SURS Facts – College Insurance Program (CIP)

General Information
Full time active community college employees pay 0.5% of gross earnings to help fund a health plan for retirees of community colleges, the College Insurance Program (CIP). SURS acts as agent in this regard by forwarding the 0.5% payment to Central Management Services (CMS), a division of Illinois state government that oversees such benefits.

CMS determines the benefits, premiums, and qualifications for the CIP, guided by the provisions of the law found in Illinois Compiled Statutes, Chap. 5, Act 375. Changes in this coverage and premium rates will be made by CMS as needed. SURS community college retirees may be eligible for this plan if their employment was considered to be full time.

Enrollment for eligible community college retirees is part of the SURS retirement process and decisions about participation may be made at retirement time. Any premiums will be deducted from the monthly SURS annuity check. Details about this coverage may be obtained by contacting SURS.

Employees at the City Colleges of Chicago do not participate in the CIP. Members who retire from the City Colleges of Chicago should contact their employer’s insurance office for information about health insurance benefits that may be available.

Minimum requirement is full-time employment at one of the participating public community colleges in Illinois.

  • SURS-covered employer must verify
  • City Colleges of Chicago do NOT participate
  • Must be eligible to receive monthly benefits

Community College Insurance Includes

Health – Monthly premium applies
Prescription – Currently no separate premium
Vision – Currently no separate premium
Dental – Currently no separate premium
Life – None

Enrollment Initial enrollment in the College Insurance Plan is limited to only four instances.
  1. Upon retirement with SURS (within 60 days)
  2. When you or your dependent turns age 65 (within 60 days)
  3. When you or your dependent experience an involuntary loss of other insurance coverage (within 60 days)
  4. Annual open enrollment period
If you elected not to participate in the College Insurance Program at retirement, or you enrolled but later terminated the coverage, you may enroll or re-enroll in CIP under three instances:
  1. When you or your dependent turns age 65 (within 60 days)
  2. When you or your dependent experience an involuntary loss of other insurance coverage (within 60 days)
  3. Annual open enrollment period
Premiums All premiums, if applicable, will be deducted from your annuity payment unless the cost of the premium exceeds the benefit amount, in which case you will be billed directly. Qualified members in the SURS Retirement Savings Plan will be billed directly. Insurance premiums and coverage information is available at:



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All aspects of administration of the State Universities Retirement System (SURS), including but not limited to benefit calculation and payment, must comply with state and federal law. No employee of SURS has the authority to bind the System to take action contrary to law, even in the event of misstatement of fact or law. Furthermore, the information contained herein states SURS’ current understanding of the law which could change over time due to court opinions, statutory changes, or other legal matters or interpretations (e.g., attorney general opinions). SURS is required under law to correct any mistake in benefit amount, even after payments have begun. This document was created for general information only. Any information provided by SURS does not represent personal tax or legal advice, either express or implied. You are encouraged to seek professional legal and/or tax advice for your personal income tax questions and for all other legal purposes.