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Retiree Vision Program

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

VSP obtains eligibility information from CalPERS therefore 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. An accurate mailing address ensures that you receive timely information regarding your state vision benefits that CalHR and VSP mails to you.  Please report address changes to CalPERS at the address below (be sure to include your Social Security number and telephone number):

California Public Employees' Retirement System

Health Account Management Division​

P. O. Box 942715
Sacramento, CA 94229-2715

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 at 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 program for a minimum of 12 months.

Vision Plan Premiums

Continuing Vision Benefits into Retirement

When you retire, your department's personnel office must provide you with two options: First, under Federal Law, you MUST be offered COBRA continuation for the state active employee vision coverage and you must also be given the option to enroll into the Retiree Vision Program. As a retiree, you have the option to enroll in the Basic Plan or the Premier Plan. If you are a retiring employee who is already in the active Premier Vision 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

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 Choice of Providers.
  2. Call your VSP network doctor* for an appointment to 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.

VSP Customer Service

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

Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment is a time set aside each year when eligible retirees can enroll or add/delete family members. The annual Open Enrollment period for the Retiree Vision Program is usually every September through October. The effective date for actions made 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. These materials include a plan brochure with coverage details and premiums.

How do retirees enroll in the VSP plan during Open Enrollment?

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

When is the plan effective?

The plan is effective January 1 of the following year.

How long does the plan provide retirees with coverage?

Retirees who enroll into the plan during the Open Enrollment period or within 60 days of the retirement date have continuous benefit coverage year after year.

Retirees' benefit coverage automatically continues, unless they cancel during an Open Enrollment period after the minimum 12-month enrollment period has been reached.

Will retirees be automatically enrolled in the plan?

No–retirees must proactively enroll in the VSP plan during the Open Enrollment period, or within 60 days of retirement.

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 Program 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 VSP plan?

Premiums are deducted directly from their state retirement warrant. When a retiree is newly enrolled in the Retiree Vision Program, the member will automatically receive 2-3 months of direct bills from VSP while CalPERS is setting up the automatic warrant 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 billed only."

Will the 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 have to provide to enroll dependents?

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

Are retirees able to enroll in the plan after Open Enrollment?

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

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 Program?

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.

Once enrolled, can retirees cancel their plan coverage?

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

Are domestic partners eligible for plan coverage?

Yes. Registered domestic partners are eligible dependents.

Are disabled dependents eligible for plan coverage?

Yes. Registered disabled dependents are eligible.

Are California State University (CSU) members eligible for State of California Retiree plan?

No. Only State of California (non-CSU) retirees and eligible dependents may enroll in these plans. CSU Retirees, please contact your former benefits office (Chancellor's Office) for additional information and to express interest in obtaining a VSP eye care plan.

If retirees enroll during the Open Enrollment period, will their premiums change in the following year?

No. Premiums remain the same through December 31 of the following year.

Can retirees be enrolled in multiple plans?

Yes. A retiree can enroll in the Retiree Vision Program 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 period the following year.

Will retirees have to re-enroll in their VSP plan during the fall Open Enrollment?

No. All retirees enrolled during the Open Enrollment peri​od will have continuous benefit coverage.

Will retirees have to renew their benefit coverage after December 31?

For convenience, at the end of the 12-month period, all retirees automatically have their benefit coverage continued unless they specifically elect not to renew during the next Open Enrollment period.

Does VSP have insurance I.D. cards?

No. VSP does not provide cards. To use the plan, the VSP member will select a VSP doctor, make an appointment and tell the doctor you 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 at:

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