Basic Life and Group Universal Life Insurance

Basic Life Insurance

Cornell provides eligible Ithaca and Cornell Tech employees with basic life insurance at no cost. The type of insurance and amount varies by benefit plan:

  • Endowed employees receive one-half of their annual salary up to a maximum of $50,000.
  • Contract College employees enrolled in the New York State Employee Retirement System (NYSERS) program are provided basic life insurance under the death benefit. Employees enrolled in the SUNY Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) are also provided with basic life insurance, insured by CIGNA Group Insurance.

Please note: Employees of County Cooperative Extension Associations and all employees who are actively enrolled in the New York State Employee’s Retirement System (NYSERS), are not eligible for Basic Life through Cigna.

Group Universal Life Insurance

CIGNA provides group universal life insurance that lets eligible employees supplement their basic life insurance at an additional cost. Employees may sign up for additional group life insurance for themselves, their spouses, their domestic partners, and/or their dependents (see coverage amounts below).

You can enroll in group universal life insurance at any time. Review the “Plan Details and Forms” section for information about coverage amounts and how to enroll.

Once enrolled, you may visit CIGNA’s Trusted Advisor website to review your coverage and make changes to your beneficiary designations as often as you wish. Click on “My Account” and see your current coverages and payroll deduction values. A print form is also available below.

GUL Plan Details and Forms

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

GUL Coverage Amounts

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

  • Current Employees (with evidence of insurability): You may purchase employee coverage over the guaranteed amount – up to 10 times your base annual salary, or $2,000,000, whichever is less.
  • New Hires: 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 $50,000 without medical evidence of insurability.
  • Spouse/Domestic Partner: You may purchase coverage up to $250,000 in $10,000 increments.
  • Children: 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.

Regular full-time or part-time Cornell University employees at the Ithaca and Cornell Tech campuses who work a minimum of 20 hours per week over a period of at least six months or County Extension employees who work at least 17.5 hours per week for at least six months.  Faculty members and salaried 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.