17.1 Payment of Healthcare Premiums
The County and covered employees share in the cost of health care premiums. The County will pay eighty-five percent (85%) of the total premium for the Kaiser HMO, Blue Shield HMO, Kaiser High Deductible Health Plan or Blue Shield High Deductible Plan, and covered employees will pay fifteen percent (15%) of the total plan premium.
Alternatively, the County will pay seventy-five percent (75%) of the total premium for the Blue Shield POS Plan, and covered employees will pay twenty-five percent (25%) of the total premium for the Blue Shield POS Plan. Effective with the January 1, 2016 plan year, the Blue Shield POS (Point-of-Service) plan was replaced with the Blue Shield (Preferred Provider Organization) plan.
17.2 Healthcare Legislation Reopener
Upon request from the County, the parties will reopen Section 17 during the term of the agreement if necessary to address changes required under the Affordable Care Act or other healthcare legislation. Upon the County or the Union’s request, the County and Union 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 ACA), or other taxation resulting from future healthcare legislation.
17.3 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 (1/2) of the County contributions to 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 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 or Blue Shield High Deductible Plan, three-fourths (3/4) of the County contributions to the hospital and medical care premiums described above.
17.4 Sick Leave Conversion to Health Coverage Upon Retirement
Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, employees whose employment with the County is severed by reason of retirement during the term of this Memorandum of Understanding shall be reimbursed by the County for the unused sick leave at time of retirement on the following basis:
- For each eight (8) hours of unused sick leave at time of retirement, the County shall pay for one (1) month’s premium for health coverage or for dental 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 Four Hundred ($400.00) per month for the retired employee to continue health or dental coverage (e.g., if an employee retires with three hundred twenty (320) hours of unused sick leave, the County will continue to pay four hundred dollars ($400) of the health or dental premiums on said employee for a period of forty (40) 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.
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 full hour increments above a minimum of eight 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).
- The County provides a specified contribution to retirees who have unused sick leave at the time of retirement. For each unused 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.
- The County will provide up to one hundred ninety-two (192) hours of sick leave (two (2) years of retiree health coverage) to employees who receive a disability retirement. For example, if a worker who receives a disability retirement has one hundred (100) hours of sick leave at the time of retirement, the County will add another ninety-two (92) hours of sick leave to their balance. This sick leave will be converted at the rate of four hundred dollars ($400.00) per eight (8) hours of sick leave.
- Effective January 1, 2023, employees who retire via service or disability retirement from the County simultaneously separating from County service, who used paid sick leave concurrently with approved Family Medical Leave (FMLA), California Family Rights Act Leave (CFRA), and/or Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) during County service, will have the amount of paid sick leave used concurrently with FMLA/CFRA/PDL, up to a maximum of two hundred forty (240) hours, restored to the employee’s sick leave bank at retirement. Employees who took FMLA/CFRA/PDL leave prior to 2015 will be required to provide documentation of FMLA/CFRA/PDL to the County in advance of retirement to establish eligibility for sick leave restoration. The sufficiency of documentation establishing use of FMLA/CFRA/PDL leave prior to 2015 is subject to County approval.
17.5 The surviving spouse of an active employee who dies may, if they elect a retirement allowance, convert the employee’s accrued sick leave to the above specified limits providing that the employee was age fifty-five (55) or over with at least twenty years (20) of continuous service.