Health Benefits FAQs


General Information

1) When is open enrollment?

Open Enrollment for all other bargaining units and SCTA dental, vision, and life changes are held during the fall each year (dates vary) and the effective date is January 1 of the new year.

2) Is the Benefits office open all year long?

The Benefits office is open all 12 months of the year, excluding Thanksgiving Break and Winter Break.

3) What are the Benefits and Compensation Department office hours?

The Benefits office hours are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.

4) What is a qualifying event?

A qualifying event is: birth, adoption, legal custody, marriage, divorce or legal separation, loss of coverage, gains other coverage, change of job status, gains Medicare, or re-location outside the HMO coverage area.

5) How do I update my address?

For active employees, you may change your address by logging onto the employee resources available 24-7 online @ set-up an account and update your address, change your taxes, print your W-2’s and pay warrants. For retirees/terminated address changes, you will need to complete a change of address form and a copy of your picture ID to

6) Who would be my benefits technician?

Your Benefits Technician is assigned by your work assignment location. You can call (916) 643-9432 or email and your technician will assist you.

7) Who would I contact about my 403B/457?

You would contact SchoolsFirst at (800) 462.8328, ext4727, option 2 or email

8) Should I be receiving a Delta Dental card?

No, but you may log in to the Delta Dental website,, create your account, and print yourself an ID card. Otherwise, your dental provider searches for your eligibility by the employee’s social security number.

9) Should I be receiving a VSP card?

No, but you can log in to the, create your account and register, then print your ID card.

10) Where can I change my beneficiary for my life insurance policy?

You may download the life insurance beneficiary from the district website or contact benefits at (916) 643-9432 to speak with a Benefits Technician to have a form sent to you.

11) Where can I find out all about my plan?

Log on to and the plan summaries are all there. You can even compare plans side-by-side on BenefitBridge. The Benefits website also has plan summaries for each plan.

Dependent Information

1) When and how can I add or take off a dependent?

You can add a dependent within 30 days of the qualifying event with the provided documentation (birth certificate, court adoption papers, marriage certificate, California Domestic Partner Certificate, final decree of divorce, verification of loss of coverage, verification of obtaining own coverage, change of address form) to the Benefits Office.

2) I just had a baby. How do I go about adding the newborn? Do I need documentation?

See above. You must add the child within 30 days of his or her birth (or during open enrollment) and you must provide the souvenir birth certificate the hospital gives you when you bring the baby home.

3) I just got married, how can I add my spouse? Do I need documentation?

See above. You must add your spouse within 30 days of the marriage (or during open enrollment) and you must provide a copy of the marriage certificate you receive from whoever marries you. A spouse’s social security number is also required.

4) My child is turning 26; can they stay on my benefits?

No. Once your child turns 26, he or she is not an eligible dependent. Your child will remain covered throughout the month they reached age 26. Effective the first day of the following month, they will no longer be covered.

5) My disabled child is turning 26; can he or she stay on my benefits?

The child must already be designated as disabled or you must start the process of designating the disabled dependent with your medical provider at least three months before the child’s 26th birthday.

6) Who is not an eligible dependent?

Grandchildren, parents, siblings, other extended families, cohabiting partners who are not married or do not have a CA Domestic Partner Certificate.

7) Who is an eligible dependent?

Spouse; natural-born child, stepchild, adopted child, child for whom you have legal custody up to the age of 26; domestic partner with CA Domestic Partner certificate. Social Security numbers are needed for all dependents.

8) My dentist/optometrist says my dependent is not covered. I know I enrolled him or her.

Make sure your provider is searching by the employee’s social security number, not the dependent’s social security number.

Retiree Information

1) What is the phone number for Sterling?

HRA Customer Service: 1-800-617-4729; HRA Fax # 510-221-0052

2) What is a direct bill?

When we are unable to set up a premium deduction from your retirement check, you are sent an invoice for the premiums. This usually comes from our third-party administrator, Sterling, and is referred to as “direct billing”.

3) I am going to retire this year. What do I do in regards to my Health Benefits?

Contact the Benefits Office at

4) How do I know if I get 100% lifetime benefits?

At the time you are considering retirement, you will need to check with the Benefits Office to see if you are eligible for 100% lifetime benefits. This is determined by your bargaining unit agreement, your age at retirement, the date you began service with the district in a position in which you earned benefits, and your years of service in that benefited position up to your retirement date.

BenefitBridge Information

1) I forgot my username/password to BenefitBridge. How do I obtain the needed information?

Go to and click on the “Forgot Username/Password?”

Benefit Bridge Instructions

2) Where can I find out all about my plan?

Log on to to view the plan summaries. You may also compare plans side-by-side on BenefitBridge.