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:

  1. 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).

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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.

17.6     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 17.4 & 17.5 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, 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 Sections 17.4 & 17.5, 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 Sections 17.4 & 17.5 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.

If the Retiree Health Coverage Committee does not reach a set of recommendations supported by a majority of the participating labor organizations as a result of the committee process, the County will agree to reopen with the UAPD bargaining unit over the issues of the sick leave conversion plan. The parties agree that UAPD does not preserve its right to strike during the term of the agreement if the parties fail to reach agreement over the reopener. The “No Strike” provision of the MOU will remain in effect during the full term of the agreement, including in relation to the reopener.