Retirement & Benefits

Upon retirement, your coverage for health care, insurance, legal plans and the tuition waiver changes. Knowing how this affects you and your dependents and what options are available can help you plan for the future. For help planning for your retirement, view the Retirement Checklist.

Health Benefits


Your health benefits (medical, dental, prescription drug and vision) remain in effect until the last day of the final month in which you worked. After termination, you are eligible to continue your health benefits through COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986), a Federal law that allows employees who separate from employment the right to continue their current health insurance.

COBRA provides you with an opportunity to continue medical/prescription drug, dental, and vision coverage for up to 18 months if you had coverage through Case Western Reserve University health plans. A terminated employee has  60 days after the effective date of  termination or from the date of notification, whichever is later, to complete their enrollment for COBRA continuation coverage.

In most cases you must keep the same coverage and /or carrier you have currently. There are some circumstances that may allow you to elect a different coverage, however you must contact Benefits Administration to discuss your individual circumstances.

The COBRA rate is the full premium rate.  You will be responsible for paying the combined employer and employee premium amount plus an additional two percent to cover administrative costs.

You have 45 days after notifying Benefits Administration of your intent to enroll in COBRA before any payment is due.  Your first payment includes premiums back to the date your coverage terminated.  Coverage must be continuous.

Please contact Meritain Health, the COBRA administrator for Case Western Reserve, at 877.801.1500 for questions regarding COBRA payments and due dates.

Medicare Advantage Plan

Starting January 1, 2023  if you had coverage through Case Western Reserve University health plans, the university is partnering with Medical Mutual of Ohio to provide retirees over 65 years of age with a Medicare advantage plan. This new option, the MedMutual Advantage PPO plan, has all the benefits of Original Medicare (Parts A and B), plus prescription drug coverage (Part D). It is not a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan and does not pay secondary to Medicare. Claims are submitted directly to Medical Mutual for
medical care and prescription drugs.

Flexible Spending Accounts 

Contributions to a Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) end with your last paycheck. You may continue this account with post-tax dollars through the end of the year in which you retire if you elect coverage through COBRA. If you elect to no longer contribute to your account, you may only seek reimbursement for expenses that were incurred during your active employment with CWRU.

According to IRS regulations, the remaining balance of Health Care Spending Account and Dependent Care Spending Account contributions after the end of the plan year are subject to forfeit (known as the “use or lose” rule).  You have until June 30 of the following year to submit your claims for reimbursement (e.g., claims incurred during 2022 must be submitted by June 30, 2023).


Group Life Insurance

The Group Life Insurance Plan ends on the employee’s effective date of termination. You may choose to have your policy converted to an individual life insurance policy. However, the policy must be converted within thirty (30) days of the effective date of termination.

MetLife Home and Auto Insurance

MetLife Home and Auto insurance policies are portable, meaning that you can continue participating after your separation of employment.  If you are participating in any of the programs and wish to continue your coverage, contact MetLife directly at 800.438.6388 (800.GET.MET8) to set up the continuation of your premium payments.

Retirement Plans

If you are in the Deferred Vested Pension Plan (Plan B), it is payable at age 65; however, if you are age 55 or older and have worked at least 15 years, you have the option of taking “early” retirement with a reduced pension. Also, if you made contributions into the prior Plan B Supplemental Contributory Plan, these funds will be included in your Retirement payout at age 65.

You may withdraw your contributions from your Plan C Supplemental Retirement Annuity (SRA) Tax-Deferred Plan after you have terminated employment. However, in addition to being subject to the federal tax there is also a 10 percent tax imposed on early withdrawals (those withdrawals made before age 59.5).  A minimum withdrawal of these funds must be made before age 70.5 and each year thereafter.  

If you have any questions concerning your SRA account you may contact your Retirement Carrier directly.

Vanguard: 800.523.1188

TIAA-CREF: 800.842.2776

Hyatt Legal Plans

Legal service coverage through Hyatt Legal Plan will end on the last day of your final month of employment. If you wish to continue the coverage, contact Hyatt Legal Plans at 800.821.6400 for information about individual coverage.

Tuition Waiver

If you, your spouse or eligible dependent(s) are currently enrolled in classes at Case Western Reserve and receive a tuition waiver, the waiver will continue to be effective until the end of the semester as long as you have worked through: October 15th of the Fall Semester, March 15th of the Spring Semester, or July 15th of the Summer Semester.

For further questions, contact the HR Service Center at or (216) 368-6964.