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Vision Benefits

 If you're a permanent state employee working half-time or more, you're eligible for the state's Vision Program. You may receive an eye examination, lenses and a frame once every calendar year.

Represented employees in Bargaining Unit 6 (BU6) have vision coverage through their union trust fund and are not eligible to enroll in the state's vision program unless otherwise designated by the state as eligible for this program. Contact your department's personnel office for additional information regarding eligibility. Conditions of eligibility are subject to collective bargaining.

The state offers you a choice of two vision plans. The Basic Vision Plan will be provided at no cost to you or, you can upgrade to the Premier Vision Plan for a small monthly cost. 

Permanent-Intermittent Employees

If you're a permanent-intermittent employee, you must work a minimum of 480 hours in the January-June or July-December control period to be eligible for the vision benefit.

Permanent-intermittent employees have 60 days from the end of the control period (June 30th or December 31st) to make an election to enroll in the Basic or Premier Vision Plans. Permanent-intermittent employees may enroll through their department's personnel office.

Basic Vision Plan

Enrollment into the state's Basic Vision Plan for most eligible employees and their eligible dependents is automatic.  

The state is responsible for payment of the monthly premium ($8.27) to VSP for the Basic Plan. 

​For information about your plan, please visit the VSP website.

Premier Vision Plan

All active state employees (with the exception of rank and file BU6 employees, as their vision benefits are provided by their trust) are eligible to enroll in the Premier Vision Plan for a small monthly employee cost share. The Premier Vision Plan enables employees to get a higher allowance for frames and contacts, fully covered progressive lenses, and more discounts.

Employees who would like to enroll in the Premier Plan, - can do so within 60 days of new hire/newly eligible status or during the annual Open Enrollment period.

The state will contribute $8.27 towards the monthly premium which appears as a vision deduction on the pay warrant. For employees that choose the Premier Vision Plan, the additional cost will be deducted directly from the state pay warrant.

Employee vision coverage will be effective the first of the month following the pay period in which the earning statement shows your employer contribution/vision deduction. Contact your department's personnel office for additional information regarding your enrollment/effective date

If you elect the Premier Vision Plan, any dependents you wish to cover must also be enrolled by you into the Premier Vision Plan coverage. You cannot choose to enroll in both the Basic and Premier Vision Plan coverage at the same time, or split your enrollment leaving any dependents on the Basic Vision Plan. As a new hire/newly eligible employee, you may enroll through your department's personnel office within 60 days of your newly eligible status. All other eligible employees may enroll through VSP directly during Open Enrollment when the Open Enrollment materials are mailed to your home address that is on file with the State Controller's Office (SCO). 

For a more detailed description of your vision benefit, please read the Vision Care Plan Disclosure Statement and Evidence of Coverage​ booklet for the state's Vision Program or visit the VSP website​. ​

Vision Carrier

The Vision carrier for the State of California is:

Vision Service Plan (VSP)
3333 Quality Drive
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

VSP Customer Service
(800) 877-7195

Procedure for using the Plan

  1. Select a VSP network doctor. If you need help locating a network doctor,* call VSP at (800) 877-7195 or go to, and scroll down to FIND A DOCTOR.
  2. Call your VSP network doctor for an appointment and identify yourself as a VSP member. Simply provide your name and date of birth, as well as the covered member's social security number and the organization that provides the coverage (State of California).
  3. Your doctor and VSP will handle the rest. Your doctor will contact VSP to verify your eligibility and plan coverage.

*Selecting a VSP network doctor assures direct payment to the doctor and guarantees quality services and eyewear. 

If you are an active state employee, please contact your department's personnel office.

Appearance of Premier Vision Deduction on Employee's Warrant Stub

CoBen Employees

The $8.27 state contribution is part of the CoBen allowance. When an employee is enrolled into the Premier Vision Plan, the $8.27 is still present in the allowance and paid to VSP as the employer share of this plan. The balance or employee share for 2022 (PC1 $8.46, PC2 $16.92, or PC3 $27.24) is reported as a separate miscellaneous deduction. Both deductions are itemized on the warrant stub to verify the deductions occurred and were ​paid to VSP.

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Vision Plan Premiums

  Updated: 2/4/2021
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