If you have qualifying group health and/or dental insurance through a spouse, domestic partner, parent, or another source, you have the option to receive cash in lieu of your state-sponsored health and/or dental benefits. Qualifying group health coverage includes health coverage that provides minimum value as established by the federal Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (ACA) and is maintained by an employer or employee organization. All state California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) health plans currently meet the law’s minimum value standards.
The ACA establishes a minimum value standard of benefits of a health plan. For a qualifying group health plan to meet the ACA’s minimum value standards, the plan must cover at least 60 percent of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan. Employees may refer to their plan’s Summary of Benefits and Coverage document to determine if their coverage meets the law’s minimum value standards.
Employees enrolled in individual coverage, such as Tricare, Medicare, Medi-Cal, and Covered California, are not eligible to receive cash in lieu of other health coverage, even if the coverage provides minimum value.
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During open enrollment, eligible employees may:
Enroll or re-enroll in a Cash Option.
Cancel your Cash Option.
Permanent-intermittent employees who want to continue receiving the Cash Option must re-enroll annually, during open enrollment. If you don't want to make any changes to your Cash Option you don't need to do anything unless you are a permanent-intermittent employee. Open enrollment forms must be signed and submitted to your personnel office no later than October 9, 2015.
Enrollments and changes made during open enrollment will be effective January 1, 2016. If you enroll or re-enroll during open, you have until December 31, 2015 to cancel or make changes to your enrollment.
2016 FlexElect Handbook
Cash Option Enrollment Authorization - STD 701C (PDF)
Depending on which cash option you enroll in, you'll receive the following:
$128/month in lieu of health benefits;
$12/month in lieu of dental benefits; or
$140/month in lieu of health and dental benefits.
This money is treated as taxable income and is reported on your W-2 statement for the tax year when you receive payment. Cash option payments are not considered compensation for retirement purposes.
This plan applies to employees in Bargaining Units 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, and 21. Excluded Employees and Employees in Bargaining Units 2, 7, 8, 16, 17, 18, and 19: You're covered by Consolidated Benefits (CoBen) and your cash option is available through CoBen, not this plan. Contact your personnel office for information and forms to enroll in a CoBen cash option.
The cash option is designed to expand your benefit options, not limit or decrease important health and/or dental coverage for you and your family. Accordingly, it's important to make sure your health and dental needs are met before you enroll in a cash option. Here are some factors to consider when making your enrollment decision.
You're eligible to enroll in a cash option if you have a permanent position that is half- time or more. If you have a limited term (LT) or temporary (TAU)position, you're eligible if you have a mandatory right of return to a permanent position that is half-time or more.
Your first opportunity to enroll in a cash option is within 60 days after becoming "newly eligible" for these benefits. However, for many employees the typical time to enroll is during the annual Fall open enrollment period.
Besides the annual open enrollment period, you also have the opportunity to enroll in a cash option within 60 days after becoming "newly eligible." Newly eligible events are as follows:
If you're newly eligible and want to enroll, you must submit enrollment forms to your personnel office within 60 days after becoming newly eligible. Correctly completed forms received at the SCO by the tenth of the month are effective the 1st of the following month (except when the tenth is on a weekend or holiday, in which case the cut-off date will be on the next regular workday).
If you're newly eligible, your last possible effective date of participation in the 2016 plan year is December 1, 2016. For your enrollment to be effective December 1, 2016, the SCO must receive your enrollment form by November 10, 2016. Forms received after that date will be processed for the 2017 plan year.
You can't change or cancel your enrollment during the plan year unless there is a change in your status, called a "permitting event." See Changes in status ("permitting events") for a complete list of "permitting events."
If you currently are enrolled in a cash option and want to discontinue it for following plan year, you must complete a Cash Option Enrollment Authorization (STD. 701C) - PDF and submit it to your personnel office during open enrollment.
If you currently are enrolled in a cash option and want to make other changes such as adding eligible dependents and/or another cash option, you must complete an enrollment document and submit it to your personnel office during open enrollment.
If you enroll in a cash option, a $1.00 fee is deducted from your after-tax salary each month. This fee covers administrative costs of the program.
If you're in Bargaining Unit 6, you may not enroll in the cash option for dental benefits. This restriction is set by the union's Benefit Trust. However, you may enroll in the cash option for health benefits.
If you're covered by Consolidated Benefits (CoBen), our cash option is available through CoBen, not this plan. CoBen covers excluded employees and bargaining units 2, 7, 8, 16, 17, 18, and 19. Contact your personnel office for information and forms to enroll in a CoBen cash option.
If you're a permanent-intermittent employee and want to receive cash in lieu of your health and/or dental benefits, you must enroll each plan year you want to participate. You must complete the enrollment form (STD. 701C) during open enrollment, or as "newly eligible" after open enrollment but prior to January 1.
In order to receive the cash payment, you also must meet all the following criteria:
Lump sum payment: If you enroll in a cash option for health and/or dental benefits as a permanent-intermittent employee, you will receive your payment in a lump sum. The amount is for the period of January through June; you are not eligible for the cash option for the July through December period. After June 30, 2016, once your personnel office certifies your eligibility based on the criteria listed above, you will receive your cash option payment as follows:
These payments are made within 60 days after the SCO receives the certification from your personnel office. The $1.00 monthly administrative fee ($12 total for the plan year) is deducted from your lump sum payment.
If you're appointed to a permanent position with a time base of half-time or more, you lose eligibility for the PI cash payment. If you want to enroll as a newly eligible permanent employee, you must complete a new STD. 701C within 60 days after your appointment. This appointment makes you newly eligible for a reimbursement account; if you want to enroll in a Medical and/or Dependent Care Reimbursement Account, you must complete a STD. 701R within 60 days after the date of your appointment. Conversely, if you change from permanent status to PI, you lose eligibility for the reimbursement account, unless you choose to continue your Medical Reimbursement Account deductions through COBRA.
Once you enroll in a cash option, you can't cancel or change your enrollment during the plan year (January 1 through December 31) unless you experience a change in status, called a "permitting event." See the complete list of status changes that permit you to cancel or change your enrollment.
If you're enrolled in a cash option when you retire, your cash option will stop automatically. You need to take the following actions to protect your benefits:
If enrolled in cash option for health benefits: You have 30 days prior to or 60 days following the date of your retirement to enroll in California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) health plan. If you don't enroll within this time period, you must wait until the next health open enrollment. Your enrollment at that point would be handled through CalPERS.
If enrolled in cash option for dental benefits: You have 30 days prior to or 60 days following the date of your retirement to enroll in a dental plan. If you don't enroll within this time period, you must wait until the next dental open enrollment. If you enroll prior to retirement, your dental enrollment will be processed through your personnel office. If you enroll following retirement, your enrollment is handled through CalPERS.
In addition to the permitting events listed below, here are some other payroll status changes and how they affect your FlexElect enrollment:
If you experience a change in status that's listed below, you're permitted to take the action that's listed next to that change. You have 60 days following the date of your status change to take the corresponding action.
Your completed form(s) must be received at the SCO by the tenth of the month to be effective on the first of the following month.
May enroll in cash option as newly eligible.
May enroll in cash option as newly eligible or, if currently enrolled, may cancel/change cash option.
May cancel cash option and enroll into benefits.
May enroll in cash as newly eligible or, if currently enrolled, may cancel/change Flex elections.
If currently enrolled, may cancel/change cash option. New enrollment into cash not allowed.
If currently enrolled in cash option, may cancel/change cash option. New enrollments not allowed.
If currently enrolled in health and/or dental plan, may change coverage or cancel/change cash option per union requirements. New enrollments not allowed.
The forms to enroll in the are linked below. Refer to the following instructions when completing these forms. Please type or print using a ball point pen.
Cash Option Enrollment Authorization (STD. 701C): If you want to enroll for the first time, cancel, or make changes to your current cash option, you must complete:
In addition to the cash option enrollment form, you must complete the CalPERS Health Benefits Enrollment Form (HBD-12) - PDF if you want to do the following:
You also must complete the Dental Enrollment Form (STD. 692) - PDF if you want to do the following:
The health and dental forms must be submitted to your personnel office along with your cash option enrollment form (if you're making the changes indicated above). Both forms are available from your personnel office.
When husband and wife or domestic partners both work for the state: If you're an enrollee canceling your health and/or dental coverage to go on your spouse's or domestic partner's plan, who also is a state employee, you and your department's personnel staff must coordinate submission of the health, dental, and cash option enrollment forms for you and your spouse/domestic partner.
The effective date for canceling your coverage, and the date for your spouse or domestic partner to add you as a dependent, should be the same. The health and/or dental enrollment forms for you and your spouse/domestic partner must be submitted as a package with your cash option enrollment form.
Enter your Social Security number.
Print your first name, middle initial, and last name.
Medical Coverage: If choosing to receive the cash option in lieu of your health benefits, enter $128 in Item A. If you don't want to receive the cash and wish to keep your state-sponsored health plan, enter N/A in Item A.
Dental Coverage: If choosing to receive the cash option in lieu of your dental coverage, enter $12 in Item B. If you don't want to receive the cash and wish to keep your state-sponsored dental plan, enter N/A in Item B.
Total Cash: Enter the total cash option amount (sum of Items A and B) in Item C.
SCO will complete.
If choosing the cash option in lieu of health and/or dental benefits, you must complete Item 6. In Item A and/or B, list the carrier for your other health and/or dental insurance. In Item C, check the box showing who you have your other coverage through. If your coverage is through your spouse or domestic partner, you also must complete Item D.
Read this section carefully, then sign and date the form on the line marked. This section contains important information you should be aware of when enrolling. Your signature certifies you have other health and/or dental coverage and that you have read the information and agree to the terms and conditions of the program as outlined on the STD. 701C and on this website.
Your personnel office must complete.
We recommend you make a copy of your completed form before you send it to your personnel office. Once your personnel office completes the "Agency Use Only" sections, the original copy is forwarded to the State Controller's Office along with any other necessary forms (e.g., HBD-12, STD. 692). Your personnel office has been instructed to keep a copy in your personnel file and send you a copy.
2015 FlexElect Handbook (PDF)