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:
- At the time of retirement, or
- 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 22.5. Upon agreement by both the County and employee organizations such new plan will replace the cash option.