Income Continuation Insurance
The Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) program is a voluntary self-insured disability insurance program for state employees. It provides you with income while you are temporarily or permanently unable to work due to both short- and long-term disabilities.
If you become physically or mentally disabled, ICI will replace 75% of your gross salary (up to a maximum benefit of $1,840 bi-weekly for Classified staff and $4,000 per month for Unclassified employees). Benefits are offset by payments available to you from other state, federal, or employer-sponsored programs.
For more information, you may want to consult the following information on the Department of Employee Trust Funds' web site:
- ICI information
- ICI Plan Description ET-2106
- ICI Claim Filing Instructions
- ICI Plan Contract
- If you earn over $64,000 annually, you may be eligible for Supplemental ICI
- The plan is available to all State employees under age 70 who have completed six months of service under the Wisconsin Retirement System.
- Depending on your age at the time the disability begins, the plan may continue disability payments until age 70. Benefits normally end at age 65.
Coverage as Soon as Possible: If you are a new employee and have not previously been covered under WRS (or have closed a prior WRS account by taking a separation benefit), you can apply anytime from your first day of WRS eligibility up to 30 days after completing 6 months of WRS covered employment. For example, if you began your WRS covered employment on September 1, your application must be received by March 30.
Premium Contribution for Unclassified Employees:
The University does not contribute toward the premium for Unclassified employees until completion of 12 months of WRS participation as a University/State employee. Unclassified employees who elect coverage as soon as possible pay the full monthly premium until the 13th month.
If you are an Unclassified employee and want coverage when the University contributes toward the premium, you must submit an application to your benefits coordinator anytime from your first day of employment up to 30 days after completing 12 months of WRS participation as a University/State employee. For example, if you began your WRS covered employment on September 1, your application would have to be received by September 30 of the following year.
Unclassified Employees: Income Continuation Insurance is FREE to Unclassified employees who immediately apply for coverage with a 180 calendar day (130 workday) waiting period. This means that benefits would begin after 180 calendar days have elapsed. Shorter waiting periods are offered which require employee contributions toward premiums. Complete and submit your application immediately, even though Unclassified employees new to State service have up to 13 months to enroll. It is recommended that at a minimum the free option be elected.
Employees who fail to elect coverage during the initial enrollment period are often denied when applying under evidence of insurability unless they are found by the State to be in excellent physical condition. Employees who have attempted to obtain ICI coverage under evidence of insurability have often been dismayed at the severity of the standards applied. An employee electing the 180 calendar day waiting period option can later apply for a shorter waiting period through evidence of insurability. Employees unsure of which waiting period to elect should be aware that they always have the option of changing from a shorter to a longer waiting period. Going from a longer to a shorter waiting period requires application through evidence of insurability (proof of good medical condition). Very few applications through evidence of insurability are approved.
Classified Employees: Employees who fail to elect coverage during the initial enrollment period can later apply through evidence of insurability. Often these applications are denied unless the applicant is found to be in excellent physical condition. Those who have attempted this route have often been dismayed at the severity of the standards applied. Complete and submit your application immediately, even though Classified employees new to State service have up to 7 months to enroll (employees with previous State service have only 30 days to enroll).
Classified LTEs: Classified LTEs can enroll in Income Continuation but will remain in "Category 1." Benefits begin after your designated waiting period elapses or you've exhausted your accumulated sick leave*, whichever is later. Classified employees have a minimum 30 calendar day waiting period. Unclassified employees can choose a 30-90-125 or 180 calendar day waiting period. * If you are eligible for a WRS disability benefit, you are not required to exhaust all of your sick leave. You may be eligible to use all or a portion of your sick leave balance to pay your health insurance premiums as a disability annuitant. Contact your benefits coordinator for more information.
Coverage Effective—No Prior WRS Covered Employment - Coverage as Soon as Possible: The earliest that ICI coverage can be effective is after you have completed 6 months of WRS covered employment. If your application is received timely, coverage will be effective the first of the month on or following your completion of six months of WRS covered employment, or the first of the month after your application is received, whichever is later.
University Premium Contribution for Unclassified Employees: If you elect to wait until the University contributes toward the premium, and your application is received timely, your coverage will be effective on the first of the month on or following your completion of 12 months of WRS covered University/State employment, or the first of the month after your application is received, whichever is later.
Effective—Prior University/State WRS Covered Employment
If you were previously covered under WRS for at least 6 months and have not taken a separation benefit, you must apply for ICI coverage no later than 30 days from your first day of employment to have coverage as soon as possible. Your prior WRS covered employment does not have to be with the University/State. Your ICI coverage would be effective on the first of the month following receipt of your application. If you are an Unclassified employee and have 12 months of prior University/State WRS service and have not taken a separation benefit, you are immediately eligible for University contribution toward the premium. If you do not have prior University/State service, you may enroll up to 30 days after completing 12 months of WRS service.
Within the University System or From Another State Agency
If you are transferring within the University System or from another state agency without a break in employment of more than 30 days, contact your benefits coordinator for specific enrollment requirements. Your previous ICI coverage will not continue automatically. You must submit a new application.
If you fail to apply for coverage during your initial enrollment period, you may obtain coverage by providing medical evidence of insurability to the insurance company. This is very restrictive, and you may not be allowed into the program. It is very important to enroll when initially eligible.
If you do not enroll for ICI coverage when first eligible for the employer premium contribution, you may be able to later enroll through Deferred Enrollment. Employees can apply through Deferred Enrollment by having an accumulation of sick leave at the end of any previous calendar year that exceeds 1040 hours. The Deferred Enrollment period January 1 through January 30 of any year (even if you are medically uninsurable).
Classified employees may also enroll the first time their previous year end sick leave balance exceeds 520 or 728 hours. They may also qualify the first time they accumulate a minimum of 80 hours of sick leave (prorated for part-time employment) in the previous calendar year. The calendar year period is from the first payroll in January through the last complete payroll in December.
Classified LTEs are not eligible for the ICI deferred enrollment since they do not accumulate sick leave.
Classified Employees: The monthly ICI premium for Classified employees is based on the accumulated sick leave balance at the end of the previous year and on the employee's biweekly salary. Premiums are adjusted annually beginning with the premium deducted from February earnings.
Classified employees with a balance of at least 520 hours at the end of the last complete payroll period of the calendar year will have reached a permanent plateau for future premiums. Future premiums will be calculated based on the plateau, even though subsequent use of sick leave may cause the total accumulation to drop below the plateau amount. Continued sick leave accumulation to 728 or 1,040 hours at the end of the year will move the employee to a higher plateau which will result in a further reduction of premiums.
Classified LTEs: Classified LTEs are eligible to enroll in the Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) program, but you will remain in "Category 1" since you are not eligible to earn sick leave as an LTE. Your premium will be based on your average biweekly salary. If you become disabled, you will have a 30 day waiting period before benefits are payable. If you elect not to enroll in the ICI program when eligible as an LTE, you will not have a new enrollment opportunity if you accept a permanent/project appointment without a 30-day break in employment.
Unclassified Employees: The monthly ICI premium for Unclassified employees is based on the selected waiting period and the employee's monthly salary. The monthly premiums are lower with the selection of a longer waiting period, such that selection of the 180 day waiting period has no out-of-pocket premium for the employee. An evidence of insurability application must be filed to shorten the waiting period.
Your share of monthly ICI premiums is automatically deducted from your payroll check in the same month as the coverage month. Your earnings statement will indicate your ICI participation even if you have no payroll deduction taken. The premiums are based on the waiting period you select if you are an Unclassified employee or your sick leave accumulation if you are a Classified employee. If you are a Classified employee, paid on a biweekly basis, your ICI premiums will be deducted from the first biweekly pay period of each month (the "A" pay period).
If you are an Unclassified employee paid on an annual basis (12 monthly payroll checks), your ICI premiums will be deducted each month of the year. If you are an Unclassified employee paid on an academic year basis (9 monthly payroll checks) and are expected to hold an appointment in the summer or fall semester, you will have four ICI premium deductions taken from your last payroll check of the second semester (paid June 1). The multiple deductions will provide you with continuous ICI coverage during the summer months. Premium deductions are not taken from any summer payroll checks.
To cancel your coverage, complete an Income Continuation Insurance Application and indicate cancellation by checking the appropriate box. Date and sign the application and give it to your benefits coordinator. After your benefits coordinator dates and signs the application, keep the employee copy. Once you cancel coverage, you may only reapply through medical evidence of insurability
The ICI program is authorized by Wisconsin Statute §40.62 and administered by a third party claims administrator under a contract with the Group Insurance Board. Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) covers both short- and long-term disabilities and provides you with income while you are temporarily or permanently unable to work.
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This document was last revised on December 26, 2012