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Group Legal Services Insurance Plan

​​​​1501. General Information

The Group Legal Services Insurance Plan (Plan) is a voluntary, employee-paid benefit that provides comprehensive legal coverage. The Plan is designed to meet the most common personal legal needs of an individual and their family.

The monthly premium is $10.19 for individual coverage and $17.74 for family coverage (employee and one or more eligible dependents) including the $.85 administrative service fee.

The ARAG Insurance Company is the current vendor.

Authority:

Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs)

Government Code section 19889.7

Government Code sections 19849.10 - 19849.13

1502. Eligibility Criteria

Active employees who meet the following criteria are eligible to participate in the Plan:

  1. Permanent or probationary employees with a time base of half-time or more designated as rank-and-file, managerial, supervisory, confidential, and excluded/exempt.
  2.  Permanent-intermittent (PI) employees who have an appointment of more than six months and work at least half-time shall be eligible to enroll in the Plan within 60 calendar days after having been credited with a minimum of 480 paid hours within a designated six-month period. The designated six-month periods are January 1 to June 30, inclusive or July 1 to December 31, inclusive of each calendar year. A permanent-intermittent employee must be credited with a minimum of 480 paid hours in a designated six-month period or 960 paid hours in two consecutive periods.
    • Paid hours during a qualifying control period in a permanent, temporary authorization (TAU) or limited-term (LT) appointment may be counted toward the 480 paid hours if the employee subsequently receives a PI appointment with no break in service.
    • An employee who permanently separated and reinstated as a PI employee must be credited with a minimum of 480 paid hours in a qualifying control period to be eligible for coverage, regardless of the length of the break in service.
    • A PI employee who transitions into a LT position during a control period, with no break in service, may combine the paid hours as an LT with the PI paid hours to qualify for coverage at the end of that control period. The LT time base must be more than six months.
    • An enrolled employee whose time base changes to PI will have coverage continued until the end of the next control period. At that time, the employee must re-qualify based on his or her PI status.
    • A cadet PI employee who attends the California Highway Patrol or Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Academy may count the paid hours toward that control period.
  3. An employee appointed to a limited-term or temporary appointment with an appointment of more than six month and a time base of half-time or more is eligible to enroll in the Plan. If the limited-term or temporary appointment is less than six months, the employee is eligible to participate in the Plan if they have a mandatory right of return to a permanent civil service appointment.

Dependent Eligibility

  1. A lawful spouse or registered domestic partner.
  2. Any unmarried, dependent children under the age of 26 who have never been married.
    • Children include natural children, stepchildren, adopted children, children for whom the employee is the legal guardian, and children of either domestic partner.
    • Any economically dependent child, 26 years of age or over, if they are incapable of self-support because of a physical disability or mental incapacity who has never been married and is chiefly dependent on the eligible employee for support and maintenance.

Family members who are not eligible include the eligible employee's parents and grandparents, children under the age of 26 who are married, or who have been married, and children over age 26, unless disabled as specified above.

It is the employee's responsibility to inform ARAG Insurance of changes with their dependents. If you have a permitting event (e.g., divorce, marriage, child losing eligibility due to age or marriage, adding or deleting a spouse or child, primary member leaves state service, or a new domestic partner certification), you must submit an enrollment form to ARAG Insurance within 60 days of the event to change your coverage level.

Enrolled members who fail to submit an enrollment form within 60 days of the event to change their coverage level will not be reimbursed for the overpayment of premium nor will the carrier provide coverage for family members who no longer meet the eligibility requirement for dependents. Dependents can convert to an individual plan, if previously covered under the family plan.

1503. How to Enroll or Change Coverage Options

Employees are encouraged to enroll or change coverage options online. Should the department's personnel office receive an enrollment form, the personnel specialist should direct the employee to the “How to Enroll" section on the CalHR Group Legal Services Insurance webpage for information on how to enroll or change coverage options online at ARAG Insurance and return the form back to the employee.

Eligible state employees can enroll or change coverage options online by visiting ARAG Insurance and selecting the “View Plans" and “Enroll Now" tabs to enroll.

To enroll or change coverage options by phone, employees should contact ARAG Customer Care:

Monday-Friday, 5:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time
Toll-free (866) 762-0972
TTY (800) 383-4184 (or 711 to reach a relay operator)

To enroll or change coverage options by mail or fax, employees should complete the Group Legal Enrollment Authorization Form 200550 and mail or fax it to ARAG Insurance. Please retain a copy for your records.

Completed forms should be mailed or faxed to ARAG Insurance at:

ARAG Insurance Company
500 Grand Avenue Suite 100
Des Moines, IA  50309-9958
Fax: (515) 246-8816

The employee may request an enrollment form by contacting ARAG Insurance at (866) 762-0972 or by contacting CalHR at Grouplegal@calhr.ca.gov.

Do not send forms to the State Controller's Office (SCO) for processing.

For more information, please contact Grouplegal@calhr.ca.gov.

How to Enroll or Change Coverage Options for Cal Expo, Cal Fairs, and LAO Employees Only

Employees of California Exposition & State Fairs (Cal Expo), California Fairs Services Authority (Cal Fairs) or the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO), must fill out the Group Legal Services Insurance Other Enrollment Authorization Form 200635 and return the form to their department's personnel office for processing.

The personnel office is responsible for reviewing Sections A and B and completing Section C. The personnel office must complete all blank items in Section C (1-5) before submission to ARAG Insurance:

  1. Check Applicable Box
  2. Permitting Event Date
  3. Effective Date of Coverage (refer to Section 1505)
  4. Agency Name
  5. Authorized Agency Signature and Email Address

Failure to complete Section C will result in the enrollment form being returned to the department by ARAG Insurance. Mail or fax completed forms to ARAG Insurance at:

ARAG Insurance Company
500 Grand Avenue Suite 100
Des Moines, IA  50309-9958
Fax: (515) 246-8816

Inform the employee that the change becomes effective the first day of the month following the pay period in which the payroll warrant reflects the premium charge.

The employee may request an enrollment form by contacting ARAG Insurance at (866) 762-0972 or by contacting CalHR at Grouplegal@calhr.ca.gov.

Do not send forms to SCO for processing.

For more information, please contact Grouplegal@calhr.ca.gov.

How to Enroll or Change Coverage Options for Permanent-Intermittent, Limited-Term, and Temporary Authorization Employees Only

Permanent-intermittent, limited-term, or temporary authorization employees must fill out the Group Legal Services Insurance Other Enrollment Authorization Form 200635 and return the form to their department's personnel office for processing.

The personnel office must verify that the employee is eligible based on their time base. If the employee is a permanent-intermittent employee, the personnel office must verify that the employee has been credited with the minimum required paid hours during the qualifying control period. For additional information regarding eligibility criteria, refer to Section 1502.

The personnel office is responsible for reviewing Sections A and B and completing Section C. The personnel office must complete all blank items in Section C (1-5) before submission to ARAG Insurance:

  1. Check Applicable Box
  2. Permitting Event Date
  3. Effective Date of Coverage (refer to Section 1505)
  4. Agency Name
  5. Authorized Agency Signature and Email Address

Failure to complete Section C will result in the enrollment form being returned to the department by ARAG Insurance. Mail or fax completed forms to ARAG Insurance at:

ARAG Insurance Company
500 Grand Avenue Suite 100
Des Moines, IA  50309-9958
Fax: (515) 246-8816

Inform the employee that the change becomes effective the first day of the month following the pay period in which the payroll warrant reflects the premium charge.

The employee may request an enrollment form by contacting ARAG Insurance at (866) 762-0972 or by contacting CalHR at Grouplegal@calhr.ca.gov.

Do not send forms to SCO for processing.

For more information, please contact Grouplegal@calhr.ca.gov

1504. Enrollment Opportunities

Open Enrollment

Group Legal Open Enrollment is held annually during the fall.

Department personnel are notified of the Open Enrollment period through HR Announcements and through the Open Enrollment Toolkit.

The department personnel office is responsible for notifying active eligible employees of the Open Enrollment period. An eligible employee who is out on a leave of absence and returns after the Open Enrollment period has ended may be eligible to enroll. The personnel specialist must provide the employee with an enrollment authorization form or direct them to enroll online at ARAG Insurance.

Open Enrollment Notifications from ARAG Insurance to Eligible Employees

Eligible Employees NOT Currently Enrolled In Group Legal Insurance

ARAG Insurance will mail out enrollment materials to eligible employees who are not currently enrolled in the Plan. If the employee is off work or on an unpaid leave of absence, he or she will not be eligible to enroll in the program until he or she returns to active status.

Once enrolled in the Plan a member is not required to re-enroll each year in order to continue coverage.

Employees Currently Enrolled In Group Legal Insurance

ARAG Insurance will mail out notices to notify employees who are currently enrolled about the opportunity to make changes to their current coverage.

Direct Pay Departments

There are three departments not on the SCO payroll system: California Exposition and State Fair, California Fair Services Authority, and the Legislative Analyst's Office. CalHR and ARAG Insurance will coordinate distribution of enrollment and communication materials to these departments.

Newly Hired or Newly Eligible Employees

Newly hired or newly eligible employees have 60 days from the date of eligibility to enroll. If the employee missed the 60 day eligibility period, they may enroll during the next Open Enrollment period.

Permanent-intermittent employees hired during or after the Open Enrollment period, may enroll in the Plan as newly eligible upon completion of the 480 paid hours in a qualifying control period. The permanent-intermittent employee must complete the Other Enrollment Authorization Form 200635 and return the form to their department's personnel office for processing.

The following events may cause an employee to become newly eligible for Group Legal Insurance:

  • New appointment to an eligible class.
  • Change in time base to a position that is half-time or greater.
  • Completion of a qualifying control period.
  • Return from an unpaid leave of absence.

For information on how to enroll, refer to Section 1503.

1505. Effective Date of Coverage

Open Enrollment

 Open Enrollment coverage will be effective January 1.

Newly Hired or Newly Eligible Employees

Enroll Online

  • If the enrollment form is processed by the 10th day of the calendar month, coverage will be effective on the first day of the next calendar month.
  • If the enrollment form is processed after the 10th day of the calendar month, coverage will be effective on the first day of the second calendar month.

Enrollment Forms Mailed or Faxed to ARAG Insurance

The enrollment form must be received by ARAG Insurance by the end of the 60 day eligibility period. The effective date will be determined based on when the enrollment form is received and the employee is enrolled by ARAG Insurance.

Forms received after the 60 day eligibility period will be returned to the employee and the employee will be advised to enroll during the next Open Enrollment period.

Do not submit forms to the State Controller's Office.

Departmental Personnel Office Responsibilities

  • Provide newly eligible employees with an enrollment kit. Personnel offices can contact ARAG Insurance to request enrollment kits by calling (800) 888-4184, Extension 605, or by emailing a request to printdistribution@ARAGlegal.com.

  • Process enrollment forms for permanent-intermittent, limited-term, or temporary authorization employees.

  • Process enrollment forms for employees of California Exposition & State Fairs, California Fairs Services Authority or the Legislative Analyst's Office.

If the employee is a permanent-intermittent, limited-term, or temporary authorization employee and information is missing from Section C of the enrollment form, ARAG Insurance will contact the department's personnel office or return the enrollment form to the department's personnel office.

If the employee is employed by California Exposition & State Fairs, California Fairs Services Authority or the Legislative Analyst's Office and information is missing from Section C of the enrollment form, ARAG Insurance will contact the department's personnel office or return the enrollment form to the department's personnel office.

If requesting approval for a late enrollment or retroactive date of coverage, the department must submit a written or email request to Grouplegal@calhr.ca.gov. These requests are subject to approval on a case-by-case basis.

1506. Ordering Of Enrollment Kits

 To request additional enrollment kits, please visit ARAG Resources for State of California Personnel Offices.

CalHR does not maintain forms for distribution to departments. Personnel offices should maintain an adequate supply of enrollment kits for newly hired employees.

1507. Changes in Coverage

Family Status Changes/Permitting Events

Plan members who experience a permitting event and wish to change their level of coverage as a result must submit an enrollment form within 60-calendar days of the permitting event. The following events are considered to be permitting events:

  • Marriage or divorce
  • Registration of a domestic partnership or termination of domestic partnership
  • Change in number of dependents by way of birth, adoption, or death
  • Dependent child loses eligibility due to age or marriage

In addition, if an active state employee covered as a dependent loses coverage due to divorce or because the primary member leaves state service or dies, they may elect to enroll in the Plan within 60-calendar days of the permitting event.

For instructions on how to change coverage options, refer to Section 1503.

Mandatory Deletions

When an eligible dependent child marries or reaches age 26 (whichever is sooner) they are no longer eligible for coverage under the insured employees plan. This is known as a Mandatory Deletion. The employee must submit an enrollment form if they wish to change to individual coverage when the dependent child loses eligibility.

Enrolled employees who fail to initiate the deletion within 60-calendar days of the permitting event will not be reimbursed for the overpayment of premium nor will the carrier provide coverage for family members who no longer meet the eligibility requirement for dependents.

For instructions on how to change coverage options, refer to Section 1503.

 

1508. Cancellation

Employees are not required to remain in the Plan for a minimum period. They may cancel coverage at any time.

Employees can cancel coverage by logging into ARAG Insurance.

To cancel by phone, employees should contact ARAG Customer Care:

Monday-Friday, 5:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time
Toll-free (866) 762-0972
TTY (800) 383-4184 (or 711 to reach a relay operator)

To cancel by mail or fax, employees should complete the Group Legal Enrollment Authorization Form 200550 and mail or fax it to ARAG Insurance. The employee should retain a copy for their records.

Mail or fax completed forms to ARAG Insurance at:

ARAG Insurance Company
500 Grand Avenue Suite 100
Des Moines, IA  50309-9958
Fax: (515) 246-8816

The employee may request the Group Legal Enrollment Authorization Form 200550 by contacting ARAG Insurance at (866) 762-0972 or by contacting CalHR at Grouplegal@calhr.ca.gov.

Should the department's personnel office receive an enrollment form, the personnel specialist should direct the employee to the “How to Cancel" section on the CalHR Group Legal Services Insurance webpage for information on how to cancel online at ARAG Insurance and return the form back to the employee.

Do not send forms to SCO for processing.

For more information, please contact Grouplegal@calhr.ca.gov

Cancelation for Employees of the California Exposition & State Fairs, California Fairs Services Authority, and the Legislative Analyst's Office

The employee must complete a new enrollment authorization form, check the “cancel box," and return the form to their department personnel office.

Personnel offices are responsible for completing Section C of the form.

The personnel office must fax or mail forms to ARAG Insurance and retain a copy in the employee's official personnel file.

Mail or fax completed forms to ARAG Insurance at:

ARAG Insurance Company
500 Grand Avenue Suite 100
Des Moines, IA  50309-9958
Fax: (515) 246-8816

Do not send forms to the State Controller's Office.

Cancelation for Permanent-Intermittent, Limited-Term, and Temporary Authorization Employees

The employee must complete a new enrollment authorization form, check the “cancel box," and return the form to their department personnel office.

Personnel offices are responsible for completing Section C of the form.

The personnel office must fax or mail forms to ARAG Insurance and retain a copy in the employee's official personnel file.

Mail or fax completed forms to ARAG Insurance at:

ARAG Insurance Company
500 Grand Avenue Suite 100
Des Moines, IA  50309-9958
Fax: (515) 246-8816

Do not send forms to the State Controller's Office.

Effective Date of Cancellation

If the cancellation is processed by ARAG Insurance on or before the 10th of the month, the first effective date of cancellation would be the beginning of the next pay period. If the cancellation is processed after the 10th of the month, the first effective date of cancellation would be the beginning of the following pay period.

For example, if the cancelation is processed on March 5, the effective date of cancellation will be April 1. If it is processed on March 15, the effective date of cancellation will be May 1.

1509. Continuation of Coverage upon Loss of Eligibility

Transfer to Ineligible Time Base

Enrolled employees who change to permanent-intermittent will have coverage continued until the end of the next control period.

If a permanent-intermittent employee loses eligibility because they did not have the required number of paid hours during the qualifying control period and the employee wants to continue their legal insurance coverage, they must contact ARAG Insurance to set up direct payment. The effective date of cancellation is February 1 for the control period that ends in December, or August 1 for the control period that ends in June. At the end of the plan year (December 31), all permanent-intermittent employees paying ARAG Insurance directly will be cancelled and may re-enroll in the legal insurance during Open Enrollment if they are credited with the required number of paid hours during the qualifying control period.

Employees lose eligibility if they change to a time base that is less than half-time. If they wish to continue coverage, they will need to convert to an individual plan.

Employees can contact ARAG Customer Care to arrange for continuation of coverage:

Monday-Friday, 5:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time
Toll-free (866) 762-0972
TTY (800) 383-4184 (or 711 to reach a relay operator)

Termination/Separation

An employee can convert to an individual plan with ARAG Insurance that is separate from the state's sponsored plan.

Employees can contact ARAG Customer Care to arrange for continuation of coverage:

Monday-Friday, 5:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time
Toll-free (866) 762-0972
TTY (800) 383-4184 (or 711 to reach a relay operator)

Retirement

There is a Retiree Group Legal Services Insurance Plan.

Employees should be given a retiree enrollment kit upon retiring. Personnel offices can contact ARAG Insurance to request enrollment kits by calling (800) 888-4184, Extension 605, or by emailing a request to printdistribution@ARAGlegal.com.

Direct retiring employees to the CalHR Retiree Group Legal Services Insurance Plan webpage for more information about the Retiree Group Legal Services Insurance Plan, including information on how to enroll.

Death

Upon the death of a Plan member who is enrolled in the family option, please notify ARAG Insurance. The covered spouse and/or eligible dependents are eligible to continue coverage at no cost for one year. At the end of the one year the spouse and/or eligible dependents are eligible to convert to an individual legal plan with ARAG Insurance.

Dependents should contact ARAG Insurance directly to continue coverage:

Monday-Friday, 5:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time
Toll-free (866) 762-0972
TTY (800) 383-4184 (or 711 to reach a relay operator)

Disability

Premiums are deducted from non-disability leave (NDI) and industrial disability leave (IDL) checks as long as there are sufficient funds available. If sufficient funds are not available, the employee must contact ARAG Customer Care directly within 45 days of the start of the leave to make arrangements for direct payment if they wish to continue coverage.

Unpaid Leave of Absence

An employee who is enrolled in the Plan and is taking an unpaid leave of absence must contact ARAG Customer Care directly within 45 days of the start of the leave to make arrangements for direct payment if they wish to continue coverage.

Similarly, an employee who is enrolled in the Plan and is off payroll status because they are receiving disability leave such as temporary disability (TD) without supplementation must contact ARAG Customer Care directly within 45 days of the start of the leave to make arrangements for direct payment if they wish to continue coverage.

The employee should contact ARAG Insurance directly:

Monday-Friday, 5:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time
Toll-free (866) 762-0972
TTY (800) 383-4184 (or 711 to reach a relay operator)

The employee can discuss payment options directly with ARAG Insurance.

For employees who do not wish to make direct payments, the coverage will terminate until the employee returns to active pay status. When the payroll deduction restarts, the effective/coverage date will start anew.

If an eligible employee is on an unpaid leave of absence or is off payroll during the annual Open Enrollment, the employee should be treated as a "newly eligible" employee upon return to active pay status. The employee will have 60 calendar days from the date they returned from the leave to enroll in the Plan.

Military Leave

ARAG Insurance will waive the premium for state employees enrolled in the Plan who are called to active duty.

ARAG Insurance has provided the following information regarding administration of the Plan. "Should a named insured be called to active duty for a period of more than thirty (30) consecutive days for the purpose of military service or of responding to a declared national emergency, coverage for the spouse and the insured dependents will continue, without the payment of premium, for the length of the named insured's absence and for so long as the named insured remains eligible for benefits through the policyholder."

To qualify for this benefit, the employee must provide ARAG Insurance with a copy of their active orders.

The employee should contact ARAG Insurance directly to arrange for coverage to continue and to have the premium waived:

Monday-Friday, 5:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time
Toll-free (866) 762-0972
TTY (800) 383-4184 (or 711 to reach a relay operator)

1509. Contact Information

ARAG Insurance Company
500 Grand Avenue Suite 100
Des Moines, IA  50309-9958
Fax: (515) 246-8816

ARAG Customer Service:

Monday-Friday, 5:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time
Toll-free (866) 762-0972
TTY (800) 383-4184 (or 711 to reach a relay operator)

Website: ARAGlegal.com/SOCinfo

There is a new resource site for personnel offices only: ARAGlegal.com/SOCresources

For more information, please contact: Grouplegal@calhr.ca.gov

  Updated: 2/3/2020
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