OUSD Benefits FAQs
Open Enrollment Information: Find everything you need to know here.
Benefits Information: Click here to view a slide deck with comprehensive information about OUSD Benefits including:
- What benefits does OUSD provide & how to enroll
- Benefits costs & start dates
- How to decline or enroll in coverage
- Retirement Savings
- Escape Employee Portal
- Accessing Mental Health Services
- OUSD Wellness Resources
- Talent Webpage & Tools
I am thinking of retiring. What should I know about my Benefits?
Congratulations! There is a lot to retirement planning and good for you for starting early! Click here to find more information about Retirement planning, and Retiree benefits coverage
Once I'm hired, when do my Benefits take effect?
When your Benefits become active depends on your Bargaining unit and hire date. Click here for a chart that helps you look up your own coverage start dates
How much will my Benefits cost me?
Any cost contribution depends on your position and part-time status. Click here to see the OUSD Part-time cost chart
When do I get my ID cards? What if they don't come?
You will receive ID cards for your Medical insurance plan, but not for Dental or vision. Your Social security number is your ID number for the vision plan and the Dental plan is identified by the OUSD Plan number. Your medical plan ID card may not arrive immediately after your hire, but if you need to schedule care and your coverage is active according to the chart above, you may contact the provider and schedule an appointment. They will contact OUSD to confirm coverage.
Who can be my Dependent?
You may extend your Benefits coverage to your Spouse, Domestic Partner, or child(ren) who are either natural, Step, adopted or legally under your guardianship. Children may remain on your benefits plan through age 26.
How can I make my Domestic Partner my Dependent?
OUSD requires that domestic partners register their partnerships with the State of California - Secretary of State Office. You must meet their eligibility requirements. Please see more information on how to become eligible at the following website:
Once eligibility is granted, you must bring the certificate to the Talent Division/Benefits within 30 days of the date signed by the State.
What do I need to submit to enroll my Dependents?
When you sign up for benefits or add a dependent, you must submit:
- For chidren: a birth certificate, and for adopted or children or those placed under legal guardianship additionally court documents
- For spouses/Partners: marriage license and/or the State of CA Domestic Partnership certificate.
When can I change my coverage or sign up for something new?
You have 30 days from your date of hire to enroll in benefits programs. After that, the only times you are allowed to change, start or stop coverage is either upon a Qualifying Event (a marriage, birth, adoption or other change to who your dependents are) or during Open Enrollment.
What is Open Enrollment?
Open Enrollment is a one-month period (usually in May) where employees have the chance to change their benefits to be effective on July 1, the start of the next fiscal year.
More about Qualifying Events
If you should experience a qualifying event at any time during the year, you have 30 days from the date of the event to sign up and/or make changes to your benefits. Otherwise, you will need to wait until our next open enrollment. A few examples of qualifying events are as follows: marriage, divorce, newborn, adoption/guardianship, FTE/position change, return from unpaid Leave of Absence, loss of outside insurance coverage.
If I don't need Benefits coverage through OUSD, can I get a cash payment instead?
OUSD does offer a Cash In Lieu (CIL) payment for this circumstance for certain employees. This program is only for people who are receiving health insurance coverage as a dependent through A DIFFERENT COMPANY THAN OUSD. CIL is a cash $250 stipend paid to those eligible employees who choose to terminate or not enroll in their District health benefits. The stipend equates to $3000 per year and is prorated for 10 month employees. To participate in this program, you must be an eligible full-time, non-OEA position and provide proof of health insurance coverage through an outside employer. You must enroll within 30 days from your date of hire or during Open Enrollment. Your enrollment must meet all guidelines in order to participate. Please click this link for more information.
What if I am already covered as a dependent under OUSD Benefits? Do I get a payment instead?
No! Employment in OUSD confers Benefits coverage on the employee and their dependents, but doesn't offer you double compensation of this perquisite. If you are already covered as a dependent of an OUSD Employee and then are hired yourself, you can either:
- ACCEPT benefts for yourself, and stop being a dependent on someone else's coverage, or
- DECLINE benefits and continue getting benefits as a dependent.
Please be aware that knowingly accepting double benefits coverage is illegal and can render you liable to repayment of overpayment of your premiums, and disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Are there Mental Health services available?
Your overall well-being is connected to your thoughts and feelings. OUSD wants to make sure you are mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy. If you or one of your family members are in need of counseling, please reach out to one of the resources listed below:
Ability Assist Counseling 800-964-3577
Kaiser Mental Health & Wellness 866-454-8855
Sutter Health Plus 855-202-0984
Contact the Talent Division Benefits Team!
- The Benefits Team holds weekly drop-in hours on Zoom from 3pm-4pm using this link,
- Email us at email@example.com.
- Call us at 510-879-0202.