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Essential Benefits and Services

Health Benefits

State health benefits are administered through the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS). Employees are eligible for health benefits if they have a permanent appointment or a limited-term appointment of more than six months (at least six months plus one day); and a time base of half-time or more.

Permanent Intermittent employees are eligible for health benefits after working more than 480 hours during a six-month control period.

The State pays a portion of your premium, referred to as the Employer Contribution. The amount you receive is negotiated through the collective bargaining process for (union) represented employees, and determined by the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) for excluded employees.

You have 60 calendar days from the date of your initial appointment to enroll in a health plan. Your coverage becomes effective the first day of the month following the date that your Personnel Office or Health Benefits Officer receives your completed enrollment form.

The cost to you will be the difference between the monthly premium of the plan you choose and the employer contribution. Your share of the premium is paid through pre-tax payroll deductions.  You may enroll in any of the health plans offered by the State where you live or work. 

If you have qualifying group health coverage through another source, such as your spouse, you may choose to receive cash in lieu of the State's health benefit. This additional cash is treated as taxable income.

You may enroll in the CoBen Cash Option when you are hired, during the annual open enrollment period, or when you gain other qualifying group health coverage.

Refer to FlexElect Medical and Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts for details on using non-taxable payroll deductions to pay for certain medical expenses that are not covered by your State health benefits.

If you have questions on Health Benefits, contact your department's Personnel Office.

Click for More Information and Forms on the CalPERS Website

Dental Benefits

Employees who have a permanent or limited-term appointment lasting at least six months and a day and a time base of half time or more, are eligible for State-sponsored dental insurance from one of several plans.

Eligible employees can enroll within the first 60 days of employment eligibility, or during the annual open enrollment period. Voluntary changes in coverage are permitted during open enrollment or based on a permitting event outside of open enrollment.

If you are eligible for the State's indemnity plan, Delta Dental, the State will pay 75% of the monthly premium. If you enroll in a State prepaid dental plan, the State will pay 100% of the monthly premium.

Most newly hired rank and file employees are only eligible for a prepaid dental plan during the first 24 months of State service.

If you have questions on Dental Benefits and your eligibility, contact your department's Personnel Office.

More Information on Dental Benefits

Form

​Vision Benefits

Most State employees appointed to a permanent position that's half time or more and their dependents are automatically enrolled in the State's vision benefits.

The effective date of coverage is based on when your Personnel Office processes the Personnel Action Request (PAR) document, which is a transaction to record your appointment.

Please note that Permanent Intermittent Employees (PIE) must complete an enrollment form to enroll in vision benefits after working 480 hours in a specific control period.

If you have questions on Vision Benefits and your eligibility, contact your department's Personnel Office.

More Information on Vision Benefits

Vision Benefits Form

​Consolidated Benefits (CoBen)

Rather than receiving three separate State contributions for medical, dental, and vision benefits, employees eligible for Consolidated Benefits (CoBen) receive a single monthly contribution to pay for all three benefits.

If the CoBen allowance exceeds the total cost of the medical, dental, and vision plans an eligible employee has chosen, the employee receives the excess amount as additional taxable income each month.

If the CoBen allowance is less than the total cost of the benefit plans the employee has chosen, the employee pays the difference through pre-tax payroll deductions.

All excluded employees (classified as managerial, supervisory, confidential, exempt) are under CoBen. For rank-and-file employees, CoBen eligibility is determined through the collective bargaining process.

Ask your Personnel Office or check your bargaining unit contract if you are unsure of your eligibility for CoBen. Currently, employees in Bargaining Units 2, 7, 8, 16, 17, 18, and 19 are under CoBen.

Cash Option

Employees with medical and dental insurance through another source, such as a spouse or domestic partner, may elect to receive cash in lieu of enrollment in a State medical and dental benefit.

This additional cash is treated as taxable income. Enrollment in the cash option is permissive at the time of hire, during the annual open enrollment period, or based on a family status change. Enrollment in the cash option for dental only is not allowed.

If you have questions on CoBen or Cash Option, contact your department's Personnel Office.

More Information on Consolidated Benefits (CoBen)

CoBen Form

FlexElect Medical and Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts

Employees who pay out-of-pocket medical and dependent care expenses during the year may benefit from a FlexElect Reimbursement Account.

Medical Reimbursement Account

Most State employees are eligible. With a FlexElect Medical Reimbursement Account, you can use payroll deductions to pay for medical expenses that are not covered by your health, dental, or vision plan.

Dependent Care Reimbursement Account

A FlexElect Dependent Care Reimbursement Account lets you use payroll deductions to pay for day care expenses for an eligible child or parent. When you enroll in a reimbursement account, you specify an amount to be deducted from your paychecks each month for a plan year. These monthly deductions are not counted as taxable income.

Your funds are held in the FlexElect Program Fund, which you use to reimburse yourself for covered expenses that you and eligible dependents incur during the plan year. In order to be reimbursed funds from your reimbursement account, you must submit a reimbursement account claim form by a specified deadline.

Cash Option

Employees with medical and dental insurance through another source, such as a spouse or domestic partner, may elect to receive cash in lieu of enrollment in a State medical and dental benefit. This additional cash is treated as taxable income.

Enrollment in the cash option is permissive at the time of hire, during the annual open enrollment period, or based on a family status change.

If you have questions on a FlexElect Reimbursement Account or Cash Option, contact your departments Personnel Office.

More Information on Reimbursement Accounts

Cash Option Form

Reimbursement Form

Medical Provider Network - Physician and Medical Facility Designation

In the event of an industrial injury or illness, State of California employees will receive treatment through the Medical Provider Network (MPN).

As an alternative, you may designate your regular primary care physician to treat you in the event of an industrial injury or illness by notifying your employer in writing before an injury or illness occurs. The physician you designate must meet specific criteria and agree ahead of time to treat you in the event of an industrial injury or illness.

If you have questions on the Medical Provider Network and Physician and Medical Facility Designation, contact your department's Personnel Office.

More Information on Medical Provider Network

Beneficiary Designation - Death Benefits

Active and retired California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) members have death benefit coverage. Upon the death of a covered employee or retiree, their beneficiary may be eligible for a monthly allowance and/or a lump-sum payment of benefits.

It is recommended that employees and retirees have a current Beneficiary Designation form on file with CalPERS.

More Information and Forms on the CalPERS Website

120-Day Death Benefits

Under the 120-day death benefit, departments are required to continue to pay the employer contributions for a covered employee's spouse, domestic partner and/or other eligible family members for up to 120 days following an employee's death.

The 120-day period is to provide the family a grace period while the CalPERS determines if the spouse or other family members are eligible for a survivor's benefit.

Military Service Declaration

Based on military service, you may qualify for certain benefits during your State of California career under the Military and Veterans Code. In order to determine if you qualify for benefits, please complete the Military Service Declaration form and give it to your department's Personnel Office.

Military Service Declaration Form

Documents That May Be Requested By Your Department

There are certain documents to be completed by newly-hired employees, such as:

Obtain the following documents from your department's Personnel Office:

  • Disability Questionnaire
  • Electronic Communication and Software Policy User Consent Form (typically relates to computer use and communication)
  • Emergency Contact Information Form
  • Incompatible Activity Statement (forbidden activity)
  • Nepotism Policy and Verification of Receipt
  • Sexual Harassment Information Form
  • Vehicle Safety Belt Use Certificate (if applicable)

For more information on these documents, contact your department's Personnel Office. There may be additional documents to be completed that are directly related to your job.

Employee Action Request (EAR)

New State employees are required to complete an Employee Action Request (EAR) form to provide mandatory information to their department. Current employees can use the form to update old information.

Some of the things you can do:

  • Designate or change Federal or State tax allowances (withholdings)
  • Provide or change your name
  • Provide or change your address
  • Provide or change your phone number
  • Provide or correct your birth date

For more information on the Employee Action Request, contact your department's Personnel Office.

Form

Oath of Allegiance

Every State employee, except legally employed non-citizens, must complete the Oath of Allegiance before entering the duties of State employment. Non-citizens are required to complete the portion of the form regarding Declaration of Permission to Work.

For more information on the Oath of Allegiance, contact your department's Personnel Office.

Oath of Allegiance Form

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