print logo
Main Content Anchor

Retiree Vision Program

As a State of California retiree, you are eligible to enroll in the state's Retiree Vision Plan, which is offered through Vision Service Plan (VSP). The Retiree Vision Plan provides vision care coverage for you and your eligible dependents.

VSP obtains eligibility information from CalPERS. It is important that you keep your home/mailing address current at all times, even if your retirement check is deposited directly to your bank account.

Please report your address changes to CalPERS.

If you are a retired state employee and have any questions regarding your eligibility, contact CalPERS Member Account Management Division toll-free at (888) 225-7377.

How to Enroll or Make Changes during Open Enrollment

VSP will provide you with two ways to enroll:

  1. Visit VSP online and complete the online enrollment form.
  2. Call VSP at (800) 877-7195 and speak with a member services representative.

    Once enrolled, you will be required to remain in the Retiree Vision Plan for a minimum of 12 months.

Vision Plan Premiums

Continuing Vision Benefits into Retirement

When you retire, your department's personnel office should provide you with your options for continuing your vision benefits into retirement. Under Federal Law, you must be offered COBRA continuation for the state active employee vision coverage. You should also be given the option to enroll into the Retiree Vision Plan. As a retiree, you have the option to enroll in the Basic Vision Plan or the Premier Vision Plan. If you are a retiring employee who is already in the active Premier Plan at the time of retirement, then you are eligible to continue your Premier Plan for up to 18 months through COBRA. The Retiree Vision Authorization form CalHR 695 must be completed and returned to your personnel office within 60 days of retirement date. Retiree Vision enrollment forms are sent directly to VSP at:

Vision Service Plan (VSP)
Attn: Client Services - Mailstop 229
P.O. Box 997100
Sacramento, CA 95899-7100

COBRA Premiums

How to Use the plan

  1. ​​Select a VSP network doctor*. If you need help locating a network doctor, call VSP at (800) 877-7195 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.

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

VSP Customer Service

If you have any additional questions regarding the state's Retiree Vision Plan, please contact VSP at (800) 877-7195.

Open Enrollment

The annual Open Enrollment period for the Retiree Vision Program is in the Fall. During open enrollment, you can enroll in or make changes to your vision benefits. The effective date for actions taken during Open Enrollment will be January 1st of the following year.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will retirees receive Open Enrollment and benefit information?

State of California retirees will receive Open Enrollment materials in the mail just prior to the annual Open Enrollment period to help them choose their vision coverage.​

How do retirees enroll in the Retiree Vision Plan during Open Enrollment?

During Open Enrollment, retirees may enroll by choosing one of these convenient options:

When is the enrollment effective?

The effective date for actions taken during Open Enrollment will be January 1st of the following year.

Do retirees need to reenroll in the Retiree Vision Plan every year?

No. Benefit coverage automatically continues, unless the retiree cancels during an Open Enrollment period after the minimum 12-month enrollment period has been completed.

Will retirees be automatically enrolled in the Retiree Vision Plan?

No. Retirees must enroll in the Retiree Vision Plan within 60 days of retirement or during Open Enrollment.

Is Retiree Vision coverage impacted or canceled if a retiree is enrolled in Medicare?

Retiree vision coverage is not impacted or canceled if a retiree is enrolled in Medicare.

A retiree may be enrolled in both the state Retiree Vision Plan as well as the Medicare vision plan if they choose to be.

What benefits does the plan cover?

For information about your vision plan, please visit​ the VSP website
How are retirees billed for their vision plan?

Premiums are deducted directly from the state retirement warrant. When a retiree is newly enrolled in the Retiree Vision Plan, the member will automatically receive two or three months of direct bills from VSP while CalPERS is setting up the automatic deductions.

VSP directly bills retirees who have been identified by the state as "direct bill only." If you enroll during Open Enrollment, your premium will be deducted directly from your state retirement warrant unless you have been identified by the state as “direct bill only."

Will the Vision plan also cover retirees' dependents?

Yes. Eligible dependents may also be covered. Retirees will need to list dependent information on the enrollment form at the time of enrollment. Dependent children under the age of 26 are eligible for benefits.

What information do retirees need to provide to enroll dependents?

Retirees must provide each dependent's name, date of birth, and relationship to the enrolled retiree.

Are retirees able to enroll in the Retiree Vision Plan after Open Enrollment?

Retirees who do not enroll during Open Enrollment can enroll during the next Open Enrollment.

If a retiree elects COBRA for up to 18 months at the time of retirement, does the retiree have to wait until the next Open Enrollment to enroll in the Retiree Vision Plan?

No. The end of COBRA is considered a permitting event which allows the member to enroll in the Retiree Vision Plan within 60 days of the COBRA termination date. Contact CalHR at for more information.

When your 18 months ends you can visit the VSP website and select End of COBRA Enrollment Form. Complete the form and submit it directly to VSP by email, fax or mail to enroll in a Retiree Vision Plan.

Once enrolled, can retirees cancel their Retiree Vision Plan coverage?

Retirees may cancel their plan during an annual Open Enrollment period if they have completed the 12-month minimum enrollment period. The cancellation is effective January 1 of the following year. Retirees may also cancel their plan coverage if they have a qualifying event.

Are domestic partners eligible for Retiree Vision Plan coverage?

Yes. Registered domestic partners are eligible dependents.

Are disabled dependents eligible for Retiree Vision Plan coverage?

Yes. Registered disabled dependents are eligible.

Are California State University (CSU) members eligible for the State of California Retiree Vision Plan?

No. Only State of California (non-CSU) retirees and eligible dependents may enroll in these plans. CSU Retirees should contact CSU for additional information.

Can retirees be enrolled in multiple Vision plans?

Yes. A retiree can enroll in the Retiree Vision Plan and also be enrolled in another vision plan.

Can retirees add dependents after Open Enrollment?

Retirees may add dependents after Open Enrollment only if a family status change (permitting event) as defined by the state has occurred. If a family status change has not occurred, retirees may add dependents during the next Open Enrollment the following year.

Does the Retiree Vision Plan have insurance I.D. cards?

No. VSP does not provide cards. To use the VSP plan, the VSP member should select a VSP doctor, make an appointment and tell the doctor they are a VSP member. If retirees need help locating a VSP doctor, call VSP toll-free at: (800) 877-7195 or log on to VSP's website.​

Supporting Page
Link Back to Top