Benefits FAQs

Administration Building, Room 606
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone (323) 343-3651 | Fax (323) 343-3662

Frequently Asked Questions

Enrolling in the Benefits Program

Through the collective presence of the CSU, California State University, Los Angeles is able to provide its eligible employees with a wide selection of various medical plan options, as well as comprehensive dental and vision benefits. Please explore the various options to ensure you select the eligible plans that best meets your needs.

Remember, newly hired eligible employees have 60 days to select their health plan provider. Current employees can only change their health plan provider or coverage during "Open Enrollment" periods or select "Qualifying Event" periods.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible, you must be employed half time or more in an appointment that exceeds six months and one day. Temporary faculty (AY Classification) must have 6.0 units or more for at a least two quarter contract.

When do my benefits begin?

Your benefits begin the first of the month following your date of hire, as long as the Benefits office receives your enrollment documents by the end of the month that you were hired. Example: Your date if hire was on September 2nd; if Benefits received your enrollment documents by September 30th, your enrollment in medical, dental, and vision plans will go into effect October 1st. For FlexCash and Flexible Spending Account information, please see below.

Do I have to wait until I've attended the New Employee Orientation before I can sign up for health benefits?

No, you may enroll in benefits prior to attending the New Employee Orientation. Please complete the Benefit Enrollment/Change form within 60 days of your hire date.

What are my medical plan options? How do I enroll or make changes?

  • HMO (Health Maintenance Organizations)

    In these plans you must go to certain health care facilities and receive medical care from the doctors at those facilities.

    1. Blue Shield HMO
    2. Blue Shield NetValue
    3. Kaiser Permanente HMO
    4. Anthem Blue Cross HMO
    5. Health Net Salud y Mas HMO
    6. Health Net Smartcare HMO
    7. United HealthCare HMO

  • PPO's (Preferred Provider Organizations)

    In these plans you may receive medical care from the doctor of your choice and at the hospital of your choice. Certain doctors and hospitals, however, are part of the PPO network. If you use those doctors and hospitals, the PPO will pay a higher percentage of your bills.

    1. PERS Care
    2. PERS Choice
    3. PERS Select
    4. Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) (only for Unit 8 employees belonging to the Association and paying dues)

  • How can I save on premiums?

    1. View the Health Care Premium Comparison Chart.
    2. View the Health Program Publication and Enrollment Materials.

  • When are Health Care Premiums deducted from my pay warrant?

    Our premium for health benefits is paid in advance of the pay period for which you receive the benefit. For example, health plan coverage for the month of October 2014 will be deducted from your September 2014 pay period warrant.

  • I'm ready to begin my paperwork. Where do I start?

    1. Complete the Benefits Enrollment/Change Form. Complete all sections. Your Benefits Coordinator may assist you with the form should you have any questions.

  • How do I enroll or make changes to my Medical Plan?

    1. Print the Benefit Enrollment/Change Form. Complete all sections; make sure to have Social Security Numbers for anyone you are adding to your coverage.

    2. To add a spouse or domestic partner for the first time, you must provide his/her social security number and the Marriage Certificate or Domestic Partner Certification.

    3. Are there any tax implications for domestic partners?

      Domestic Partner's Benefit Tax Implication:

      The Internal Revenue Service ruled that the actual cost of domestic partner benefits is taxable income to the employee. To arrive at the actual cost of this benefit, the CSU examined the premium structure for health, vision, and dental benefits. For health and dental, CSU has the following structure:

      1. Employee only
      2. Employee plus one dependent
      3. Employee plus two or more dependents

       

      For these two benefits, the taxable income of the domestic partner benefit will be the cost difference between the employee only and the employee plus one dependent premium rate. This approach recognizes the value of adding one dependent, using a single employee as the base line. The State Controller’s Office will use a flat tax rate of 25% Federal, 6.2% Social Security, and 1.45% Medicare to withhold taxes on the value of the benefits.

      NOTE: Employees who claim their Domestic Partners as tax dependents are not subject to the imputed tax liability.

      For vision, the cost is a flat rate regardless of the number of dependents. Adding domestic partners to the program will have a negligible impact on the premium. As a result, there is no taxable income to you for adding a domestic partner to your vision insurance plan.

    4. To add a child, you must provide the birth certificate and social security number. To add a child other than your natural, adopted or stepchild, you must provide a notarized “Affidavit of Eligibility” form and copies of your tax return showing this child is your tax dependent.


  • NOTE: Return your enrollment form and bring the appropriate documents to Benefits department, Administration Building, Room 606, within 60 days of your hire date.

What are my dental plan options? How do I enroll or make changes?

  • Delta Dental (PPO) and DeltaCare USA are Employer paid. The website address for CSU Delta Dental PPO/DeltaCare USA is http://www.deltadentalins.com/csu.

  • Where can I find information on the Dental Plans?

    • Dental Comparison Summaries:

      • DeltaCare Basic & Delta Dental Basic
        Eligible employees in the following Categories: Unit 8, (Excludes E99), and Annuitants, can choose between either the DeltaCare Basic or Delta Dental Basic Plan, based on the plan which best meets their needs.

      • DeltaCare USA Basic & Delta Dental Level I Enhanced Plans
        For eligible employees in the following categories: Unit 10, Unit 11 (Teaching Associates), and Unit 13 can choose between either the DeltaCare USA Basic or Delta Dental Level I Enhanced Plans, based on the plan which best meets their needs. Unit 12 employees are eligible for Delta Dental Level I Enhanced Only.

      • DeltaCare USA Enhanced & Delta Dental Level II Enhanced Plans
        For eligible employees in the following categories: Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and C99, M98, M80 & FERP Annuitants can choose between either the DeltaCare Basic or Delta Dental Basic Plan, based on the plan which best meets their needs.

  • How do I enroll in or make changes to my dental plan?

    1. Print the Benefit Enrollment/Change Form. Complete all sections; make sure to have Social Security Numbers for anyone you are adding to your coverage.

    2. To add a spouse or domestic partner for the first time, you must provide his/her social security number and the Marriage Certificate or Domestic Partner Certification.

    3. Are there any tax implications for domestic partners?

      Domestic Partner's Benefit Tax Implication:

      The Internal Revenue Service ruled that the actual cost of domestic partner benefits is taxable income to the employee. To arrive at the actual cost of this benefit, the CSU examined the premium structure for health, vision, and dental benefits. For health and dental, CSU has the following structure:

      1. Employee only
      2. Employee plus one dependent
      3. Employee plus two or more dependents

       

      For these two benefits, the taxable income of the domestic partner benefit will be the cost difference between the employee only and the employee plus one dependent premium rate. This approach recognizes the value of adding one dependent, using a single employee as the base line. The State Controller’s Office will use a flat tax rate of 25% Federal, 6.2% Social Security, and 1.45% Medicare to withhold taxes on the value of the benefits.

      NOTE: Employees who claim their Domestic Partners as tax dependents are not subject to the imputed tax liability.

      For vision, the cost is a flat rate regardless of the number of dependents. Adding domestic partners to the program will have a negligible impact on the premium. As a result, there is no taxable income to you for adding a domestic partner to your vision insurance plan.

    4. To add a child, you must provide the birth certificate and social security number. To add a child other than your natural, adopted or stepchild, you must provide a notarized “Affidavit of Eligibility” form and copies of your tax return showing this child is your tax dependent.


  • NOTE: Return your enrollment form and bring the appropriate documents to Benefits department, Administration Building, Room 606, within 60 days of your hire date.

What is my vision plan? How do I enroll or make changes?

  1. Eligible employees are automatically enrolled.

  2. Vision Service Plan (VSP) administers all vision benefits and claims on behalf of the employer-paid California State University (CSU) Vision Plan.

  3. Full information about the vision plan is available on the CSU Vision Plan web page: http://www.calstate.edu/HR/benefitsportal/vision.shtml.
  • How do I make changes to my vision plan?

    1. Print the Benefit Enrollment/Change Form. Complete all sections; make sure to have Social Security Numbers for anyone you are adding to your coverage.

    2. To add a spouse or domestic partner for the first time, you must provide his/her social security number and the Marriage Certificate or Domestic Partner Certification.

    3. Are there any tax implications for domestic partners?

      Domestic Partner's Benefit Tax Implication:

      The Internal Revenue Service ruled that the actual cost of domestic partner benefits is taxable income to the employee. To arrive at the actual cost of this benefit, the CSU examined the premium structure for health, vision, and dental benefits. For health and dental, CSU has the following structure:

      1. Employee only
      2. Employee plus one dependent
      3. Employee plus two or more dependents

       

      For these two benefits, the taxable income of the domestic partner benefit will be the cost difference between the employee only and the employee plus one dependent premium rate. This approach recognizes the value of adding one dependent, using a single employee as the base line. The State Controller’s Office will use a flat tax rate of 25% Federal, 6.2% Social Security, and 1.45% Medicare to withhold taxes on the value of the benefits.

      NOTE: Employees who claim their Domestic Partners as tax dependents are not subject to the imputed tax liability.

      For vision, the cost is a flat rate regardless of the number of dependents. Adding domestic partners to the program will have a negligible impact on the premium. As a result, there is no taxable income to you for adding a domestic partner to your vision insurance plan.

    4. To add a child, you must provide the birth certificate and social security number. To add a child other than your natural, adopted or stepchild, you must provide a notarized “Affidavit of Eligibility” form and copies of your tax return showing this child is your tax dependent.


  • NOTE: Return your enrollment form and bring the appropriate documents to Benefits department, Administration Building, Room 606, within 60 days of your hire date.

Is FlexCash an options if I already have other health coverage?

  1. If you are covered by a non-CSU health plan, you may enroll in FlexCash. This benefit allows you to waive your CSU health plan and receive a cash reimbursement: $128 (medical); $12 (dental); $140 (both medical and dental). View the FlexCash Plan Brochure for additional information.


  2. To Enroll in FlexCash:

    1. Complete the Benefits Enrollment/Change Form.
    2. Sign and date the form.
    3. Present your insurance card to the Benefits department, showing proof of insurance.
    4. Return your enrollment form and bring the appropriate documents to Benefits department, Administration Building, Room 606, within 60 days of your hire date.
    5. Your FlexCash reimbursement will be effective two months after the date your Benefits Enrollment/Change Form is received by Benefits Administration.

Does Cal State L.A. Have a Flexible Spending Account?

  • Yes! These programs allow you to pay for dependent care and/or health care out-of-pocket expenses with pre-tax dollars. Health Care Reimbursement Accounts (HCRAs) are designed to assist you in paying for health care expenses with pre-tax dollars, for example, paying deductibles or co-payments. Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts (DCRAs) are designed to assist you in paying for child care or adult day care for dependent adults, also with pre-tax dollars.

    1. You may enroll during the first 60 days of your employment.
    2. You must re-enroll in these programs each year.
    3. Administrative fee remains $1.00 per month for each plan.
    4. Access the Health Care Reimbursement Account (HCRA) Brochure.
    5. Access the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account (DCRA) Brochure.

  • How do I enroll in DCRA/HCRA?

    1. Access the HCRA/DCRA Enrollment Form. Print this form and complete sections 1 - 5 and section 7.
    2. Important! Employee writes in their initials where indicated under "Benefit Deduction Item (Pre-Tax)" on the HCRA/DCRA Enrollment Form.
    3. Sign and date the form.

Where can I get more information?

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COBRA Health Coverage

COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. It requires employers to offer eligible employees continued health coverage for a period of up to 36 months after separation. The purpose of this Act is to ensure access to health coverage for employees who would otherwise lose group coverage under specified circumstances called “qualifying events.”

What is cost of participating in COBRA?

The cost for participation is determined by the health plan chosen by the employee and the number of dependents to be covered. See the “COBRA” Group Continuation Monthly Rates, effective 1/1/2014.

How does an employee apply for COBRA?

Benefits department sends an enrollment package to all eligible employees upon separation from the University. Instructions and timelines are included in this packet.

Why would an employee participate in COBRA?

COBRA can help ensure short-term coverage for families who would otherwise lose health insurance.

Where does a separating employee send their COBRA premiums?

COBRA premiums are sent directly to the insurance carrier.

How long does COBRA coverage last?

COBRA coverage for employees extends for 18 months. Covered spouses, domestic partners, and/or dependent children are eligible for continued coverage for a maximum of 36 months.

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Retiree Health Benefits

To learn more about working after retirement, review the CalPERS Employment after Retirement publication. It describes the basic employment restrictions for all CalPERS retirees. Please review this information carefully since violation of the post-retirement employment laws and regulations can result in mandatory reinstatement from retirement. This would stop retirement benefits and require employees to repay the retirement benefits received during any period of unlawful employment. These restrictions apply whether employees have a service, disability, or industrial disability retirement. The link to this publication is http://www.calpers.ca.gov/eip-docs/about/pubs/member/employment-after-retire.pdf.

General questions regarding retiring?

  • Who is eligible to retire?

    Please see the CalPERS Retirement Program-Eligibility.

  • Are all CSU retirees eligible for retirement health benefits?

    No. You must retire within 120 days of your separation from employment; have been eligible for enrollment in a CalPERS medical plan on your date of separation; and receive a retirement allowance from CalPERS.

  • Some CalPERS plans have retiree health benefit vesting requirements. Are there any health benefit vesting requirements for CSU retirees who meet all the above eligibility rules?

    No.

  • What benefits can continue into retirement for retirees?

    1. Medical, dental and vision coverage can continue into retirement for eligible employees and their eligible dependents. CSU-paid life insurance (if applicable) does not continue into retirement.
    2. Retirees have the option to convert the life insurance to an individual policy. CSU-paid LTD insurance (if applicable) ends upon separation from employment. Retirees have the option to purchase LTD conversion insurance if certain conditions apply.
    3. Employees with five years of CalPERS service at age 50 years or later.

What happens to my medical coverage?

  • What is my monthly premium?

    The cost to the retiree for medical coverage will depend on which plan and the number of dependents covered.

  • I'm currently enrolled as an active employee in a CalPERS medical plan. What do I do to obtain retiree medical coverage?

    If you retire less than 30 days after your separation date from employment, your medical coverage will continue automatically. If you retire between 30 and 120 days after your separation date from employment, contact Benefits department at 677-2101.

  • I'm currently enrolled in FlexCash. How do I enroll in a CalPERS retiree medical plan?

    You may request coverage within 30 days before or after your retirement date. To enroll before your retirement date, contact Benefits department at (323)342-3651. To enroll after your retirement date, contact CalPERS at (888) 225-7377. If you do not enroll within 30 days before or after your retirement date, you must wait until the next annual CalPERS Open Enrollment period to enroll.

  • As a retiree can I change medical plans and add/delete dependents? How? When?

    Yes. You may change your medical plan and add/delete dependents by contacting CalPERS at (888) 225-7377 during the annual CalPERS Open Enrollment period or within 60 days of a qualifying status change.

  • Will I have the same level of medical coverage as a retiree that I had as an active employee?

    You and your dependents remain in the Basic medical plan until you and/or your dependents become eligible for Medicare.

  • What do I do when my dependents or I become eligible for Medicare?

    As you approach age 65, you will receive notices from CalPERS informing you of the steps you need to take and requirements you need to meet to continue your health benefits.

    1. As a CalPERS retiree, when you qualify for Medicare Part A, you must sign up for Medicare Part B. Do not enroll in Medicare Part D because the CalPERS prescription drug plan is as good as or better than what is available under Medicare Part D. If you enroll in Medicare Part D, your CalPERS health plan will be canceled until you are dis-enrolled.

    2. You and your dependents must certify your Medicare status with CalPERS when you each become eligible for Medicare and change from the Basic medical plan to a supplemental to Medicare or Managed Medicare plan at that time. Contact CalPERS at (888) 225-7377 to change your plan.

    3. You and your dependents must certify your Medicare status with CalPERS when you each become eligible for Medicare and change from the Basic medical plan to a supplemental to Medicare or Managed Medicare plan at that time. Contact CalPERS at (888) 225-7377 to change your plan.

  • Do I receive a reimbursement for Medicare Part B?

    CalPERS is required to reimburse you for a portion of your Medicare Part B premium. This is based on premiums and the CSU contribution amount.

What happens to my dental coverage?

  • I'm currently enrolled in a dental plan? What do I do to obtain retiree dental coverage?

    If your retirement date is within one pay period of your separation date from employment, coverage will be continuous. If your retirement date is more than one pay period and less than 120 days from your separation date from employment, contact Benefits department at (323) 343-3651.

  • What happens with my dental coverage?

    If you are currently enrolled in the DeltaCare USA Enhanced (HMO) plan your dental coverage as a retiree will be reduced to the DeltaCare USA Basic plan. If you are enrolled in the Delta Dental Enhanced Level (PPO) plan your dental coverage as a retiree will be reduced to the Delta Dental Basic plan.

    You can elect to continue your enhanced coverage under COBRA for up to eighteen (18) months. You pay the full cost for coverage under COBRA. Once COBRA ends, you can immediately enroll in a basic dental plan to avoid a lapse in coverage, or during any subsequent open enrollment period that follows the expiration date of COBRA coverage by contacting Benefits department at (323)343-3651.

  • I'm currently enrolled in FlexCash? How do I enroll in a retiree dental plan?

    FlexCash participants may request dental coverage within 30 days before, or 60 days after the retirement date by contacting Benefits department at (323) 343-3651. You also may enroll during the annual open enrollment period.

  • What is the monthly premium for retiree dental coverage?

    Currently, CSU pays the full cost of the Basic level dental coverage for eligible retirees and their eligible dependents.

  • Can I change my dental plan and add/delete dependents? How? When?

    You can change your dental plan and add/delete dependents during the annual open enrollment period or within 60 days of a qualifying status change.

What happens to my vision coverage?

  • May I continue my vision coverage?

    Yes, benefits eligible retirees may continue coverage by enrolling in the CSU Retiree Voluntary Vision Plan or COBRA. Enrollment information is mailed to the retiree's home address.

  • What is the difference between the CSU Retiree Voluntary Vision Plan and COBRA?

    The retiree plan has a three-tier monthly rate whereas COBRA has one composite premium rate for all enrollments.

    The retiree plan does not include the Vision Display Terminal (VDT) benefit. Otherwise the retiree plan benefits are comparable to the COBRA benefits.

    For additional information please refer to http://www.calstate.edu/HR/benefitsportal/retiree-vision/retiree_oe.shtml.

  • Who pays the monthly premium for the CSU Retiree Voluntary Vision Plan or COBRA?

    The monthly premium will be fully paid by the enrolled retiree and deducted from their retirement warrant issued by CalPERS.

  • When may I enroll?

    Retirees may enroll in the CSU Retiree Voluntary Vision Plan at the time of retirement, within 60 days of their retirement, within 60 days of loss of coverage on another vision plan, or during any subsequent open enrollment period.

    Retirees may enroll in COBRA within 60 days of their separation date from employment.

  • How long may I continue coverage?

    If you enroll in the CSU Retiree Voluntary Vision Plan, you are required to maintain enrollment for a minimum period of 12 months. You will be required to maintain enrollment for the balance of the plan year in which you enroll and for 12 months in the following plan year, unless a permitting event occurs to change your enrollment.

    If you enroll in COBRA, you may continue coverage for up to 18 months.

  • What happens if I elect COBRA and my coverage ends after 18 months?

    You may enroll in the CSU Retiree Voluntary Vision Plan during any subsequent open enrollment period following your COBRA eligibility end date or COBRA cancellation due to non-payment.

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