OSS MOU Section 17: Hospitalization and Medical Care

17.1     Medical Insurance:

  1. Regular Employees Assigned to Work Eighty (80) Hours Per Pay Period: The County pays seventy-five (75%) of the total premium for Blue Shield PPO plan (employees pay twenty-five percent (25%) of the total premium.
    The County pays eighty-five percent (85%) of the total premium for Kaiser HMO, Blue Shield HMO or Kaiser High Deductible Health plans (employees pay fifteen percent (15%) of the total premium).
  2. Regular Employees Assigned to Work Less Than Eighty (80) Hours Per Pay Period: For employees occupying permanent part-time positions who work a minimum of 60 but less than 80 hours in a biweekly pay period, or otherwise qualify as a full time employee of the County pursuant to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the County will pay eighty-five percent (85%) of the Kaiser High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) or three-fourths of the hospital and medical care premiums described above.

    For employees occupying permanent part-time positions, who work a minimum of 40, but less than 60 hours in a biweekly pay period, the County will pay one-half of the hospital and medical care premiums described above.

  3. Cadillac Tax Reopener: After July 1, 2017, the County may reopen with the Association to meet and confer regarding payment of “the Cadillac Tax” as described in the Affordable Care Act.

General ACA Reopener: Upon request from the County, the parties will reopen Section 15 during the term of the agreement if necessary to address changes required under the ACA.

17.2 Sick Leave Conversion:

Unless otherwise provided in this MOU, employees whose employment with the County is severed by reason of retirement on or after October 8, 2006, shall be reimbursed by the County for unused sick leave at time of retirement as follows:

For each 8 hours of unused sick leave at time of retirement, the County shall pay for one month’s premium for health, dental, and/or vision coverage for the employee and eligible dependents (if such dependents are enrolled in the plan at the time of retirement) provided that the County shall not be obligated to contribute in excess of $675 per month (e.g., if an employee retires with 400 hours of unused sick leave, the County will continue to pay $675 toward health, dental and/or vision premiums on said employee for a period of 50 months). Should a retired employee die while receiving benefits under this section, the employee’s spouse and eligible dependents shall continue to receive coverage to the limits provided above.

There is no limit or cap on the amount of accrued and unused sick leave that may be converted under this section.

17.3 Employees covered by this MOU shall have an amount equal to 0.5% of salary deducted from their paychecks. This deduction shall be credited to the County to be used to offset the costs of the retiree medical benefits described in 15.2 above.

17.4 Effective July 10, 2011, existing employees who promote into the Sergeant classification will bring forward the retiree health benefits that they had as a Deputy Sheriff. Additionally, if the existing employees in the $400 for 8 hours of unused sick leave plan retiree with 20 or more years of service with San Mateo County, they will receive an additional credit of 288 hours of sick leave. If the employee elected to remain in the $675 for each 8 hours of unused sick leave plan as a Deputy Sheriff, once promoted to a Sergeant, their cost share will be reduced to 0.5%.

17.5 Employees hired after April 10, 2016, for each 8 hours of unused sick leave at time of retirement, the County shall pay for one month’s premium for health, dental, and/or vision coverage for the employee and eligible dependents (if such dependents are enrolled in the plan at the time of retirement) provided that the County shall not be obligated to contribute in excess of $400 per month (e.g., if an employee retires with 400 hours of unused sick leave, the County will pay $400 toward health, dental and/or vision premiums on said employee for a period of 50 months). Should a retired employee die while receiving benefits under this section, the employee’s spouse and eligible dependents shall continue to receive coverage to the limits provided above.

Upon retirement, employees with 20 or greater full time equivalent years with San Mateo County will receive an additional credit of 288 hours of sick leave.

17.6 The County will provide up to a maximum of 288 hours of sick leave (3 years of retiree health coverage) to employees who receive a disability retirement. For example, if an employee who receives a disability retirement has 100 hours of sick leave at the time of retirement, the County will add another 188 hours of sick leave to their balance.

17.7 The surviving spouse of an active employee who dies may, if he/she elects a retirement allowance, convert the employee’s accrued sick leave to the above specified limits providing that the employee was age 50 or over with at least twenty years of continuous service.

17.8 The County will include coverage for young adult dependents and domestic partners in the health plans offered by the County.

17.9 The parties agree that benefit changes during the term of this MOU will be governed by any agreements reached with AFSCME regarding Hospitalization and Medical Care (AFSCME Section 21), Dental Care (AFSCME Section 22), and/or Vision Care (AFSCME Section 23) and that such changes shall be extended to this Memorandum of Understanding. The intent of this paragraph is to memorialize a “me-too” agreement regarding medical, dental and vision benefits changes entered into with AFSCME.

17.10 Out of Area

Retirees who live in areas where neither Kaiser nor Blue Shield coverage is available, and who are eligible for conversion of sick leave credits to a County contribution toward health plan premiums, may receive such contribution in cash while continuously enrolled in an alternate health plan in the area of residence. It is understood that such enrollment shall be the sole responsibility of the retiree. This option must be selected either:

1)         At the time of retirement, or

2)         During the annual open enrollment period for the County’s health plans, provided the retiree has been continuously enrolled in one of the County’s health plans at the time of the switch to this option.

Payment to the retiree will require the submission to the County of proof of continuous enrollment in the alternate health plan, which proof shall also entitle the retiree to retain the right to change back to any County-offered health plan during a subsequent open enrollment period.

Out-of-area retirees who have no available sick leave credits for conversion to County payment of health premiums may also select the option of enrollment in an alternate health plan in the area of residence provided that no cash payment will be made to the retiree in this instance. Should such retiree elect this option during an open enrollment period rather than at the time of retirement s/he must have had continuous enrollment in a County-offered health plan up to the time of this election. Continuous enrollment in the alternate plan will entitle the retiree to re‑enroll in a County-offered health plan during a subsequent open enrollment period.

It is understood that the County is actively seeking coverage for out-of-area retirees under a nationwide HMO or other health insurance plan and that, should such coverage become available during the term of this MOU, the County will meet with the Union regarding substitution of this plan for the arrangement described in this subsection. Upon agreement by both the County and employee organizations such new plan will replace the cash option.