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The CoBen allowance for represented employees is determined through collective bargaining.
The following are current CoBen allowance amounts. However, the collective bargaining process is fluid and changes may be agreed to which alter these amounts. CalHR will notify departments if there are subsequent changes to these rates. Rates may be subject to change through the collective bargaining process and are subject to Budget approval. Any future changes will be posted to
Employees may elect to receive cash in lieu of their state- sponsored health insurance or health and dental insurance plan. Employees may not elect to receive cash in lieu of dental coverage only. Employees must certify they have qualifying group health and/or dental coverage through a spouse, domestic partner, or another source to be eligible for the cash option.
Group coverage is typically maintained by an employer or employee organization and must conform to the federal Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) minimum value standards. The ACA establishes a minimum value standard of benefits for health plans. For a qualifying group health plan to meet the ACA's minimum value standards, the plan must cover at least 60 percent of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan.
All CalPERS-sponsored health plans meet the minimum value standards. Employees covered under individual coverage, such as TRICARE, Medicare, Medi-Cal and Covered California are not eligible for the CoBen Cash, even if they meet the minimum value standards.
Cash Option payments are taxable and the amounts are listed below:
Employees in CoBen are eligible for the CoBen Cash Option in lieu of health or health and dental benefits, therefore, they are not eligible for the state's FlexElect Cash Option Program. Retired employees are not eligible for CoBen Cash.
Employees who are not currently enrolled in the CoBen Cash Option and wish to enroll in the Cash Option for the next Plan Year, must complete a Consolidated Benefits (CoBen) Cash Enrollment Election (STD. 702) during the open enrollment period or as newly eligible. The CoBen Cash Plan Year is January 1 through December 31.
Employees who are currently enrolled in the Cash Option will be automatically reenrolled into the Cash Option for the next plan year. It is not necessary for these employees to complete a Consolidated Benefits (CoBen) Cash Enrollment Election (STD. 702) during a CoBen Cash Open Enrollment Period, unless they wish to cancel or change their Cash Option Enrollment.
Under the Internal Revenue Code governing the CoBen Program, employees who enroll or make changes to their Cash Option during an Open Enrollment Period may cancel or change their election through December 31. This rule also applies to employees who are automatically reenrolled in the Cash Option. Accordingly, if employees wish to cancel their automatic Cash Option reenrollment after the Open Enrollment Period has ended, they may do so, provided it is done on or before December 31 in the same year.
Eligible employees enrolled in CoBen Cash may also enroll in the state's FlexElect Dependent Care Reimbursement Account and/or Medical Reimbursement Account. Departments should reference the Benefits Administration Manual (BAM) Section 700 for the FlexElect Reimbursement Accounts eligibility and enrollment criteria.
Permanent-Intermittent (PI) employees wishing to participate in the Cash Option will not have their enrollment automatically continued. PI employees are required to complete a STD. 702 each year they wish to receive the Cash Option.
If the employee is not enrolled in a state-sponsored health and/or dental plan at the time of their death, then the surviving spouse and dependents cannot enroll in a medical or dental plan unless the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) determines they are eligible for survivor benefits.
Employees who are eligible to receive survivor benefits after the death of the spouse or domestic partner can continue to receive CoBen Cash.
Employees in CoBen do not serve the state Dental Program's Delta Dental 24-month restriction period. Newly hired employees and those employees who transfer from a Bargaining Unit not eligible for CoBen to a Bargaining Unit eligible for CoBen, including those employees who are currently serving the 24-month restriction, will be allowed to enroll or change to a Delta Dental plan.
In accordance with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations which prohibit the deferral of income; under no circumstances will retroactivity into a prior plan year be allowed. In those instances where CalHR approves retroactivity it will only be approved for the current plan year.
DESIRED COBEN ELECTION
DESIRED COBEN ELECTION AND FLEXELECT ELECTION
DESIRED COBEN AND FLEXELECT ELECTION