18.1.             Payment of Healthcare Premiums (Regular Full Time Employees)

The County and covered employees share in the cost of health care premiums. Effective April 1, 2011, the County will pay eighty-five percent (85%) of the total premium for the Kaiser HMO, Blue Shield HMO, or Kaiser High Deductible Health Plan (employees pay fifteen percent (15%) of the total premium), or the County will pay seventy-five percent (75%) of the total premium for the Blue Shield POS Plan (employees pay twenty-five percent (25%) of the total premium).

18.2.             Permanent Part Time Employees

For County employees 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 (½) of the County contribution to the hospital and medical care premiums described above.

For County employees occupying permanent part-time positions who work a minimum of sixty (60), but less than eighty (80) hours in a bi-weekly 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 (¾) of the County contribution to the hospital and medical care premiums described above.

18.3.             Healthcare Legislation Reopener

Upon request from the County, the parties will reopen Section 18 during the term of the agreement if necessary to address changes required under the ACA or other healthcare legislation.

Upon the County or the Council’s request, the County and Council shall reopen the issue of payment of any taxation assessed against employers in association with employer health insurance contributions, (e.g., the excise tax referred to as “the Cadillac Tax” under the Affordable Care Act), or other taxation resulting from future healthcare legislation.

18.4.             Sick Leave Conversion to Medical Insurance Premiums Upon Retirement

Employees whose employment with the County is severed by reason of retirement during the term of this (MOU) shall be reimbursed by the County for their unused, accrued sick leave at time of retirement on the following basis:

  • Employees Hired Prior to July 10, 2011:

For employees hired prior to July 10, 2011 who retire with less than fifteen (15) years of service with the County of San Mateo the conversion rate for each eight (8) hours of sick leave will be four hundred forty dollars ($440.00).  

For employees hired prior to July 10, 2011 who retire with at least fifteen (15) years of service with the County of San Mateo, the conversion rate for each eight (8) hours of sick leave will be four hundred seventy two dollars and ninety-eight cents ($472.98). This amount will increase annually on January 1st by two percent (2%). Such contribution shall not exceed ninety percent (90%) of the Kaiser Employee-Only premium non-Medicare rate..

For employees hired prior to July 10, 2011 who retire with twenty (20) or more years of service with the County of San Mateo, the conversion rate for each six (6) hours of sick leave will be five hundred thirty one dollars and forty-three cents ($531.43). This amount shall be increased annually on January 1st by four percent (4%). Such contribution shall not exceed ninety percent (90%) of the Kaiser Employee-only premium non-Medicare rate.

  • Employees Hired On or After July 10, 2011:

For employees hired on or after July 10, 2011 who retire from service with the County of San Mateo the conversion rate for each eight (8) hours of accrued sick leave will be four hundred dollars ($400). No inflation factor and no conversion at a lower number of hours based on years of service.

(c)        Payment of Difference in Premium Cost: The County provides a specified contribution to retirees who have unused sick leave at the time of retirement. For eachunused six (6) or eight (8) hours of sick leave at time of retirement the County will make a specified contribution, as defined above, to the monthly premium for the retiree. If the cost of the premium is greater than the County’s contribution, the retiree pays the difference through their retirement pay warrant. If the cost of the premium is less than the County’s contribution, the County will apply the difference to the retiree’s Medicare Part B premium cost.

  • Additional Sick Leave Credit Upon Disability Retirement: The County will provide up to a maximum of two hundred eighty eight and six tenths (288.6) hours of sick leave (three (3) years of retiree health coverage) to employees who receive a disability retirement. For example, if an employee who receives a disability retirement has one hundred 100 hours of sick leave at the time of retirement, the County will add another one hundred eighty eight and six tenths (188.6) hours of sick leave to his/her balance.

18.5.              Survivor Benefit

  • Surviving Spouse of Active Employee: The surviving spouse of an active employee who dies may, if the spouse elects a retirement allowance, convert the employee’s accrued sick leave to the above specified limits providing that the employee was age fifty-0five (55) or over with at least twenty (20) years of continuous service.
  • Surviving Spouse of Retiree: 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.

18.6.             Additional Sick Leave Credit Upon Service Retirement

Employees who retire from the County of San Mateo via service retirement during the term of this contract will, upon exhaustion of accrued sick leave, be credited with additional hours of sick leave as follows:

  1. With at least ten (10) but less than fifteen (15) years of service with the County of San Mateo – ninety-six (96) hours
    1. With at least fifteen (15) but less than twenty (20) years of service with the County of San Mateo – one hundred ninety two (192) hours
    1. With twenty (20) years or more of service with the County of San Mateo – two hundred eighty eight (288) hours

18.7.             Amount of Hours Converted Per Month  

Employees may increase the number of hours per month to be converted up to a maximum of fourteen (14) hours of sick leave per month. Such conversion may be in one (1) full hour increments above a minimum of six (6) or eight (8) hours. 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).

18.8.             Out-of-Area Retirees

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. This option can be selected at any time the retiree moves out of a County health plan coverage area. 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.

An out-of-area retiree who has no available sick leave credits for conversion to County payment of health plan 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.

18.9.             Taxation 

The County shall continue its practice of calculating employee contributions for health and dental premiums on a pre‑tax basis consistent with Section 125 of the IRS Code.

18.10.         Dependent Grandchildren

Effective October 20, 1996 grandchildren of custodial grandparents will be eligible dependents on all health, dental, and vision plans, whether or not formal adoption has occurred. This eligibility is contingent on documentation which is acceptable to the Health Plan.

18.11.         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 Council shall form a Retiree Health Coverage Committee to review Sections 18.4-18.8 of the MOU related to sick leave conversion upon retirement for health coverage/contributions to premiums and identify alternative or supplemental retiree medical options, including potential variations on the current program. Within thirty (30) calendar days of the formation of the Retiree Health Coverage Committee, the parties shall schedule committee meetings. The parties agree to review the current terms of the MOU and develop 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, taxability issues and the funding methodology.

A Retirement Health Saving Program (RHSP) will be evaluated for its feasibility as one of the alternatives for the committee to review. RHSP programs that permit both employer and employee contributions along with options for leave conversions will be requested and reviewed by the committee. Should an alternative allow for the replacement of the existing sick leave conversion process and elimination of the additional sick leave credit in Section 18.6, those options will be evaluated for inclusion in an alternative contemplated by the committee.

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

In addition to the alternatives identified, if necessary, the committee should 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 and/or supplemental benefit, the Additional Sick Leave benefit described in Section 18.6 of this MOU will be eliminated, unless otherwise mutually agreed by the parties.

The Retiree Health Coverage Committee will consist of up to two (2) representatives from AFSCME, up to two (2) representatives from SEIU and one (1) representative from every other union/association in the County. The County may designate representatives to serve on the committee at its discretion.