Retiree Medical Benefits

If you are enrolled in a GW Medical plan on your retirement date, you will be given the option to continue medical benefits for yourself and your covered dependents.

The medical benefit you or your dependents will be be offered depends on the age of each covered individual:

  • Retirees or dependents who are under the age of 65 will be offered coverage under the GW Retiree Health Savings Plan (HSP)
  • Retirees or dependents who are age 65 or older will be offered services and benefits through Via Benefits, a Medicare Exchange company

If you enroll in a retiree medical benefit, you also retain access to Health Advocate, a free service available to assist you and your family members with any healthcare related questions or concerns.

Please note: in order to remain eligible for GW Retiree medical benefits, you must enroll in the appropriate medical benefit (either the GW Retiree HSP or a medical plan through Via benefits) on your retirement from GW. If you do not enroll in a retiree medical benefit on your retirement, or you later waive your retiree medical benefit, you will no longer be eligible to re-enroll in the medical benefit in the future.


The GW Retiree HSP (PDF), provided by UnitedHealthcare (UHC), is available to retirees or dependents who are under the age of 65. 

The plan covers in- and out-of-network services. There is no need to select a Primary Care Physician (PCP) or to obtain a referral. It's as simple as visiting a practitioner from UHC's vast network for most services. You are not responsible for handling paperwork (such as claims and pre-notifications) for services rendered within the network.

This comprehensive plan includes:

  • No primary care, specialist and hospital copayments
  • In-network child and adult wellness exams are covered at 100% 
  • All other services (excluding in-network preventive care) will apply to the annual deductible; once you meet the deductible, the plan will cover 80% of covered services, and 100% after your annual out-of-pocket maximum is reached
  • Option to establish a Health Savings Account (HSA) for tax-deductible contributions
  • Behavioral health coverage
  • See a doctor from the convenience of your own home with UHC's Virtual Visits (PDF).

Preferred Labs and Freestanding Facilities

For lower costs use preferred labs and freestanding facilities (PDF) for outpatient services. UnitedHealthcare's preferred labs are LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics. 

Prescription Coverage

When you enroll in the GW Retiree HSP, you are also provided with prescription drug coverage through CVS Caremark.

You have access to prescription medications through both retail pharmacies and a mail-order program.

  • Preventive medications (PDF) are covered at 100% (deductible and coinsurance do not apply).
  • Non-preventive drugs will be covered after you meet your medical plan deductible, after which the plan will cover 80% of non-preventive drugs costs, and 100% after your annual out-of-pocket maximum is reached.
  • More details about the benefit are available on the HSP Prescription Benefit page

Additional Resources

GW Retirees and their dependents who are age 65 or older are offered services and benefits through the Via Benefits Medicare Exchange.

Via Benefits offers a variety of plans to supplement your Original Medicare (Part A and B):

  • Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap)
  • Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans, and;
  • Part D Prescription Drug plans.

A Via Benefits benefit advisor will help guide you through your options and answer your questions. You will also be able to take advantage of our easy-to-use online tools to help you evaluate the plans available. You can use those online tools to:

  • Find plans for all Medicare product types (Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement Insurance and Part D Prescription Drug Plans)
  • See quotes for dental and vision products
  • Estimate out-of-pocket expenses for your current medications
  • Compare plans side-by-side

Catastrophic Drug Cost Reimbursement

GW provides retirees and their dependents enrolled in a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan through Via Benefits with a Catastrophic Drug Coverage reimbursement program (PDF), which is available to reimburse out of pocket prescription costs that exceed the annual Medicare catastrophic drug cost level. This reimbursement benefit is administered by Via Benefits.

Health Reimbursment Account

Retired faculty members (only) who are enrolled in a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan through Via Benefits are also eligible for a $2400 annual contribution from GW to a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) during the first 8 years following your retirement. This account is administered by Via Benefits, and funds can be used to reimburse your Medicare plan premiums or other eligible out of pocket healthcare costs.

Via Benefits Enrollment

To make your first contact with Via Benefits as smooth as possible, please take the following steps before calling Via Benefits:

  • Enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. Via Benefits can provide some information, but cannot help you enroll in a Medicare supplemental plan until you are enrolled in Original Medicare. You can enroll in Original Medicare through the Social Security Administration, or call 1 (800) 772-1213  or 1 (800) 325-0778 (TTY).
  • Gather a list of your current prescriptions and the names of any doctors or facilities you currently use that you would like to continue seeing.
  • Consider the type and features of your coverage that are important to you, such as access to your current doctors, low monthly premiums or low out-of-pocket costs.
  • Once you have taken these steps, we encourage you to schedule a call with a Via Benefits benefit advisor. These appointments are important, as they give you the opportunity to ask questions and get the information you need. You can schedule your appointment online or by calling 1 (855) 232-5748 (TTY: 711).
  • Via Benefits can begin to assist you 90 days before your active coverage with GW ends. For example, if you plan to retire on May 16, your active coverage will continue through May 31, and Via Benefits can assist you as early as March 2.

Additional Resources