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Retiree Benefits

As a Northwestern University retiree, you may enroll in the following medical, dental, and/or vision plan(s). Review the benefit options below and enroll in the plan(s) that are right for you. Once you have reviewed the plan options below, please review the retirement process for information on how to enroll. 

New retirees have 31-days from their date of retirement to elect retiree benefits.  You must be enrolled in University health plans at the time of retirement to be eligible.  You will not be given the choice to pick-up coverage in the future. You may only use the Open Enrollment period to switch between BCBSIL health plans and Dearborn and Guardian dental plans or drop plans. You may not use Open Enrollment to pick up coverage or add dependents. Coverage is effective the 1st of the month following when you active coverage terminates.


Retiree medical options 

UnitedHealthCare Medicare Advantage 

The University offers a Group Medicare Advantage (MA) Plan through UnitedHealthcare.  The MA plan will be in addition to the current retiree medical options.  Some features of the MA plan are:

Please contact United Healthcare at 1-877-714-0178 to find out more about this new plan or to enroll.

Retiree BCBS HMO Illinois 

The BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) HMO Illinois network includes, but is not limited to, St. Francis, NorthShore University Health System and Advocate-Lutheran General. Northwestern Memorial Hospital is not part of the HMO IL network. Complete benefit information is available in the HMO Illinois Certificate of Coverage and the Summary of Benefit Coverage (SBC).  

Retiree BCBS PPO Premier 

The BCBS PPO Premier plan gives you the flexibility to choose any doctor/hospital that you wish without requiring a primary care physician (PCP) or referrals. If you choose a BlueCross doctor, you will be charged the in-network rates. If you see Northwestern Medicine doctors, the discount on services is even higher. Complete benefit information is available in the 2019 Retiree PPO Premier Booklet and the 2019 Summary of Benefit Coverage (SBC), 2020 Summary of Benefit Coverage (SBC).

Retiree dental options 

Dearborn National PPO Dental Plan 

The Dearborn National PPO is a dental plan covering comprehensive care for members. Complete benefit information is available in the Dearborn National Booklet . Members may receive care from any licensed dentist, but benefits are higher if the care is provided by a Dearborn National network dentist. 

Guardian First Commonwealth HMO Dental Plan 

The Guardian First Commonwealth HMO is a dental maintenance organization (DMO) that provides dental care from a network of dentists and generally emphasizes preventative services. The plan covers eligible services at 100% minus a specified copayment. A complete listing of eligible services and copayments is available in the Schedule of Member Payment Responsibilities. Guardian only covers dental care services which are authorized in advance by an individual's primary care dentist. Enrollment in Guardian requires the designation of a primary care dentist. To change your primary care dentist after initial enrollment, contact Guardian directly. 

Retiree vision option 

Northwestern is part of the Insight network through EyeMed. Discounts are higher when you go to a eyecare provider who is part of the Insight network. Visit the EyeMed website or contact customer service at 866-804-0982 to find vision care providers. Reference the group number 9798836 for retirees. Your individual ID number is your Northwestern University employee ID number. 

Please note that retiree coverage is irrevocable once it has been dropped.

Retiree tuition options

If you retire from University employment and meet specified age and service requirements, you may continue to receive benefits from some tuition plans. For faculty members, retirement is the point at which one ceases to work full-time at any institution, not merely ends his/her employment at Northwestern University.

Retirees eligible for the following benefits:

Retirees not eligible for the following benefits: