Officers - Term Life Insurance

Life insurance can provide valuable financial protection and Columbia University offers you the choice of different levels of coverage to help meet your needs. Columbia offers two term life insurance plans: the Basic Term Life Insurance Plan and the Optional Term Life Insurance Plan. Both plans are insured and administered by Cigna.

Take advantage of the one-time opportunity to enroll in:

• Optional Life Insurance without providing Evidence of Insurability for amounts up to the Guaranteed Issue Amount.  

• Spouse/Same-Sex Domestic Partner Life Insurance up to $50,000 without having to provide Evidence of Insurability. 

Basic Term Life Insurance Plan

The Basic Term Life Insurance Plan is provided automatically by Columbia University at no cost to you. You will automatically receive Basic Term Life Insurance of one times your Annual Benefits Salary, up to $50,000.

The Basic Term Life Insurance Plan pays a lump sum benefit to your beneficiary in the event of your death while actively employed by Columbia University.

The Plan can also pay a living benefit. If you become terminally ill, you may elect to have the Plan pay out a benefit while you are still living. Any amount you receive will reduce the benefit paid to your beneficiary.

Optional Term Life Insurance Plan

You may elect additional amounts of coverage of one, two, three, four, five or six times your Annual Benefits Salary up to a maximum of $1,750,000, including your Basic Term Life Insurance coverage amount. The additional amounts of coverage are paid with post-tax dollars.

The benefit will be determined using your Annual Benefits Salary rounded to the next highest $1,000. You will see your personal monthly premiums on the CU Benefits Enrollment System based on your age. Go to CU Benefits Enrollment System to add or update beneficiaries at any time during your employment.

We encourage you to use the tool, “Determine My Life Insurance Needs,” also available on the CU Benefits Enrollment System.

Monthly Cost of Coverage

You pay a monthly premium for each $1,000 of coverage. Your premium is based on your age as of January 1:



Montly Cost of Coverage
AgeMonthly cost per $1,000 AgeMonthly cost per $1,000
Less than 250.029 50 to 540.139
25 to 290.038 55 to 59
30 to 340.048 60 to 640.396
35 to 390.060 65 to 69
40 to 440.068 70 to 740.844
45 to 490.089 75 or older1.091


How to Calculate Your Optional Term Life Monthly Premium Cost

Example: An employee, age 41, with an Annual Benefits Salary of $40,000, elects Optional Term Life Insurance of 3x salary ($120,000):

Amount of Optional Term Life Insurance    $120,000
Divide by 1,000                                               120
Rate @ age 41, from table above                 x 0.068
Your total monthly premium                        = $8.16 


Evidence of Insurability

You must provide Evidence of Insurability (EOI) and be approved by Cigna if:

  • You are newly hired and elect Optional Term Life Insurance coverage in excess of 3x your Annual Benefits Salary or $1,000,000 Guaranteed Issue Amount, whichever is less;
  • You did not elect Optional Term Life Insurance previously and want to elect this coverage during Benefits Open Enrollment;
  • You wish to increase the level of your coverage by more than 1x your salary or beyond the Guaranteed Issue Amount during Benefits Open Enrollment.

If Evidence of Insurability applies to you, the CU Benefits Enrollment System will guide you through what to do next. Evidence of Insurability forms can also be printed using from the CU Benefits Enrollment System once the election has been made. Send the completed form directly to Cigna. 

Dependent Life Insurance

Dependent Life Insurance provides a benefit to you in the case of the death of your spouse, your same-sex domestic partner or your dependent children up to age 26. You pay the full cost of this benefit.
Coverage choices:
  • Spouse/Same-Sex Domestic Partner Life Insurance – $10,000, $30,000, $50,000 or $100,000 of coverage.
    Note: You cannot elect Dependent Life Insurance greater than your own total life insurance value. 
  • Your spouse/same-sex domestic partner must provide Evidence of Insurability if you elect spouse/same-sex domestic partner coverage of $100,000.
  • Child Life Insurance – $10,000 for each dependent child; you pay one premium rate, regardless of the number of children in your family.


Dependent Life Insurance Coverage
Spouse/Same-Sex Domestic Partner Life Insurance$1.50 per month$4.50 per month$7.50 per month$15.00 per month
Child Life Insurance$0.50 per monthn/an/an/a