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Vision Benefits

If you are a permanent state employee working half-time or more, you are eligible for vision benefits. The State of California 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 premium. Vision benefits are provided by Vision Service Plan (VSP).

Represented employees in Bargaining Unit 6 (BU6) receive vision coverage through their union trust fund and are not eligible to enroll in the state's vision plan unless otherwise designated by the state as eligible for this plan.

Contact your department's personnel office for additional information regarding eligibility. Conditions of eligibility are subject to collective bargaining.

Permanent-Intermittent Employees

If you are 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 Plan. Permanent-intermittent employees may enroll through their department's personnel office.

Basic Vision Plan

Enrollment into the state's Basic Plan is automatic for most eligible employees and their eligible dependents. As indicated above, represented employees in BU6 generally receive vision coverage through their union trust fund.

For information about the state's Basic Plan, please visit the VSP website.

Premier Vision Plan

All permanent state employees working half-time or more (with the exception of represented employees in BU6 as described above) are eligible to enroll in the Premier Plan for a monthly premium.

The Premier Plan offers enhanced benefits, such as a lower co-pay or higher allowance for glasses and contacts. Please visit the VSP we​bsite for details.

As a new hire or newly eligible employee, you may enroll in the Premier Plan through your department's personnel office within 60 days of your newly eligible status. All other eligible employees may enroll in the Premier Plan directly with VSP during Open Enrollment.

The state will contribute $8.27 towards the monthly premium, which appears as a deduction on the pay warrant. For employees that choose the Premier Plan, the additional premium will be deducted from your state pay warrant and will appear in addition to the $8.27.

Basic Vision must be established before enrollment into Premier Vision. This process can take up to two months. Contact your department's personnel office for additional information regarding your vision benefit effective date.    

If you enroll in the Premier Plan, any dependents you wish to cover will also be enrolled into the Premier Plan and must be included on your Premier Vision enrollment form. You cannot be enrolled in the Basic and Premier Plans at the same time or split your enrollment so that some family members are enrolled in the Premier Plan while others remain in the Basic Plan.

For a more detailed description of your vision benefit, please visit the VSP website and review the Evidence of Coverage booklet for the state's vision plan. ​

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​


How to Use the Plan

  1. Select a VSP network doctor. Selecting a VSP network doctor assures direct payment to the doctor and guarantees quality services and eyewear. If you need help locating a network doctor, call VSP at 800-400-4569 or visit the VSP website 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, date of birth, 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.​

​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 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 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.​

Vision Plan Premiums

  Updated: 2/13/2023
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