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.
If you're a permanent-intermittent (PI) 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. PIs may enroll through their department's personnel office.
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 your monthly premium ($8.27) to VSP for the Basic Plan. You and your eligible dependents are required to pay a $10 deductible for an eye examination and a $25 deductible for materials (frame and/or lenses) if needed.
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 you to get a higher allowance for frames and contacts, fully covered progressive lenses, and more discounts.
If you would like to enroll in the Premier Plan, you 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 your pay warrant. If you choose the Premier Vision Plan, the additional cost will be deducted directly from your state pay warrant.
Your vision coverage will be effective the first of the month following the pay period in which your 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 Plan, any dependents you wish to cover must also be enrolled by you into the Premier 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 | Text Only (RTF) booklet for the state's Vision Program.
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
*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.
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 2021 (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 paid to VSP.
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