22.1.            Payment of Healthcare Premiums – Regular Full Time Employees

The County and covered workers share in the cost of health care premiums. The County will pay 85% of the total premium for the Kaiser HMO, Blue Shield HMO, or Kaiser High Deductible Health Plans (employees pay 15% of the total premium) and the County will pay 75% of the total premium for the Blue Shield POS Plan (employees pay 25% of the total premium).

For full time employees enrolled in the Kaiser or Blue Shield High Deductible Health Plan, the County will annually contribute fifty percent (50%) of the cost of the deductible amount for the plan to a Health Savings Account. For part time employees working half time or more, the County’s contribution to the Health Savings Account shall be prorated based on their part time status.

22.2.            Permanent Part Time Employees

For County workers occupying permanent part-time positions who work a minimum of forty (40), but less than sixty (60) hours in a biweekly pay period, the County will pay one-half (1/2) of the hospital and medical care premiums described above.

For County workers occupying permanent part-time positions who work a minimum of sixty (60), but less than eighty (80) hours in a biweekly pay period, or qualify for health benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the County will pay eighty-five percent (85%) of the Kaiser High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) or three-fourths (3/4) of the County contribution to hospital and medical care premiums described above.

Upon request from the County, the parties will reopen Section 22 during the term of the agreement if necessary to address changes required under the ACA.

22.3.            Sick Leave Conversion to Health Coverage Upon Retirement

Unless otherwise provided in this MOU, workers hired prior to January 23, 2011 whose employment with the County is severed by reason of retirement during the term of this MOU shall be reimbursed by the County for the unused sick leave at time of retirement on the following basis:

For each 8 hours of unused sick leave at time of retirement, the County shall contribute towards one month’s premium for health or dental coverage for the worker and eligible dependents (if such dependents are enrolled in the plan at the time of retirement). The County shall not be obligated to contribute at a rate in excess of $420.00 per 8 hours of unused sick leave per month for the retired worker to continue health or dental coverage (e.g., if a worker retires with 320 hours of unused sick leave, the County will continue to pay the health or dental premiums for a period of 40 months). Workers may increase the number of hours per month to be converted up to a maximum of 14 hours of sick leave per month. Such conversion may be in one full hour increments above a minimum of eight hours (e.g., if a worker converts 12 hours, they would be reimbursed $610.00 instead of $420). The number of hours to be converted shall be set upon retirement and can be changed annually during open enrollment, or upon a change in family status that impacts the number of covered individuals (e.g., death of spouse, marriage and addition of spouse).

For employees who retire with 20 or more years of service with the County of San Mateo, the $420 rate will be increased by 4% effective January 1, 2009 and each January 1st thereafter, the rate will be increased by 4%. Such contribution shall not exceed 90% of the Kaiser Employee-only premium.

For employees who retire with at least 15 but less than 20 years of service with the County of San Mateo, the $420 rate will be increased by 2% effective January 1, 2009 and each January 1st thereafter, the rate will be increased by 2%. Such contribution shall not exceed 90% of the Kaiser Employee-Only premium.

For employees who retire after January 1, 2009 with less than 15 years of service with the County of San Mateo, the conversion rate for each 8 hours of sick leave will be increased to $440.

Employees hired prior to January 23, 2011, who retire on or after January 1, 2007 with 20 or more years of service with the County of San Mateo, the 8 hours of sick leave converted for each month’s retiree health contribution by the county shall be reduced to 6 hours.

Employees hired on or after January 23, 2011 receive $400 per 8 hours of accrued sick leave. No inflation factor and no conversion at a lower number of hours based on years of service. See Section 22.5.

Should a retired worker die while receiving benefits under this section, the worker’s spouse and eligible dependents shall continue to receive coverage to the limits provided above.

22.4.            Additional Sick Leave Credit Disability Retirement

The County will provide up to a maximum of 288.6 hours of sick leave (3 years of retiree health coverage) to workers who receive a disability retirement. For example, if a worker who receives a disability retirement has 100 hours of sick leave at the time of retirement, the County will add another 188.6 hours of sick leave to their balance.

Employees hired on or after January 23, 2011, whose employment with the County is severed by reason of retirement during the term of this MOU shall be reimbursed by the County for the unused sick leave at time of retirement on the following basis:

For each 8 hours of unused sick leave at time of retirement, the County shall contribute toward one month’s premium for health or dental coverage for the worker and eligible dependents (if such dependents are enrolled in the plan at the time of retirement.) The County shall not be obligated to contribute at a rate in excess of $400 per 8 hours of unused sick leave per month for the retired worker to continue health or dental coverage (e.g., if a worker retires with 320 hours of unused sick leave, the County will continue to pay towards the health or dental premiums for a period of 40 months.)

Employees who waive retiree health/dental coverage including COBRA rights may, upon retirement, convert each 8 hours of accrued sick leave for $100. Should this cashout be determined, either through legislative or judicial action, to constitute compensation earnable for retirement purposes, this provision shall become null and void. Effective January 1, 2007, employees will no longer be offered the option of cashing out sick leave if they waive retiree health. However, if it is determined to not create a taxable event and if it does not cause the above retiree health plans to become taxable events, then employees may exchange unused sick leave at a value of $100 per 8 hours into an RHSA upon retirement

22.5.            Sick Leave Conversion – Survivor Benefit

The surviving spouse of an active worker who dies may, if they elect a retirement allowance, convert the worker’s accrued sick leave to the above specified limits, providing that the worker was age 55 or over with at least 20 years of continuous service.

22.6.            Additional Sick Leave Credit

Employees who retire after March 31, 2008 will, upon exhaustion of accrued sick leave, be credited with additional hours of sick leave as follows:

  • With at least 10 but less than 15 years of service with the County of San Mateo – 96 hours
  • With at least 15 but less than 20 years of service with the County of San Mateo – 192 hours
  • With 20 or more years of service with the County of San Mateo – 288 hours

22.7.            Out of Area

Retirees who live in areas where no County Health Plan 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.

22.8.            Deferred Compensation Automatic Enrollment for New Employees

Subject to applicable federal regulations, the County agrees to provide a deferred compensation plan that allows employees to defer compensation on a pre-tax basis through payroll deduction.  Effective January 1, 2016, each new employee will be automatically enrolled in the County’s Deferred Compensation program, at the rate of one percent (1%) of their pre-tax wages, unless he or she chooses to opt out or to voluntarily change deferrals to greater than or less than the default one percent (>1%) as allowed in the plan or as allowed by law. The pre-tax deduction will be invested in the target fund associated with the employees’ date of birth. All deferrals are fully vested at the time of deferrals; there will be no waiting periods for vesting rights.

 

22.9.            Retiree Health Coverage Committee

Within the first six (6) months of this MOU and contingent upon the agreement of the majority of the major County labor groups to participate, the County and Union shall form a Retiree Health Coverage Committee to review Sections 22.3 – 22.8 of the MOU related to sick leave conversion upon retirement for health coverage/contributions to premiums and identify alternative retiree medical options. Within thirty (30) calendar days of the formation of the Retiree Health Coverage Committee, the parties shall schedule committee meetings. The Committee shall meet to review the current terms of the MOU and develop cost-neutral alternatives for consideration. Alternatives identified should include information (as applicable) on potential outside vendors, a timeline for implementation, identified opportunities and challenges with the alternative, and the funding methodology.

To the extent that an evaluation on the impact to the County’s OPEB liability can be identified, the committee will provide this information or identify a proposal for obtaining this data.

In addition to the alternatives identified, the committee will suggest a transition process for active employees (at the time a transition is made) from the current sick leave conversion program to be reviewed in conjunction with any alternative identified by the committee.

Upon the County’s approval of a replacement benefit, the Additional Sick Leave benefit described in Section 22.6 of this MOU will be eliminated, unless otherwise mutually agreed by the parties.

The Retiree Health Coverage Committee will consist of six (6) County representatives and two (2) Union representatives from each Union.