Medicare-Eligible Retiree Benefit Information

Updated Geisinger Information:

For the Medicare-eligible retirees in the FreedomBlue PPO, effective March 1, 2013, ALL Geisinger physicians and hospitals will be out-of-network providers, as described within. The out-of-network benefit for the FreedomBlue PPO has a maximum out-of-pocket of $500 per person, per year.

Zostavax/Shingles Vaccine For Medicare-eligible FreedomBlue PPO members:

This vaccine is covered under the Part D drug benefit. You will pay the $20 prescription copay if you receive the vaccine at a pharmacy that provides them. A great resource for you is the pharmacy at Wegman’s, who has stores across the state of Pennsylvania, for your convenience. To find a Wegman’s pharmacy near you, please use the "Find your store" feature on the Wegman's website

If you have questions regarding Geisinger physician or coverage of the Zostavax/Shingles vaccine, please call Highmark’s FreedomBlue PPO customer service at (866) 918-5285.

Medical Coverage

If you were hired prior to January 1, 2010

You may continue coverage for you and your eligible dependents provided, at retirement, you meet the following conditions as applicable:

  • You are at least 60 years of age
  • You have at least 15 years of continuous regular full-time employment with continuous participation in a University sponsored medical plan immediately preceding retirement


  • You have 25 years of regular full-time University employment
  • Ten years of continuous participation in a University sponsored health care plan immediately preceding retirement

If you and/or your spouse are Medicare-eligible, medical plan coverage will be provided under a retiree Medicare plan.

If you and your spouse are not Medicare-eligible, you will continue coverage in the same University sponsored medical plan in which you were enrolled. As you and your spouse attain Medicare eligibility, your coverage will change to a retiree Medicare plan. You will be billed by the University on a semi-annual basis for medical benefits.

If you were hired after January 1, 2010

The University contributed funds each month on your behalf to a retirement health care savings plan to help you to pay for qualified medical and health-related expenses in retirement, including the purchase of a health insurance policy.

You are eligible to access your Penn State Retirement Savings Account when you are no longer actively employed at Penn State and have:

  • Completed 25 years of continuous full-time service and are age 60 or older


  • Completed a minimum of 15 years of continuous full-time service and are age 65 or older

Dental and Vision Coverage

Dental and vision plan coverage terminates at retirement; however, you may be eligible to continue these plans for an additional 18 months under the provisions of COBRA. There are also other dental and vision options through the Davis Vision Discount Program for retirees of Penn State, the Pennsylvania Association of Retired State Employees (PARSE), or through American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Below is a link to a comparison chart of costs for COBRA, PARSE, and AARP dental and vision costs, as well as link to the various other options mentioned above.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment AD&D Coverage

You may convert your AD&D to individual coverage.

Limits on Life Insurance after Retirement

If you began employment with Penn State University on or before April 30, 1954, you may continue $10,000 of life insurance into retirement.

If you began employment with the University on or after May 1, 1954, you may continue $5,000 of life insurance into retirement if you qualify to continue benefits into retirement.

Educational Benefits

Educational privileges are available to retirees able to retire from the University with Benefits. It is applicable to their spouse and unmarried dependent children. The grant-in-aid is for 75% of the tuition charge and applies to Penn State resident instruction and continuing education credit courses (See University policies HR-36 and HR-37). A completed Application for Dependent Grant-In-Aid form must be submitted to the Employee Benefits Division in order for the tuition discount to be applied.

A spouse, except one already receiving educational assistance from the University (such as a graduate assistantship), is eligible for the grant-in-aid. Unmarried dependent children are eligible for grant-in-aid only until the dependent child receives a bachelor's degree from Penn State or any other college or university.

Additional Resources