2017 Benelect Guide - Life

The purpose of this guide (print or view pdf version) is to provide you with an overview of Benelect—the flexible benefits program at CWRU. This is not intended to be a comprehensive description of the benefit plans. Details of individual benefit plans are provided in legal plan documents and contracts that govern the operation of the program. Specific coverage information is contained in the individual summary plan descriptions available from Benefits Administration (320 Crawford Hall). Employees are responsible for selecting and using their benefits prudently and in the most cost-effective manner. Under no circumstances are the statements contained in these policies to be considered a contract of employment, an obligation, or guarantee on the part of the university. Please call 216-368-6964 or e-mail AskHR@case.edu with any questions, comments, or concerns that you may have.


Life insurance affords your family important financial security. The university provides benefits-eligible faculty and staff with $20,000 of group term life insurance at no cost to you. Under Benelect, you may purchase additional life insurance, and the university pays for a share of your coverage.

No matter how much personal life insurance you choose, your coverage also will provide you with an equal amount of accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) coverage. The AD&D benefit is payable to you in certain types of accidents or to your beneficiary if you die as a result of an accident.

View the Life Insurance Certificate of Coverage - Faculty, Key Administration and Senior Staff (pdf) or the Life Insurance Certificate of Coverage - Exempt and Non-exempt Staff (pdf)

Additional Life Insurance

If you want more than the basic $20,000 coverage provided by the university, the cost for additional coverage is based on multiples of your salary and your age as of October 31 of the current year. You may choose an amount from these options:

  1. One-times salary
  2. One 1/2-times salary
  3. Two-times salary
  4. Two 1/2-times salary
  5. Three-times salary
  6. $50,000

View the Supplemental Life and AD/D rates (pdf)

The maximum amount of coverage you can have under Benelect is $500,000. If you choose an amount greater than $20,000, your basic coverage is part of (not in addition to) the amount. That means the university pays for your first $20,000 of basic life insurance. If you choose $50,000 of coverage, for example, you pay for only $30,000. The benefit is reduced by 35 percent at age 65, and further reduced to 50 percent of the original amount at age 70 and the premium will reflect the reduced benefit.

Evidence of Insurability

If you were enrolled in Benelect last year and want to increase your coverage by any amount, you must provide evidence of insurability by completing the Supplemental Life Insurance Evidence of Insurability form (pdf) . Changes in the amounts of insurance will take effect on the first day of the policy month coincident with or next following the date stated in the notice determined by Consumers Life Insurance Company.

Naming a Beneficiary

You should have a beneficiary designation (pdf) on file with Benefits Administration. If not, forms are available in the Benefits office. If you die while covered under Benelect and have not named a beneficiary (or named beneficiary dies before you), your benefit will be paid to your estate.

Accelerated Benefit

Personal life insurance includes a provision allowing for an accelerated insurance benefit to be paid if you become terminally ill. This benefit is payable if you are suffering from an incurable, progressive, and medically recognized disease and are not expected to survive more than six months beyond the date of the request for this benefit. You may request up to 50 percent of the life insurance coverage as an accelerated benefit, to a maximum of $150,000.

Imputed Income

Life insurance is a tax-free benefit in amounts up to $50,000. The Internal Revenue Service requires you to pay income tax on the value of any amount exceeding $50,000. The IRS-determined value is called "imputed income" and is calculated from the government's Uniform Premium Table I.