Retiree Health Insurance Benefit

On July 1, 1994, the retiree health insurance benefit was established by Williams College for eligible retired employees. An account is created for each eligible retiree that can be used exclusively for the reimbursement of paid Medicare Part B and/or Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) insurance premiums for the retiree and his or her spouse. Each plan year will begin on July 1 and end on June 30.


Retirees age 65 or over are eligible to use the benefit. Further, eligible retirees are those whose active employment with Williams College terminated at age 58 or later, where age plus years of service at retirement equaled or exceeded 75 and the final 10 years of service were in a benefits-eligible position. For example, an employee who retires at age 58 must have at least 17 years of service (58 + 17 = 75). Disabled employees who had ten years of benefit-eligible service at the time of the disability are also eligible. Benefits-eligible is defined as .50 FTE appointment for faculty and staff (administrative and support).

How the Retiree Health Insurance Benefit is Calculated

A participant’s annual benefit will be established each July 1 and will be derived by multiplying years of service at Williams by the dollar amount that corresponds to the number of years since the participant’s retirement date, as outlined in the following table: (Revised effective January 1, 2008)

Number of years retired Benefit per years of service
25 or more $ 126
20-24 $ 112
15-19 $ 98
10-14 $ 84
5-9 $ 70
less than 5 $ 56

PLEASE NOTE: Any retiree who becomes age 65 during any plan year will receive his or her benefit on the first of the month following his or her birth date. The annual benefit will be pro-rated for the first year of participation.

For example, a person who retired on July 1, 1969 (25+ years retired) will receive $126 for each year of service. If that person had 35 years of service, he or she would receive an annual benefit of $4,410 ($126 x 35). The maximum number of years of service that will be used to calculate each participant’s annual benefit is 35. If the participant doesn’t use all of the annual benefit by June 30 of each year, the remaining balance will be added to the following year’s annual benefit.

How to Use the Retiree Health Insurance Benefit

To be reimbursed, participants must submit documentation annually (or any time a premium changes) that shows the amount paid for Medicare Part B and/or Medigap insurance during the plan year. Documentation should be submitted to the Williams College Human Resources Office in June (or whenever changes occur).

The College will send the participant a check or direct deposit for the amount claimed, or the amount of the benefit in the participant’s account, whichever is less. Reimbursements will be sent at the beginning of the month following the month a claim is filed and each month thereafter until the account is exhausted.

In addition to reimbursing eligible retirees for their own premiums, the college will also reimburse retired employees for their spouse’s premiums with required documentation for their spouse’s Medicare Part B and/or Medicare Supplement insurance premiums.

Please remember that the college reserves the right to close any account that has not been used for two years.

You may obtain additional information by calling the Williams College Human Resources Office at (413) 597-4355.

Benefits for Deceased Participants

If a retiree who is participating in this plan dies during the plan year, the surviving spouse may exhaust the remaining benefit. The benefit will not be renewed on the July 1st following the date of the retiree’s death. If there is no surviving spouse, the balance will revert back to Williams College.

Required Documentation

To document that Medicare Part B premiums have been paid, participants may use a copy of the letter from Medicare at the end of each calendar year confirming their coverage and premium for the upcoming year. Participants only need to send a copy of the letter once each year, and it will be kept on file in the Human Resources Office.

The required documentation for a participant’s paid Medicare supplement insurance premiums will depend on the type of insurance he or she has purchased. A participant who has AARP core coverage may choose to have the premium directly withdrawn from his or her bank account. In this case, the participant may use the letter that AARP issues each at the end of each calendar year confirming the next year’s premium. If a participant has coverage through an insurance company, (for example, Benistar or BCBS Medex), he or she may use a copy of the quarterly or monthly bill issued by the company. Participants may also use canceled checks as documentation.

Plan Administration

Plan Administrator and Agent for Service of Legal Process

The Vice President for Finance & Operations and Treasurer at Williams College is the Plan Administrator of the Retiree Health Plan. The Vice President for Finance & Operations and Treasurer has designated the Chief Human Resources Officer to be responsible for enrolling participants and other administrative duties, including helping you with questions about Plan provisions, eligibility and participation.

The Plan Administrator may delegate any of its power and duties with respect to the Plan to one or more officers or other employees of the college. Any such delegation will be in writing.

Service of legal process may be made upon the Plan Administrator: Vice President for Finance & Operations and Treasurer, Williams College, P.O. Box 458, Williamstown, MA, 01267, 413-597-4421.

A major responsibility of the Plan Administrator is to make sure that Plan provisions are applied properly and equitably. If you feel that you have been treated unfairly or denied benefits improperly, you are encouraged to seek a review by the Plan Administrator. Any determination by the Plan Administrator concerning the Williams College Group Insurance Plan shall be final and conclusive on all persons, in the absence of clear and convincing evidence that the Plan Administrator acted arbitrarily and capriciously. Decisions by the Plan Administrator are subject to review by the President of the college to ensure that the Plan Administrator does not act arbitrarily or capriciously.

Plan Records and Plan Year

Plan records are kept on file in the Human Resources Office and are kept on July 1 through June 30 plan year basis.

Plan Identification Numbers

Employer Identification Number: 04-2104847
Plan Number (assigned by the college): 505

Plan Documents

This summary plan description describes only major features of the Retiree Health Insurance benefit. In the event of any inconsistency between this summary plan description and other plan documents, those other plan documents will govern.

Amendment and Termination of the Plan

The Board of Trustees of the college reserves the right to modify or discontinue the Plan at any time by majority vote. Any amendment or termination of the Plan will not adversely affect any benefit provided by the Plan that is owed prior to such amendment or termination. The Trustees may delegate any of its power and duties with respect to the Plan to one or more officers or other employees of the college. Any such delegation will be in writing. The College will exercise good faith, apply standards of uniform application, and refrain from arbitrary action.

Benefits Office 12/11/07