Retirement Healthcare


Disability insurance is designed to replace income when you are medically certified as unable to work due to an injury or medical condition. University employees are automatically enrolled in USC basic disability plan. Consider enrolling in the USC Supplemental Disability Plan, which provides a larger percentage of your gross wages for up to 52 weeks. Additionally, USC pays for long-term disability for employees who have enrolled in the supplemental disability plan. For more information please contact the USC Office of Benefits Administration at (213) 740-6027. Note that your enrollment may be limited to November’s Open Enrollment Period.


Faculty health and dental benefits during the phased retirement will be in accordance with the university’s programs in effect at the time for full-time faculty as long as they are serving at equal to or greater than 50% effort.


Faculty Before Age 65

Faculty or their dependents who are not yet eligible for Medicare may be eligible for post-retirement health insurance through Cobra, Cal Cobra and Covered California. These alternatives extend health care coverage for those who stop work or move to a non-benefits eligible role before Medicare eligibility. To evaluate these options, factors such as the length of the coverage gap, prescription costs, and ages of the participants must be considered. Also note that to be eligible for COBRA and Cal COBRA the faculty and dependents must be enrolled in the HMO prior to retirement. Please contact Keri Marroquin for assistance, (213) 821-4572 or

Faculty After Age 65

Faculty age 65 or older should enroll in Medicare Parts A, B, and usually D at least 2-3 months before retirement to avoid possible penalties and delayed effective dates.


Faculty retiring at 65 or older should enroll in Medicare Parts A, B and D two to three months prior to retirement to avoid penalties and delays in coverage. If you have primary healthcare coverage through a working spouse you may delay enrollment until that coverage lapses. Medicare A is free. Medicare B and D are not and it is important to include the premiums as part your retirement considerations. To insure medical costs not covered, consider adding private insurance, as a Medicare supplement. These plans are sometimes referred to as “medigap” plans. Please see the Medicare website for further information.

USC Senior Care

Faculty who want to maintain affiliation with most USC medical providers in the USC Network Plan may elect USC Senior Care. This university-sponsored program, administered by USC Health Plans for former employees of USC, supplements Medicare. All plan participants must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. The program helps pay the difference between what Medicare allows for covered services and what Medicare actually pays for those services. There are no deductibles or co-payments for Medicare-approved health care services provided by USC Care Medical Group physicians and at Keck Medical Center of USC (including USC Norris Cancer Hospital) and USC Verdugo Hills hospitals. The program also includes dental and vision coverage, but does not include prescription drug medication. For prescription drug medication coverage, participants also must enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Please call USC Health Plans (213) 740-0035 or visit USC Senior Care for more information.

As stated, Medicare eligibility is a requirement for USC Senior Care. Faculty and spouses, under age 65, cannot enroll in USC Senior Care (unless they have Medicare Part A and Part B as a result of disability). To bridge gaps in coverage due to being under the age of 65, faculty may sign up for COBRA, Cal COBRA (via an HMO), or Covered California. Please contact Benefits Administration Retirement Navigator Keri Marroquin for assistance at (213) 821-4572, or

Those eligible for USC Senior Care include USC faculty and staff retirees and their spouses or registered domestic partners who are enrolled in Medicare A and B (current eligibility is age 65).

For more information on costs and benefits of USC Senior Care to compare with your current plan or another program, call (213) 740-0035 and ask to discuss USC Senior Care.

HMO Coverage

Faculty enrolled in an HMO plan, such as Kaiser, should contact the HMO customer service department 2-3 months before retirement to discuss enrolling in their Medicare Advantage Program, which is specific to HMO coverage. For post-retirement HMO information, contact USC Office of Benefits Administration Retirement Navigator, Keri Marroquin at(213)821-4572 or email

Last updated September 2020