The Basic Group Term Life Insurance Program is a State-paid benefit provided for managerial, supervisory, confidential, and other specified, excluded employees. Eligible employees may apply for supplemental coverage for themselves as well as dependent coverage for their spouse, registered domestic partner and/or eligible children. The current carrier for this State-paid benefit is Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife). MetLife can be reached at (800) 252-8524.
Judicial Council is responsible in auditing and determining temporary employee's eligibility before submitting the STD. 698 (Life Insurance Enrollment Authorization) form to the State Controller's Office.
The amount of coverage is based on an employee's designation as specified below. The payroll stub displays the employee share as Life Ins. $.00.
* Only in certain class codes as listed under "Eligibility".
** Employees moved to E58 or E78 due to mid-management reductions retain the $50,000 management coverage; however, future incumbents receive the $25,000 supervisory level.
*** Employees moved to E01 through E21, E67, or E77 due to mid-management reductions retain their level of coverage prior to the redesignation; however, future incumbents are designated represented and are not eligible for this benefit.
Enrollment in the State-paid Basic Life Insurance Program is automatic. Upon submission of appointment information from an employee's PAR document into the State Controller's Office (SCO) payroll system, a deduction for this benefit will be established. If the PAR transaction is processed by the 10th of the month, the enrollment will be effective on the 1st of the following month.
In the case of an eligible employee's death prior to the PAR transaction being processed, the actual appointment date is the effective date of coverage. The employee must have been actively at work on the effective date.
Once the deduction code is established, the carrier will mail a packet of information to each newly enrolled employee. Each packet will contain a certificate of coverage, current policy, a supplemental life pamphlet, and an application for supplemental life coverage.
If employees do not want this State-paid benefit, the employee must complete a Life Insurance Enrollment Authorization Standard Form 698 to cancel the basic life insurance. The form must subsequently be submitted through the departmental personnel office to the SCO, Miscellaneous Deductions Unit.
805. Supplemental Coverage
Employees enrolled in the employer provided group life insurance may apply for supplemental coverage at any time in increments of $10,000 to a maximum of $200,000 or four times their annual salary, whichever is less. Monthly premiums are based on an employee's age and are adjusted annually on January 1 of each contract year. Dependent coverage for an employee's spouse or registered domestic partner and dependent children is also available to employees who are enrolled in supplemental life. The monthly premium for this dependent coverage is $1.85 for employees under age 65 and $7.25 if age 65 and older. A spouse or registered domestic partner and each eligible dependent (six months to age 23) will be insured for the amount of $7,500. Eligible dependent children from birth to age six months will be insured for the amount of $750.
Employees interested in purchasing supplemental coverage should contact MetLife for an informational brochure and an "Application for Group Supplemental Life and AD&D Benefits." The completed and signed application must be returned to MetLife for processing.
If MetLife approves the employee's request for supplemental coverage, the premium information will be forwarded to the SCO. Premiums for supplemental life insurance will be made through automatic payroll deduction. The premium will be reflected on the warrant register as deduction code 075-107 and on the employee's payroll stub as an employee contribution titled "Metro Life."
Supplemental life insurance coverage begins on the 1st day of the month immediately following the month in which the first deduction was made, provided the employee was actively at work on the effective date. Otherwise, it will be effective on the date the employee returns to work.
Cancellation of Supplemental Coverage
Employees may cancel their supplemental coverage by submitting a written request to MetLife Insurance Company, 425 Market Street, Suite 970, San Francisco, CA 94105, Attention: State of California Administration (Policy No. 74503). The request must include the employee's name, social security number, and the deduction code 075-107. Once MetLife has processed the request, a form will be sent to the SCO authorizing cancellation of the monthly premium deduction. If the form is received by the SCO by the 15th of the month, the cancellation will be effective the first of the following month.
806. Accelerated Benefit Option
The Accelerated Benefit Option (ABO) allows an employee to receive partial payment of the insurance benefit prior to death. To qualify for the benefit, the employee must suffer from a terminal illness. Terminal illness is defined as a sickness or injury, which is expected to result in the employee's death within six months. It must be verified by a physician's statement on the claim form. The ABO allows the employee to select payment up to 80% of the face amount of the policy (70 percent is the maximum) with a service charge of four percent of the amount paid.
Eligible employees should contact MetLife at (800) 252-8524 to obtain the ABO Claim Form. The ABO applies to both the Basic and Supplemental policies for active and retired employees. The minimum amount payable on the basic policy is $10,000. A claimant must have a minimum of $20,000 supplemental coverage before he/she can file an ABO claim on a supplemental policy.
807. Assignment of Group Term Life Insurance
Eligible employees are able to assign their Basic Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Policy. All state laws permit assignments of group term life insurance. Generally, the group policy specifically permits absolute assignments by gift and, in some cases, absolute assignment to viatical settlement providers for viatical purposes. An assignment, other than a gift or viatical, such as a collateral assignment to obtain a bank loan, is not generally permitted by the group term life insurance policy.
If employees wish to pursue the assignment of their life benefits, they must contact MetLife at (800) 252-8524 for additional information.
808. Beneficiary Designation
Benefits payable under this program will be paid to the standard order of beneficiary if one is on file with Metlife.
If there is no Beneficiary designated or no surviving Beneficiary at Your death, we will determine the Beneficiary according to the following order:
1. Your Spouse of Domestic Partner, if alive;
2. Your child(ren),* if there is no surviving Spouse or Domestic Partner;
3. Your parent(s), if there is no surviving child*;
4. Your estate, if there is no surviving parent.
Benefits will be paid equally among surviving children or surviving parents. Family status changes, such as divorce and remarriage are automatically adjusted, provided an employee has not designated a beneficiary other than the above.
Employees who wish to designate a beneficiary other than the standard order stated above must request a beneficiary form from Metlife. The employee must return the completed form to Metlife. Upon receipt of the completed form, Metlife will record and retain the original in the employee's file. A signed copy will be returned to the employee for his/her records. This designation will not change with marriage, divorce, or any other family status changes. Therefore, employees must complete a new designation from if their family status change alters their desired choice of beneficiaries. PERS and departmental beneficiary designations do not apply to this coverage.
*Adopted children are considered children under the standard definition. As long as they are legally adopted; this would not include just guardianship.
809. Reporting a Death
Department Personnel Offices are responsible for immediately reporting the death of a covered employee to MetLife Insurance Company at (800) 252-8524.
The person reporting the death must have the following information available:
- Employee name
- Social Security Number
- Date of Birth
- Date of Death
- Last Day Physically Worked
- Marital or Registered Domestic Partner Status
- Cause of Death (if known) Names, addresses and phone numbers of next of kin on file, along with the name, department and phone number of the person reporting the death.
- Claim number will always be Policy No. 74503
The employee is responsible for reporting the death of a covered spouse, registered domestic partner or dependent directly to MetLife.
810. Continuation of Coverage Upon Loss of Eligibility
Involuntary Redesignation to a Represented Position
Upon an employee's involuntary change from an excluded designation to a represented designation, the employing department must pay 12 months of basic life insurance premiums as follows:
Send a cover memo and check payable to MetLife in the amount of $100.20 for employees who had the $50,000 managerial coverage; or $52.80 for employees who had the $25,000 supervisory/confidential coverage to:
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
425 Market Street, Suite 970
San Francisco, CA 94105
Attn: State of California Policy Administrator
(RE: GP #74503)
If the employee also has the supplemental life policy, he/she may keep that coverage when he/she transfers to a represented position. Both the coverage and payroll deduction for the supplemental policy will continue unless the employee cancels it.
MetLife will send a conversion notice to the employee prior to the end of the 12 months. At this time the employee has the option to convert to an individual plan.
Retirees may continue their basic and/or supplemental coverage at their own expense. The employee must contact MetLife 30-days prior to retirement to assure premiums are deducted from their retirement benefit checks. Once the employee retires, he/she cannot increase the amount of coverage in the basic or supplemental policy. The amount of basic and supplemental life insurance benefits will reduce by 50 percent and the premium will be adjusted on the 1st of the month in which the retiree's 65th birthday occurs. Also at age 70, the basic coverage will reduce to $5,000.
Leave of Absence/Disability
Employees may choose to maintain the basic coverage and/or supplemental coverage at their own expense during a leave of absence or disability. It is the employee's responsibility to contact MetLife 30 days prior to the effective date of a leave of absence or within 30 days of onset of his/her disability. If the employee elects not to continue the supplemental life insurance during a leave of absence, the supplemental coverage will cancel with the employee's last payroll deduction. Upon return to active pay status, the employee would be required to reapply to regain the supplemental coverage.
Employees on disability leave (or receiving disability benefits) may apply for a waiver of premium for the supplemental coverage only.
Separation from State Service or Voluntary Transfer to a Position Designated Represented
Employees may convert their basic and/or supplemental coverage to a private policy without proof of insurability. The employee should contact MetLife within 30-days of termination of group coverage to request a conversion authorization form.
Employees who voluntarily transfer to represented positions and are enrolled in the supplemental policy may keep the supplemental coverage. Both the coverage and payroll deduction for the supplemental policy will continue unless they cancel it.