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Dental Benefits


You and your dependents may be eligible for state-sponsored dental insurance and the state offers several dental plans to choose from. Eligible employees may enroll in a dental plan within the first 60 days from their date of hire or the date they became eligible, during the annual Open Enrollment, or when they experience a permitting event. Changes in coverage are also permitted during Open Enrollment.

Your collective bargaining designation determines which plans are available to you. The state pays all or part of your premium, depending on the plan you select and the number of dependents you wish to cover.

If you are in Bargaining Units 1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, or 21 and have dental coverage through another source, such as your spouse, you may choose to receive cash in lieu of the state's dental benefit available through FlexElect. For more information, please​ visit the Cash Option Non-CoBen webpage.

If you are in Bargaining Units 2, 7, 8, 16, 17, 18, or 19, or you are an excluded employee, you may choose to receive cash in lieu of health benefits or in lieu of health and dental combined but you cannot receive cash in lieu of just dental benefits. For more information, please visit the Cash Option CoBen webpage. 

2023 Plan Information

Important Reminders

  • Your children are only eligible for dependent dental coverage up to age 26 unless disabled. Please contact your departmental personnel office for further assistance. Please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more information.

  • Any changes to your dependent eligibility must be reported to your departmental personnel office within 60 days of the event taking place.

  • Dependent children employed by the state and eligible for state-sponsored dental plans may choose their own state-sponsored dental plan or may enroll in their ​parent's state-sponsored dental plan. 


  • The state determines employee eligibility to enroll in dental plans by appointment, time base, and tenure. In most cases, all permanent employees who work the equivalent of half-time or more are eligible.
  • Permanent-intermittent employees who work a minimum of 480 hours during each six-month qualifying control period ending June 30 and December 31 are eligible.
  • Employees whose positions are classified as limited-term or temporary authorized appointments and who are appointed to a position for six months or more at a time base of half time or more are eligible.
  • Bargaining Unit 8 seasonal firefighters and Bargaining Unit 7 lifeguards are eligible to enroll in the state-sponsored Dental benefits during their period of employment in accordance with their respective Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs). 

Contact your departmental personnel office if you have questions regarding your eligibility for enrollment in the state's dental benefits.

Dependent Eligibility

You may enroll your legal spouse, domestic partner, and dependent children, when you experience a permitting event or during the annual Open Enrollment period.

Dependent children include:

  • A natural child
  • Stepchild
  • Legally adopted child
  • A dependent child living with you in a parent/child relationship

If you elect not to enroll a newborn within 60 days from birth, you can enroll the child within 60 days of each birthday until the age of six or during a dental Open Enrollment period.

It is your responsibility to inform your departmental personnel office of changes with your dependents, including divorces, legal separations*, dissolution of domestic partnership, termination of parent-child relationship with dependent children, and when your dependent children turn age 26 (unless they are disabled**). It is important to inform your departmental personnel office so they can assist you in removing any ineligible dependents from your dental plan.

*For legal separations, a deletion of the spouse cannot be done in anticipation of a pending or active divorce action or pending final divorce settlement. When the divorce is finalized, you're required to inform your departmental personnel office of the finalization and provide a copy of the final divorce decree.

**For a disabled child to remain on your dental plan past age 26, you must have a disability certification letter on file with your departmental personnel office, or inform your departmental personnel office of pending disability certification prior to your child turning age 26.

Dependent Re-Verification

Dependent Re-verification (DRV) is the triennial process of re-verifying the eligibility of spouses, domestic partners, and dependent children enrolled in state health, dental, and vision benefits.

For more information, please see Dependent Re-Ve​rificat​ion FAQs.


You have 60 days from your date of hire or the date you became eligible to enroll in a dental plan.

  • If eligible, you may also enroll during the annual Open Enrollment period.
  • Newly hired represented employees may only select a prepaid plan until they have completed 24 months of employment without a permanent break in service​. At the end of the 24-month qualifying period, you will have 60 days to elect to change to the indemnity plan. Exceptions are noted below.
  • Employees in Bargaining Units 2, 7, 8, 16, 17, 18 and 19 are not subject to the 24-month qualifying period.

Open Enrollment

  • Open Enrollment is a time set aside each year when eligible employees can enroll, change plans, or add/delete family members from benefits programs.
  • The Open Enrollment period for the state dental benefit is normally held each year in the Fall.
  • Actions made during Open Enrollment are effective January 1 of the following year.

Departmental personnel offices are reminded to review their employees' enrollment and remove ineligible dependents, including dependent children who are not disabled and have reached age 26.

How to Enroll or Make Changes Outside of Open Enrollment

Once you are enrolled, you cannot make changes until the next annual open enrollment unless you experience a change in family or employment status normally referred to as a qualified "permitting event". Permitting event include, but are not limited to:

  • ​Marriage or registered domestic partnership
  • Birth, adoption or gaining legal custody of a child
  • Loss or gain of el7igibility due to family employment changes
  • Divorce or termination of registered domestic partnership
  • Death of an eligible ​family member​

​When a permitting event occurs, you will need to contact your departmental personnel office within 60 days of the date the permitting event occurred. Enrollment changes must be consistent with your permitting event. You will be required to provide the date of the permitting event.

For additional questions about permitting events please contact your departmental personnel office. 

Dental Plans

There are three types of dental plans available, prepaid, indemnity, and preferred provider option (PPO):

Prepaid Plans:

DeltaCare USA, MetLife*, Premier Access, and Western Dental

  • A prepaid plan requires you and your eligible dependents to use a dentist from a specific list of dentists who are located in California and who contract with your selected prepaid carrier.
  • Dentists receive a flat fee for each member assigned to their office.
  • Most basic services are covered at no cost.
  • The monthly premium is fully paid by the state. No premium is deducted from your monthly pay warrant.

For more information or a list of member dentists, contact the plans at:

DeltaCare USA
(800) 422-4234

(800) 880-1800

*Benefits provided by SafeGuard Health Plans, Inc., a MetLife company.

Premier Access
(888) 534-DHMO (888-534-3466)

Western Dental
(866) 859-7525

Indemnity Option:

Delta Dental PPO plus Premier - Group #9949

  • An indemnity plan allows enrollees to select a dentist of their choice throughout the United States and worldwide without using a provider network.
  • The plan limits the amount of paid coverage for each specific type of dental treatment. Members pay any remaining balance due based on the type of dental treatment they receive.
  • The amount of your monthly premium copayment is deducted from your monthly pay warrant.

For more information, contact:

Delta Dental
(800) 225-3368

Preferred Provider Option:

Delta Dental Preferred Provider Option (PPO) - Group #9946

  • The state-sponsored Delta Dental PPO plan provides services through its network of participating dentists and allows you to see any dentist of your choice world-wide and still be covered.
  • Your present dentist may be a PPO member of Delta Dental; however, not all Delta dentists are members of the PPO network. If you receive services outside of the PPO network, your share of the dentist's fees will be substantially higher. You may contact Delta Dental to ensure there's a PPO provider available in your area.
  • Your cost for services is based on a fee-for-service agreement between Delta and the PPO provider. The plan limits paid coverage for each specific type of dental treatment. Members pay any remaining balance due based on the type of dental treatment they receive.

The amount of your monthly premium is deducted from your monthly pay warrant according to the number of enrolled dependents

For more information, contact: 

Delta Dental
(800) 225-3368

Union-Sponsored Dental Plans: Bargaining Units 5 and 6

The California Association of Highway Patrolmen (CAHP) offers its own indemnity dental plan to Bargaining Unit 5 employees who are CAHP members; however, members may opt to enroll in a state-sponsored prepaid plan. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) provides dental insurance to BU6 employees who are CCPOA members.

All eligible Bargaining Unit 6 employees are required to enroll in a CCPOAplan, unless they have other state-sponsored dental coverage through a spouse or domestic partner.

Employees in Bargaining Units 5 and 6 should contact their union's benefit t​rust for information on their union-sponsored dental plan premiums and benefits.

The files linked from this page are PDFs and require Adobe Reader – get a free download.​

Dental Plan COBRA Premiums


Additional forms and templates available to personnel staff on HR Net.

More Information

Please contact your departmental personnel office if you have any questions.​

  Updated: 12/27/2022
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