What is ASHI?
ASHI refers to the After Service Health Insurance offered under the UNHQ health insurance programme. After-service health insurance coverage is optional for eligible former staff members and their dependants. It is available only as a continuation, without interruption between active service and retirement status, of previous active-service coverage in a contributory health insurance plan of the United Nations.
Below you will find a brief summary of ASHI eligibility requirements for retiring staff members. For more exhaustive information, please refer to ST/AI/2007/3.
- Must be a staff member administered through the UN Secretariat or an affiliated UN entity (UNDP, UNICEF, UNOPS, UNFPA, etc). Staff members retiring from the liaison offices of some UN System organizations who were covered through the Direct Billing Programme are also eligible for ASHI coverage.
- Must be at least 55 years old or over
- Must be enrolled in a UN Health Insurance plan at the time of retirement
- Must elect to receive a monthly pension benefit. The pension may be deferred up to full retirement age, but withdrawal settlements make a retiring staff member ineligible for ASHI.
- Must have at least 10 years of health insurance participation under an eligible contract for subsidized ASHI participation. If less than 10 years of health insurance participation but more than 5 years of health insurance participation under an eligible contract and the staff member was hired before 1st July 2007, the staff member is eligible for unsubsidized ASHI participation until the 10-year requirement is met. For those hired on or after 1st July 2007, the eligibility requirement is 10 years under an eligible contract for ASHI participation and for subsidy. This means that they cannot continue their insurance coverage under ASHI unless they have accumulated 10 years of insurance participation at the time of retirement while employed under an eligible contract.
- Staff members and dependants granted a disability benefit by the UNJSPF (age and participation requirements are waived in these cases)
Important Consideration: Please note that, the participatory years under the limited duration appointment are not included in the calculation of eligibility as the rules state enrollment in a UN contributory health insurance plan by a staff member under an ALD appointment shall not be counted for the purpose of determining eligibility for coverage under the UNHQ’s After Service Health Insurance programme.
How to file a claim
As all claim processes for active staff as well as retirees are administered and processed by the respective Third-Party Administrators (TPAs), we kindly refer you to your TPA member page in order to access information related to the claim processes and requirements. Please find below a list of the member pages for the different plans:
Member login for Empire Blue Cross PPO
Member login for Aetna PPO
Member login for Cigna Dental PO
Member login for UN MIP
Member login for UN WWP
Understanding Medicare Part B for US-based plan participants
Eligible retirees (age 65) must join Medicare Part B
Eligible retirees (age 65) can join Medicare Part A
- Retirees are expected to join as soon as they become eligible
- The UN reimburses the approved premium amount for Medicare Part B
- Retirees eligible for Medicare Part B will have claims adjudicated as if they are enrolled in Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B is mandatory for all eligible retirees and their dependants enrolled in the UN After Service Health Insurance (ASHI) plan
- US citizens of 65 years are eligible
- US residents of 65 years may be eligible
- Part A if you have 10 years of contributions to Social Security
- Part B if you lived in the US continuously for a 5-year period
What if you do not meet the eligibility criteria?
- Submit Medicare ineligibility form, notice from the Social Security Administration (SSA) indicating ineligibility, and copy of Permanent Resident card or passport (including visa pages) to the Health and Life Insurance Section (HLIS)
- Retirees that are ineligible for Medicare Part B will not have claims adjudicated as if they are enrolled in Part B, as long as they submit the documents indicated above to the HLIS
How do I apply?
- If you are entitled to US Social Security benefits you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B unless you opt out
- If you are not entitled to US Social Security benefits you can apply by contacting your local Social Security Administration Office
- You may apply by contacting your local Social Security Administration Office
Do I have to join Medicare Part D?
- Do not join Medicare Part D as US-based medical plans, Aetna, Empire Blue Cross and HIP, have a comparative prescription plan
Coordination of benefits and claims
I am covered under an active plan, but my spouse is age 65, what do we do?
- If you and your spouse are covered under a UN active plan, your spouse does not have to enroll in Medicare Part B until you retire
- Upon your retirement, your spouse must immediately apply for Medicare Part B
- If the Social Security Administration (SSA) office requires a Verification of Employment Letter, submit the document to the Health and Life Insurance Section (HLIS) for completion
Do I have to file claim forms with Medicare and Aetna or Empire Blue Cross?
- If your medical provider participates in either the Aetna or Empire Blue Cross networks and accepts Medicare, your medical provider will file the claim forms on your behalf.
Reimbursement of Medicare Part B premiums
Submit the following documents to firstname.lastname@example.org and the authorized amount will be deposited into your bank account:
- Copy of your Medicare Part B card
- Medicare Part B Reimbursement Form
- Letter or notice from SSA indicating your Medicare premium amount
- Your current bank account details (a copy of a voided cheque is useful for verification)
Understanding Medicare Part B for non-US based plan participants
Participants in the UN Worldwide Plan are not required to enroll in Medicare Part B.
Medicare Part B
Does HLIS provide in-person client services during the COVID-19 pandemic?
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, HLIS cannot offer in-person client service. The Client Service desk (Room FF-300) will be closed to staff members and retirees to protect both the clients we serve and our HLIS colleagues.
How can retirees contact HLIS during the COVID-19 pandemic?
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, HLIS cannot offer in-person client service. To guarantee access to excellent client service, we are pleased to inform you that retirees and surviving family members can reach HLIS through email at email@example.com and at a dedicated phone line for ASHI: +1 917 367 9727.
I retired in the US, but I am now moving abroad. Do I have to wait two years before switching to the UN Worldwide Plan (UN WWP)?
In cases of change of country of residence, the two year wait period does not apply. You may request to switch to the UN Worldwide Plan in writing when leaving the US for a long period of time. Please note that you will need to provide an overseas address.
Is long-term care coverage for those no longer able to live alone provided by the UNHQ-administered health insurance plans?
None of the UNHQ-administered health insurance plans, Aetna, Empire Blue Cross, HIP and UN WWP, provide long-term care insurance or long-term care services. Individuals must make their own arrangements for finding and/or financing such care and services as the plans do not contain such benefits.
As a retiree, which section do I contact for a change of address or a change to my health insurance coverage?
You must provide written notice to the Health and Life Insurance Service (HLIS) with request for any changes. Information relating to insurance should not be sent to the Pension Fund. However, change of address request must be sent to both the HLIS and the Pension Fund, since these two systems are not electronically linked in any way. Any request for changes must be made by the primary insured and not any other person, unless we are provided with a Power of Attorney authorization to do so.
Can I stay in ASHI when re-employed by the United Nations?
No, a post-retirement appointee who returns to service and re-enters the Pension Fund as a contributing participant, or a surviving dependant (spouse and/or child) who enters the Pension Fund as a contributing participant, must discontinue his or her After Service Health Insurance coverage and enroll in the health plan as an active staff member.
Do you issue Life Insurance Certificates?
Yes, the HLIS issues Life Insurance Certification for After Service Life Insurance participants (retired staff members).