Understanding the Income Continuation Insurance Plan
What is Income Continuation Insurance?
The Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) plan is an "income replacement" benefit payable if you become disabled.
ICI provides up to 75% of average monthly earnings, based on previous calendar year eligible earnings.
- Standard Coverage - Covers up to $64,000 of annual earnings with a maximum monthly benefit of $4,000.
- Supplemental Coverage - Available to employees whose earnings exceed $64,000 and covers between $64,000 and $120,000 of annual earnings. The maximum benefit is $7,500 per month. You must have standard coverage to apply for supplemental coverage.
Who is Eligible for ICI?
ICI is available to employees who participate in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS). Employees are eligible to enroll during their initial benefits enrollment period upon hire, or during the Annual ICI Deferred Enrollment period typically the end of January until March 1. Employees who become eligible for Deferred Enrollment will be notified by their human resources office regarding their enrollment opportunity.
Employees must be enrolled in the ICI plan to file a claim for benefits.
How are ICI Benefits Paid?
Before a benefit begins, you must serve an elimination period (also known as a waiting period) of at least 30 calendar days, or you must use all your sick leave up to a maximum of 130 working days, whichever is longer. You must be completely off work due to disability during this time.
Since 2016, overall ICI premiums have increased approximately 20% a year, increases are expected to continue through 2020. The annual premium increases are in place to eliminate program deficits.
Employees can voluntarily cancel coverage at any time. However, re-enrollment is not guaranteed. You would need to meet one of the deferred enrollment opportunities described based on your employment category below or provide satisfactory evidence of insurability.
ICI premiums for insured University Staff (bi-weekly) employees are updated annually based on your previous calendar year salary rounded to the next higher thousand and divided by 12 and the amount of your accumulated sick leave. The amount of sick leave accrued as of the final pay period of each calendar year is used to determine your premium in February of the following calendar year.
ICI premium category 3 is a special rate category which permits University Staff employees to qualify for employer contribution by increasing their accumulated sick leave balance by at least 80 hours in the previous calendar year. Important note: this means you increase your sick leave by at least 80 hours in the calendar year, not just have a sick leave balance of 80 hours. Premium category 3 is the only premium category that is pro-rated for part-time employees.
Insured University Staff employees who accumulate at least 520 hours of sick leave by the end of the last complete pay period of the calendar year have reached a “permanent plateau” and are placed in premium category 4. Once you reach a permanent plateau, future premiums will be determined using nothing lower than premium category 4, even though later use of sick leave may cause the total number of sick leave accumulated to drop below the plateau. Additional plateaus are reached at 728 hours (premium category 5) and 1040 hours (premium category 6). The permanent premium category plateau hours are not pro-rated for part-time employees.
If you did not elect ICI coverage when you were originally eligible, you have the option of enrolling under the following deferred enrollment opportunities:
- the first time you become eligible for special ICI category 3
- the first time you become eligible for an increase in the employer contribution towards your premium by reaching permanent plateaus, category 4 and 5
- any deferred coverage enrollment in which you are eligible for permanent plateau category 6
If you do not enroll when first eligible or when eligible for a deferred enrollment opportunity you may enroll if you are medically insurable. You complete an ICI Evidence of Insurability Application. The form asks you and your physician to answer question concerning your past and present health and coverage is not guaranteed.
Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (FA/AS/LI)
FA/AS/LI employees select a waiting period of 30, 90, 125 or 180 days. Benefits will not begin until the longer of you exhausting up to 1040 hours of accumulated sick leave or your selected waiting period.
Insured FA/AS/LI employees can elect at anytime to go to a longer elimination period by completing a new ICI Application.
If you did not enroll when originally eligible or would like to change to a shorter elimination period, you can apply by providing satisfactory medical evidence of insurability. Complete an ICI Evidence of Insurability Application, the form asks you and your physician to answer question concerning your past and present health and coverage is not guaranteed.
For more information about the ICI plan:
- Visit the UW System Employee Benefits website.
- Review the Department of Employee Trust Funds ICI booklet.
- ICI Premiums
- Let ALEX, the online personalized benefits counselor, give you an overview of the ICI plan.
- ICI Benefit Examples
- Contact your human resources office with questions.
Source: UW Service Center