Health - CalHR

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. For information on health plans and premiums, visit the www.calpers.ca.gov website.
 

Employer Health and Consolidated Benefits (CoBen) Contributions

The state’s health or CoBen contribution amounts for represented employees may be subject to change based on changes in the Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) and are subject to union ratification and legislative approval.
 
Some bargaining units are subject to dependent health care vesting where the state provides new employees a reduced health benefit contribution toward dependent health coverage during the first 12 or 24 months of service.
 
  • Benefits Calculator - 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. To read this file, you’ll need Adobe Reader – get a free download.   Note:  The calculator performs best on Internet Explorer and does not work on certain mobile devices.

 

Benefit Eligibility

Active employees who work at least half-time or more with an appointment of more than six months are eligible for health benefits. 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.

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;
  • Drop your existing CalPERS health coverage; 
  • Add or delete eligible dependents covered by your health plan; and
  • Elect Cash Option in lieu of your health and dental coverage or your health coverage only

 

You may not change or cancel your health benefits choice during the year unless you experience a permitting event. You must apply any changes, cancellations, 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 during the first 12 or 24 months of service.
 
New employees in Bargaining Units 1, 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20, and 21 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 Units 2, 7, 16, and 18* not previously eligible for health benefits under state civil service, receive: 
  • 50 percent of the employer contribution for dependent health coverage during the first 12 months of service.
  • 75 percent of the employer contribution for dependent health coverage during months 13 through 24.
 
After completing 24 months of service, new employees receive the full employer contribution for dependent health coverage.
 
*Effective July 1, 2015, employees represented by Bargaining Unit 18, who first become eligible for health benefit enrollment or are receiving 50 percent of the normal employer dependent portion of the health contribution, shall be subject to a 12-month vesting schedule.  Employees will receive 75 percent of the contribution for dependent health coverage during the first 12 months of service and the full employer heatlh contribution after completing 12 months of service.

I'm a new employee with prior State service. Am I exempt from dependent health care vesting?

You must meet all of the following criteria to be exempt from dependent vesting:
  • Your previous appointment date was prior to January 1, 2007 if you are in Bargaining Unit 1, 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, or 21; or prior to July 1, 2006 if you are in Bargaining Unit 2 or 7;
  • 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 or 24-month vesting period begins with the month you are first eligible for state health benefits. The vesting period is a continuous 12 or 24 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 or 24 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 vesting. 
 

Updated 10/31/2014