Health Insurance & Prescription Drug Coverage

Civil Service/Employee Benefits Division

This will take you to an external website for the New York State Department of Civil Service/Employee Benefits Division which includes comprehensive information about the health insurance/prescription/vision & dental available to employees of Binghamton University.

Empire Plan participating providers

This will take you to an external website for the New York State Health Insurance Program with information for Empire Plan/United Healthcare enrollees.

Pre-Tax Contribution Program

Qualifying Events


Health Benefits Summaries

Visit our Benefits at a Glance page


Current Health Insurance Rates:


Option Transfer Period

The annual option transfer period is the time in which you can make certain limited changes to your NYSHIP health insurance options. Any changes that are made during this period will be effective with the following calendar year.

The types of changes that are allowed during this option transfer period are:

  • change from one NYSHIP plan to another - for example, The Empire Plan to a NYSHIP approved HMO or vice versa
  • Voluntarily cancel your insurance without a qualifying event, and
  • remove otherwise eligible dependents from your plan without a qualifying event, resulting in a change from family to individual coverage

No action is required to keep your current health insurance option.

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Pre-Tax Contribution Program

Under the pre-tax contribution program (PTCP), your share of the health insurance premium may be deducted from your wages before taxes are withheld, which may lower your taxes.

You are automatically enrolled in PTCP when you became eligible for health insurance, unless you declined. Your paycheck shows whether or not you are enrolled in PTCP.

  • If you are enrolled, your paycheck stub shows Regular Before Tax Health in the Before Tax Deductions column.
  • If you are NOT enrolled in PTCP, your paycheck stub shows Regular After Tax Health in the After Tax Deductions column. Your health insurance premium is deducted from your wages after taxes are withheld.

Under the IRS rules, if you are enrolled in PTCP, you may change your health insurance deduction during the tax year only with timely notification (within 30 days) of a designated qualifying event.

You may change your pre-tax selection annually during the Option Transfer Period.

No action is required to keep your current pre-tax status.

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Qualifying Events (for health Insurance changes)

  • A change in family status (e.g., marriage, birth, death, legal separation, divorce, only dependent child attains the maximum age for coverage)
  • You no longer live or work within your HMO's NYSHIP service area and therefore you choose another NYSHIP HMO or the Empire Plan.
  • Your spouse loses coverage due to termination of employment and you apply for coverage for your spouse under NYSHIP.
  • Your spouse has a change in employment status, which results in acquiring or losing eligibility for health insurance coverage.
  • You first become eligible for health insurance coverage after the beginning of the tax year.
  • Your employment with the State terminates or you retire.

Young Adult Option (YAO)

New York State law (Chapter 240 of the Laws of 2009) allows a young adult child up to age 30 to purchase coverage through his/her parent's group health insurance policy.

This notice provides information about NYSHIP's compliance with the law, since your health insurance coverage is provided through NYSHIP's Empire Plan options. Under the law, the young adult's coverage is subject to all terms of the group policy; however, premiums are to be paid by the young adult or his/her parent, not the employer. The premium is the full cost of individual coverage.

For more information, including enrollment, frequently asked questions/answers and rates, visit

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Last Updated: 8/17/15