All permanent full-time employees are eligible to enroll themselves and their dependents in the health benefit programs. New employees must sign up for health insurance within thirty days of their date of hire to participate. Most employees qualify if they are working 50% or more for the year but benefits vary by bargaining unit so employees should refer to the applicable union contract. Eligible dependents include lawful spouse or registered domestic partner, unmarried children, stepchildren and legally adopted children. Open enrollment is in the fall each year.
Resignations and retirements should be given with sufficient notice to the school site or department to allow for an effective transition. If you plan on retiring, be sure to contact either CalSTRS or CalPERS a few months ahead of your planned retirement date. Retiree health benefits vary by bargaining unit and you must retire with PERS or STRS within 120 days of separation to be eligible — refer to your contract or benefit office for more information.
Beginning January 1, 2012, CalPERS members will see a few changes in their health plan pharmacy benefits approved by the CalPERS Board of Administration earlier this year. One change is a “member pays the difference” requirement. Under this new rule, when a doctor prescribes a brand name drug – and a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved generic equivalent is available – the member will pay the difference between the costs of the brand name and the generic drug. The member will also have to make the generic drug copayment.