number or address at the top of the form;
  • Paper beneficiary designation forms submitted to CIGNA will be scanned into their system and entered into the employee’s Trusted Advisor screen within 5 – 10 business days of receipt by CIGNA.  Once entered, employees will be able to view these in their account.

Benefit Forms

The forms below are available in printable format. Mail all forms to CIGNA Group Insurance, P. O. Box 14577, Des Moines, Iowa 50306-3577

Additional benefits forms may be obtained by contacting Benefit Services.