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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). An $0.85 administrative service fee is included.

The ARAG Insurance Company is the current vendor.

Authority:

Government Code Section 19889.7 - 19849.10-13 for Excluded Employees

Memoranda of Understanding for Rank and File Employees

Open Enrollment starts September 21 and ends October 16, 2020

2020 Open Enrollment Information

1502. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Employee eligibility

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 and employees including managerial, supervisory, confidential, and excluded/exempt.
  2. California Exposition and State Fair (Cal Expo), California Fair Services Authority and Legislative Analyst Office are the direct pay departments which can elect to enroll if eligible.

  3.  Permanent-Intermittent (PI) employees who worked a minimum of 480 paid hours each six month qualifying control period ending June 30 or December 31 or a total of 960 paid hours in two consecutive (prior and current) control periods (January through December).
    • Hours worked during a qualifying period in a permanent, temporary authorization (TAU) or limited-term (LT) appointment may be counted toward the 480 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 work the 480 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 hours worked as an LT with the PI hours to qualify for coverage at the end of that control period. The LT time base must be half-time or more.
    •  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 Academies of the CA Highway Patrol or the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation may count the hours worked for that control period.
  4. LT assignments (six months or more) are eligible to participate in the plan if they have a mandatory right of return to a permanent civil service appointment and they work half time or more. 

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, 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 she or he is 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. Employees are responsible for notifying their Personnel Office and completing the necessary paperwork when a child loses dependent eligibility (in accordance with the 60-calendar day permitting event criteria).

Enrolled members who fail to initiate the voluntary deletion within the permitting event date 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. OPEN ENROLLMENT

An annual open enrollment is conducted during the months of March through April. ARAG mails marketing materials to the home addresses of eligible employees 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.
 
Annually, CalHR distributes an Open Enrollment announcement to Personnel Offices. 
 
During the open enrollment period current plan members may make additions or deletions of covered dependents or change their level of coverage (i.e., from single to family, family to single, and add/delete eligible dependents, changes in coverage regarding the permitting event qualification). Once enrolled in the Plan a member is not required to reenroll each year in order to continue coverage. Current Plan members receive a letter thanking them for their continued participation including notification of any Plan enhancements. There are three departments not on the SCO payroll system: CA Exposition and State Fair, CA Fair Services Authority and Legislative Analyst's Office. CalHR and ARAG will coordinate distribution of enrollment and communication materials to these departments.
 

Newly Eligible/Hires

 
Newly eligible employees have 60-calendar days from their effective date of eligibility/hire to complete a Plan Enrollment Authorization Form. These forms are included in the annual enrollment packets available from ARAG and can also be downloaded from the CalHR website.
 

Permanent Intermittent employees hired during/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. In this case, the PI, LT, TAU enrollment form 200635 must be used and all of Section C must be completed.

Failure to complete Section C (1-5) will result in the enrollment form being returned to the department by ARAG.

 

Eligibility criteria

  • New appointments to state service in an eligible class.
  • Changes in time base that change an employee's status from ineligible to eligible (not less than half-time/ or completion of a qualifying control period).
  • Returning from an unpaid leave of absence.

Departmental Personnel Offices responsibilities

  • Provide newly eligible employee with a copy of the open enrollment kit.
  • Designate the appropriate 60-calendar day enrollment period (the transaction keyed-in date, PAR turnaround date, or NOPA date may be used as the beginning date).
  • Provide employees who want to cancel membership with a Plan enrollment form in a timely fashion.
  • Advise the employee of the effective date coverage begins or the effective date the cancellation will occur.

Effective Dates of Coverage

The employee's effective date of coverage will begin on the first day of the pay period following the first premium (payroll) deduction.
 
ARAG receives Group Legal enrollment form* by...
  • March 10: Employee's Group Legal coverage will be effective April 1
  • March 11 - April 10: Employee's Group Legal coverage will be effective May 1
  • April 11 - April 30:** Employee's Group Legal coverage will be effective June 1

Timely processing is important. Because this is a pre-paid plan a payroll deduction must appear on the employee's paycheck before coverage is effective. If ARAG is unable to process the employee’s enrollment they will contact to the employee.  If the employee is a PI, LT, or TAU employee and there is information missing from Section C of the enrollment form, ARAG will contact the Personnel Office.
 
If requesting approval for a late or retroactive date of coverage, the department must submit a written/e-mail request to ARAG. These requests are subject to approval on a case-by-case basis.
 
*processed through ARAG
**if April 30 falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, or if the envelope is postmarked "April 30" applications are to be accepted and processed by May 10 for an effective date of June 1.
 

1504. ORDERING OF ENROLLMENT AUTHORIZATION FORMS


CalHR does not maintain forms for distribution to departments. Personnel offices should maintain an adequate supply of enrollment materials for employees who are new hires.
 
Employees who have status changes (i.e., marriage, divorce, domestic partner, birth of a child or adoption, child reaching an ineligible age, etc.,) or who may wish to cancel plan coverage, should complete an Enrollment Authorization Form and submit that to ARAG or contact ARAG Customer Care for assistance.
 
To request enrollment materials, Personnel Offices should call ARAG toll-free at 1-800-888-4184, Ext., 605 or if hearing impaired TTY (800) 383-4184, or 711 for a relay operator, or by e-mail at printdistribution@ARAGlegal.com (Monday - Friday, 5:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., PST).
 
Shipment is via UPS ground delivery and not deliverable to a P.O. Box. Staff should anticipate 5-10 business days for delivery. The request must include the following:
  • Department name
  • Name of the contact person
  • Actual physical address
  • Zip code
  • Room number or mail station
  • Telephone number and extension
  • Quantity of Active or Retiree kits needed

1505. COMPLETION OF ENROLLMENT AUTHORIZATION FORMS

PDF Fill and Print form on the CalHR website.

Section A (1- 6) - to be completed by the employee

  1. Type of Action: Indicate whether (a) new enrollment, (b) change of coverage (individual to family or family to individual coverage) or (c) cancel coverage; and
  2. social security number
  3. full name
  4. mailing address
  5. daytime telephone number (optional)
  6. email address

Section B (1-2) - completed by the employee

1.  If employee checks box to authorize automatic payroll deduction, employee must:

Select type of coverage and monthly premium: a) individual or b) family/registered domestic partner (if family or domestic coverage was selected lists the name(s), relationship(s) to the employee and date(s) of birth of dependents).

2.  If employee checks box to cancel coverage he or she must complete:

Section A.1.c, A.2-5 and Section B.2 employee signs and dates enrollment authorization form.

Section C (1-5) - completed by Personnel Office for PI/LT/TAU employees and Direct Pay Agencies.

The Personnel Offices must verify that the employee is eligible based on time base and if the employee is a PI then must complete all blank items in Section C (1-5) before submission to ARAG:

  1. Check Applicable Box
  2. Effective Date of Coverage
  3. Agency Name
  4. Authorized Agency Signature and Email Address

The Personnel Office is responsible for reviewing Sections A and B, completing Section C (1-5), certifying that the employee has submitted the form within the 60-calendar day permitting event. Employees should be informed that the change becomes effective the first day of the month following the pay period in which the payroll warrant reflects the premium change.

1506. CHANGES IN COVERAGE

Family Status Changes/Permitting Events

 

Plan members who experience certain status changes do not have to wait until open enrollment to make changes to their level of coverage. There are various types of qualifying events which may allow the employee to change their coverage, such as:

  1. An employee who enrolled in individual coverage and subsequently marries during the plan year can submit a form to change their coverage from individual to family coverage.
  2. An employee who enrolled in family coverage and subsequently divorces during the plan year can submit a form to change their coverage from family to individual.
  3. A single parent whose enrolled dependent child turns 26 years of age or marries or an will need to change their coverage from family to individual coverage (if there are no other eligible dependents enrolled in the Plan).
  4. An active state employee listed under dependent coverage may choose to enroll in the Plan as a primary member, if their coverage is cancelled due to divorce, legal separation, or if the enrolled Plan member leaves state service.
  5. An enrolled Plan member has filed a domestic partner certification with the Secretary of State.

The employee must submit an enrollment form within 60-calendar days of the qualifying event (e.g., divorce, legal separation, marriage, child losing eligibility due to age or marriage, death of a spouse or child, primary member leaves state service, or a new Domestic Partner Certification).

The employee completes:
 
Section A (1-6)
  1. A.1.b. Change of Coverage.
  2. A.2-7. Employee completes his or her social security number, full name, mailing address, daytime telephone number and email address.
Section B ​(1-2)
 
  1. B.1. Employee checks box to authorize automatic payroll deduction and
    Employee selects type of coverage: 1.a) individual, 1.b) family.
  2. B.2. Employee signs and dates the enrollment authorization form.
    If the dependent is changing to the primary subscriber, he or she would complete the enrollment authorization form as a New Enrollee.
Section A.(1-6)
  1. A.1.a. New Enrollment.
  2. A.2-6. Employee completes their social security number, mailing address, and daytime telephone number and email address.
Section B (1-2)
  1. B.1. Employee checks box to authorize automatic payroll deduction and selects type of coverage: 1.a) individual, 1.b) family.
  2. B.2. Employee signs and dates the enrollment authorization form.

Section C (1-5) - Completed by the Personnel Office (see Section 1505, Completion of Enrollment Authorization Forms)
 

Mandatory Deletions

 
The state has a Mandatory Deletion when an eligible dependent child marries or reaches age 26 (whichever is sooner) as they are no longer eligible for coverage under the insured employees plan. The employee must complete a new enrollment form if they wish to change to individual coverage when the dependent child loses eligibility.
 
Enrolled employees who fail to initiate the voluntary deletion within the permitting event date 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.
 

1507. CANCELLATION

 
Enrolled employees are not required to remain in the Plan for a minimum period as cancellation of coverage can occur at any time.
 
To obtain an enrollment form to cancel, employees should contact their Personnel Office, visit CalHR’s website to download the form or contact ARAG directly via phone or email.

For enrollment forms received at ARAG by the 10th of the month, the first effective date of cancellation would be the beginning of the next pay period, i.e., for the March paycheck, the effective date of cancellation will be April 1. The Plan can be cancelled in either of the following ways:
 

1. The employee can complete the enrollment authorization form to cancel coverage and submit it to ARAG. The employee must complete Section A.1- 4 and Section B.2 as follows:

  • Section A.1.c. Cancel coverage and complete items 2-4.
  • Section B 2. Sign and dates enrollment authorization form.

2.  The employee may submit a written request directly to:

ARAG Legal Insurance
Attn: Client Support
500 Grand Ave., Suite 100
Des Moines, IA 50309

The request must include the employee's name, social security number, Deduction amount, (Single $10.19 or Family $17.74), signature and date with an original signature authorizing the cancellation of the deduction.

 

1508. CONTINUATION OF COVERAGE UPON LOSS OF ELIGIBILITY

Transfer to Ineligible Time Base


The SCO conducts a monthly post-audit and will automatically cancel employees who lose their eligibility due to a time base change of less than half-time. Enrolled employees 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 their PI status. A PI employee who does not qualify during a control period must be administratively cancelled. The effective date of cancellation is February 1 for the December 31 control period, or August 1 for the June 30 control period.
 

Termination/Separation

An employee can convert to a plan with ARAG that is completely separate from the State's sponsored plan.
 

Retirement

There is a Retiree Group Legal Services Insurance Plan.

Employees should be given an enrollment packet upon retiring. Personnel Offices may contact ARAG for these enrollment packets at (800) 888-4184, Extension 605 or email your request to printdistribution@ARAGlegal.com. The retiree enrollment form is available on the CalHR website.

Death

Upon the death of a Plan member enrolled in the family option, please notify ARAG to continue coverage for the spouse and/or eligible dependents at no cost for one year. At the end of the one year period the surviving spouse and/or eligible dependents are eligible to convert to the individual legal plan with ARAG. Dependents can contact ARAG directly to enroll.

Disability

Premiums are deducted from non-disability leave (NDI) and industrial disability leave/IDL checks as long as the employee has a qualifying pay period.

Unpaid Leave of Absence

An employee enrolled in the Plan who is taking an unpaid leave must contact ARAG Customer Care directly at (866) 762-0972 within 45 days of the leave to make arrangements for direct payment if they wish to continue coverage. For immediate assistance, employee can enroll in the direct pay plan via credit card or ACH. Employee can also mail a check with the member name and member ID (once amount is verified by ARAG) to.
 

ARAG Legal Insurance
Attn: Client Support
500 Grand Avenue, Ste. 100
Des Moines, IA 50309


If the anticipated leave period is one year or less, the employee can pay the full premium amount in monthly installments or a lump sum by contacting ARAG.


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 (ULA)/disability leave such as NDI or temporary disability (TD) without supplementation during the annual open enrollment, the employee should be treated as a "newly eligible" employee upon return to active pay status and provided with a 60-calendar day permitting event in which to enroll in the Plan.

Military Leave

ARAG will waive the premium for state employees enrolled in the Plan who are called to active duty. ARAG 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 with a completed copy of the Military Leave Work Sheet and active orders. On the Military Leave Work Sheet, under Item 10, Discretionary State Payroll Deductions, add to "Other" Group Legal. Under Deduction and Organization Code add 075 and 081. For the Deduction Amount list the monthly premium rate. Because this deduction will continue through the SCO, ARAG will reimburse the employee.
 

The documents must be sent to:


ARAG Legal Insurance
Attn: Client Support
500 Grand Avenue, Ste. 100
Des Moines, IA 50309
Or FAXED to ARAG at (515) 246-8816
 
Personnel Offices, employees, and other interested parties may contact ARAG directly at:

Customer Care Center toll-free 866-762-0972, or TTY (800) 383-4184 or 711 to reach a relay operator (Monday - Friday, 5:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time or via the ARAG website or linked through the CalHR website.
  Updated: 2/3/2020
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