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Health Benefits

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) administers health insurance coverage for state employees. Employees can choose from a broad range of health insurance plans.  The state pays a portion of the premium. 

Open Enrollment is September 10 through October 5, 2018

During Open Enrollment, eligible employees may:

  • Enroll in a CalPERS health plan if not currently in one.
  • Change CalPERS health plans.
  • Add or delete dependents.
  • Cancel CalPERS health coverage.

Enrollments and changes made during Open Enrollment are effective January 1, 2019. For information on health plans and premiums, visit CalPERS

Benefits Calculator

Use the Benefits Calculator to compare premiums for different health plans and see the contribution rates based on your bargaining unit. In addition, you will see how much will be deducted from or added to your paycheck based on which health, dental, and vision plans you choose. 

For information on health plans and premiums, visit CalPERS.

Benefit Eligibility

Employees are eligible for health benefits if they have an appointment of more than six months (at least six months plus one day) and a time base of half-time or more.  Eligible employees have 60 calendar days from the date of appointment or a qualifying event to enroll in a health plan, or during an Open Enrollment period. For questions about your eligibility, contact your department’s personnel office.

Dependent Re-Verification

Dependent Re-verification (DRV) is the triennial process of re-verifying the eligibility of spouses, domestic partners, children, stepchildren, and domestic partner children (family members) enrolled for state health, dental, and premier vision benefits.

For more information, please see Dependent Re-Verification FAQs.

Making Changes to Your Current Benefits

You may make changes to your benefits during Open Enrollment, usually during September and October of each year, or based on a permitting event outside of Open Enrollment.  During this time, you have the opportunity to:

  • Change your CalPERS health plan; 
  • Enroll in a CalPERS health plan if you do not currently have CalPERS health coverage;
  • Cancel your existing CalPERS health coverage; 
  • Add or delete dependents; and
  • Elect Cash Option in lieu of other qualifying group health and dental coverage or other qualifying group health coverage only.

You may not change your health benefits choice during the year unless you experience a permitting event.  You must apply for any changes or enrollments within 60 days of the date of the permitting event.   For questions about permitting events, contact your department’s personnel office. 

Dependent Health Care Vesting - Frequently Asked Questions

Contact your personnel office if you have questions about dependent health care vesting that aren't answered here. 

What is dependent health care vesting?

Dependent health care vesting provides new employees a reduced employer health benefits contribution toward dependent health coverage for a specified period.

As of June 1, 2017, Bargaining Unit 10 has dependent health vesting.  The vesting period is 12 months.  New employees in Bargaining Unit 10 not previously eligible for health benefits under state civil service receive: 

  • 75 percent of the employer contribution for dependent health coverage during the first 12 months of service.
  • After completing 12 months of service, new employees receive the full employer contribution for dependent health coverage.

New employees in Bargaining Unit 10 must meet all of the following criteria to be exempt from dependent health care vesting:

  • Your previous appointment date was prior to January 1, 2007.
  • Your previous appointment was a state civil service appointment (and not a University of California or California State University appointment).
  • You were eligible for state health benefits. It doesn't matter whether or not you actually enrolled in health benefits as long as you were eligible to enroll.

What counts as a month of service for dependent health care vesting?

The 12-month vesting period begins with the month you are first eligible for state health benefits. The vesting period is a continuous 12 months unless the employee permanently separates from state service. Upon reinstatement, following a permanent separation, the employee must serve the remainder of their vesting period.

For Permanent Intermittent (PI) employees, the 12-month vesting period begins following the completion of a control period, at the point the PI becomes eligible for health benefits. For example, if a PI meets the required hours in the July 1 through December 31 control period, they first become eligible for health benefits on February 1. The vesting clock starts on February 1 and continues to run unless the PI permanently separates or loses health eligibility.

If I transfer from a unit without vesting to one with vesting, does dependent health care vesting apply?

No. If you're already receiving 100 percent of the employer health contribution for dependents, you remain fully vested no matter how long you've worked for the state.

If I transfer from a unit with vesting to one without vesting, does dependent health care vesting apply?

No. You begin receiving 100 percent of the employer health contribution for dependents when you're appointed to the new bargaining unit.

Please refer to the appropriate collective bargaining agreement for the specific criteria for determining if an employee is subject to dependent health care vesting. 


  Updated: 1/26/2018
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