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Employee Benefits
Frequently Asked Questions

  1. My spouse/domestic partner and I both work for the County and I am a covered dependent. Must I also enroll in the County's medical and dental plans?
  2. When does a covered dependent lose eligibility?
  3. Do I have to notify Employee Benefits when a dependent becomes ineligible for coverage?
  4. What happens to my coverage if my employment with the County ends?
  5. What happens to my medical and dental coverage when I retire?
  6. What happens if my dependents or I become eligible for Medicare?

  1. My spouse/domestic partner and I both work for the County and I am a covered dependent. Must I also enroll in the County's medical and dental plans?

    County employees are required to enroll in a County-sponsored medical and dental plan. However, enrollment in your spouse/domestic partner's County-sponsored plan satisfies this requirement.

    Contact Employee Benefits or your Payroll Specialist for more information and to obtain the required enrollment and/or waiver forms.

  2. When does a covered dependent lose eligibility?

    A covered dependent loses eligibility on the last day of the pay period during which:

    • You become ineligible to receive County benefits
    • Your child attains age 26; an exception is a disabled child
    • The final decree of divorce is granted or Domestic Partnership termination with the State

    Note: Your former spouse must be deleted from your medical, dental and/or vision plan coverage even if the divorce settlement requires you to provide coverage. Your former spouse/registered domestic partner will be eligible for COBRA if you provide notice of your divorce/dissolution of domestic partnership within 60 days of the event date.



  3. Do I have to notify Employee Benefits when a dependent becomes ineligible for coverage?

    Yes. It is your responsibility to complete forms and submit them to Employee Benefits or your Payroll Specialist within 60 days of the date a dependent loses eligibility. If you fail to notify the County within 60 days, you might be liable for any claims paid or services rendered on behalf of an ineligible family member.

    Your notification within 60 days is very important. The County's agreements, plan documents and administrative policies require the County to notify the plans within specified time frames. Employees who fail to notify the County within 60 days might experience a loss of premiums and may forfeit COBRA rights.


  4. What happens to my coverage if my employment with the County ends?

    The County of San Bernardino, as required under provisions of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985, offers employees and their covered family members the opportunity to elect a temporary extension of coverage (called "continuation coverage" or "COBRA coverage") in certain instances where coverage would otherwise end due to certain qualifying events.

    Should an actual qualifying event occur in the future, Employee Benefits will send you additional information and the appropriate election notices.

  5. What happens to my medical and dental coverage when I retire?

    When you retire, your County medical and dental insurance coverage will continue for one pay period if you code the required hours. A COBRA notice will be mailed to your home after your retirement to remind you of this option. For retirement, COBRA allows you to continue your current benefit elections for up to 18 months. You will be responsible for the full premium plus a 2% administrative fee. Under California law, an extension of coverage is available for up to 18 additional months for medical coverage only (the costs may be 110% of the premium).

    If you are eligible to receive a County retirement, you also have the option of enrolling in medical and/or dental plans offered by the County. To obtain retiree plan information, premium cost and premium subsidy information, contact Employee Benefits. Premium payments are deducted from your retiree warrant. Retiree enrollment forms must be completed and returned within 60 days of retirement or exhaustion of COBRA continuation coverage. If you do not elect to enroll in a County retiree plan within 60 days of retirement, you must wait until the next Open Enrollment for retirees.

    6. What happens if my dependents or I become eligible for Medicare?

    Employees and/or dependents who will be turning age 65 or are disabled may choose either a County-sponsored medical plan or Medicare. If you and/or your dependents are eligible for Medicare, yet choose to stay in a County plan, Medicare will pay benefits after the County's plan has paid. To help you decide, call the Social Security office to discuss Medicare options and premiums. Prior to turning age 65, the County will send a letter explaining coverage options.


 

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