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Other Benefits

The Superior Court is pleased to offer a voluntary Long Term Disability (LTD) plan, insured by United Healthcare. Long Term Disability insurance provides partial income replacement, in the event an employee becomes totally disabled and unable to work for more than 90 days. The plan will pay up to 60% of an employee’s pre-disability earnings, to a maximum of $5,000 per month, for up to five years.

Enrollment in United's Long Term Disability Insurance plan can be requested at any time during the year, but does require the completion and submission of the below enrollment form to the Court's Human Resources Department, attn: Kristin Bush, as well as the completion of the Statement of Insurability (LTD).  Since the Statement of Insurability does include personal health information, it should be remitted directly to United Health at the address indicated on the form.  Employees who are within their initial 30 days of hire (known as the "waiting period") are not required to complete and return the Evidence of Insurability, as coverage will be granted under the policy's "Guarantee Issue" period.

Please visit the links below for more information regarding the Court’s voluntary Long Term Disability insurance plan:

The Superior Court provides employees with Basic Life Insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance at no out-of-pocket cost to the employee ($100,000 for Management, $50,000 for Confidential, and $10,000 for Represented Employees). Employees may purchase additional coverage by way of Supplemental Life Insurance for themselves, their spouse and/or dependent children at group rates.

In order to obtain Supplemental Life Coverage, employees have the ability to enroll under the Guaranteed Issue (GI) period (within 30 days of their original hire date), where an employee may elect, in increments of $10,000 only, up to $150,000 worth of coverage for themselves, up to $20,000 for a spouse and $10,000 for children. Child coverage cannot be requested or granted for more than the $10,000 benefit, which covers all eligible dependent children for one flat bi-weekly premium. Should you fail to enroll during your designated Guarantee Issue period (again, within 30 days of hire), you must complete and return the below linked Enrollment Form listing the desired amount requested directly to Kristin Bush in the Human Resources Department.

Additionally, you will need to complete and return the below linked Statement of Insurability Form, but instead of remitting to Human Resources, you will remit directly to Unimerica, the company that underwrites the policy. Please note that this form only needs to be remitted if you are requesting amounts in excess of the allowed Guaranteed Issue limits, or if you are making a request for Supplemental Life Coverage in any amount after your 30th day of employment. Once a determination to grant or deny coverage has been made by Unimerica, both you, and the Human Resources Department will receive a letter of determination. Should the coverage you requested be denied for any reason, your letter will likely give an explanation as to why. The letter the Court receives will merely state that the coverage you requested was not granted and approved.

Please visit the links below for important information regarding your basic/supplemental life insurance options:

A governmental 457(b) deferred compensation plan is a retirement savings plan that allows all full-time Superior Court employees to supplement any pension benefits provided by Kern County Employees’ Retirement Association (KCERA) by saving and investing pre-tax dollars through a voluntary salary contribution. Contributions and any earnings on contributions are tax-deferred until money is withdrawn. All distributions are subject to ordinary income tax in the year in which distributions are taken. The contribution limit for the 2022 plan year is $20,500; however, individuals over the age 50 may contribute up to an additional $6,500, should they desire to do so. Additionally, you may be eligible for a “Special 457 Catch-Up” contribution in the three years prior to normal retirement age. Please contact your Deferred Compensation (Voya) representative to determine if you are eligible for the “Special 457 Catch-up.” Please note that the IRS may change contribution limits each year. You can refer to www.voya.com/IRSlimits for the latest contribution limits, or you may contact the Kern County Deferred Compensation Plan directly at (661) 868-3467. Kern County 457 Deferred Comp will also continue to have offices located at 1115 Truxtun (in the County of Kern Administrative Building) inside the Kern County Treasurer Tax Collector’s Office on the 2nd floor.

 

Deferred Compensation EZ Enrollment/Participation Agreement
 

Kern County Deferred Compensation

(661) 868-3467

kerncounty457.beready2retire.com

OptumHealth EAP is designed to address personal, emotional and workplace issues in their earliest stages. They offer 24/7/365 access to counseling services, child and elder care referrals, financial and legal advice services and much more. It is completely confidential and you and anyone living in your household will have access to up to six (6) free, confidential face-to-face visits with a licensed counselor, per circumstance, per year, with no limitations of how frequently the sessions can be scheduled. In addition, for those that prefer more anonymity or who do not have the time to attend face-to-face visits, OptumHealth offers unlimited access to telephonic EAP counseling services as well. In the event you, or your household member are in need of more than six (6) visits for the same circumstance in a calendar year, OptumHealth will assist in finding a counselor/therapist within the Court’s mental health benefit offered under our existing medical plan through Anthem Blue Cross, provided the member is a covered person on that plan.

Knowing that the initial call is sometimes the most difficult step in getting help, OptumHealth’s master’s-level employee assistance specialists will greet each incoming call with a warm, caring and supportive approach and will focus on going the extra mile to ensure your experience with the EAP is a beneficial one.

OptumHealth offers an extensive selection of EAP providers in Bakersfield and the surrounding areas. They also provide a comprehensive website that offers self-help and resource tools for the various types of services the EAP benefit covers.

To access this beneficial program, you can simply call OptumHealth at the number listed below or visit their website for more information.

Register with the company code: KERN to access benefits through the OptumHealth website
 

OptumHealth EAP

(866) 248-4098

www.liveandworkwell.com

The Superior Court offers two (2) flexible spending account plans that allow employees to pay for dependent care, un-reimbursed medical expenses and certain insurance premiums on a pre-tax basis through payroll deduction. An employee may choose one or both plans to participate in; however, enrollment in this program must be completed within 30 days of the initial hire date or during the annual open enrollment period. Any elections (choices) made during the open enrollment period will be in effect for the entire plan (calendar) year and cannot be changed without a qualifying change in family status, or until the next open enrollment. In addition, all open enrollment changes are effective the first day of the next calendar year. Employees who wish to remain in this program year after year must re-enroll each year they wish to participate in flexible spending accounts and may make adjustments to their contributions at that time.

Health Care Spending Account

This plan helps participants pay the out-of-pocket costs associated with their medical, dental and vision plans that were not covered expenses under the Health Benefit plan, such as co-pays and/or deductibles as well as many other IRS qualifying expenses. This includes expenses for yourself and any person(s) you claim as a dependent on your Federal income tax return, regardless if they are covered under your Court medical plan.

Participants may elect an amount to be deducted on a pre-tax basis from their annual pay to go into this spending account broken up on a bi-weekly basis. After submitting receipts along with a reimbursement claim form for qualified expenses, participants are directly reimbursed from this account.

Here is a summary of the key benefits of a Health Care Spending Account, including a listing of eligible reimbursable expenses.

Maximum Annual Contribution Amount $2,850
Eligible Covered Dependent Any dependent you can claim on your tax return
Eligible Expense Time Period January 1 (or hire date, if later) to December 31 of same year
Claims Filing Deadline March 31 of subsequent year
IRS Rules Any funds left in your account after the end of the eligible expense time period are forfeited

Dependent Care Spending Account

This plan helps make dependent care expenses more affordable. This includes expenses for dependent children under the age of 13 whom you claim as a dependent on your Federal income tax return, or other family members, such as disabled children or elderly parents, who are unable to care for themselves, require full-time care, and whom you claim as dependents on your income tax return.

Participants may elect an amount to be deducted on a pre-tax basis from their annual pay to go into this spending account broken up on a bi-weekly basis. After submitting receipts along with a reimbursement claim form for qualified dependent care expenses, participants are directly reimbursed from this account.

Here is a summary of the key benefits of a Dependent Care Spending Account, including eligible reimbursable expenses.

Maximum Annual Contribution Amount $5,000
Eligible Covered Dependent Any dependent you can claim on your tax return
Eligible Expense Time Period January 1 (or hire date, if later) to December 31 of same year
Claims Filing Deadline March 31 of subsequent year
Eligible Covered Dependent Dependent children under age 13 whom you claim as a dependent on your Federal income tax return. Other family members, such as disabled children or elderly parents, who are unable to take care of themselves, require full-time care, and whom you claim as dependents on your income tax return, are also eligible.
IRS Rules Any funds left in your account after the end of the eligible expense time period are forfeited

Please visit the links below for important information regarding your flexible spending accounts:

FSA HealthComp

P.O. Box 45018

Fresno, CA 93718-5018

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives workers and their families who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events. Qualified individuals are required to pay the entire premium for coverage up to 102 percent of the cost to the plan.

HealthComp

1-800-442-7247

www.healthcomp.com

Annual Flu Vaccinations

In an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Court has regretfully decided to once again postpone the on-site flu vaccination clinics typically scheduled in the Fall of each year.  While there are no longer social distancing requirements, on-site vaccination clinics are often accompanied by staff standing in somewhat large groups, and in close proximity to one another, while awaiting their turn.  While the Court will not be offering these on-site clinics, all employees are strongly encouraged to continue to obtain their annual flu vaccinations; either directly through their healthcare provider, or through their preferred local retail pharmacy. 

As a reminder, if you are enrolled in the Court’s Medical and Prescription component of the health benefit plan, you may take advantage of the Pharmacy Vaccination Program, which provides enrolled members routine vaccinations at no out-of-pocket cost when obtained through participating pharmacies.  If you are not enrolled in the Medical/Prescription component of the Court’s health plan and are still interested in obtaining an annual flu vaccination, please contact the Kern County Health Department at (661) 321-3000 to inquire about scheduling an appointment for free or low cost services, which may be available to you and/or your family.

If your pharmacy neglected to bill the Court's insurance plan resulting in an out of pocket expense to you and/or your enrolled dependent(s), you may submit the claim form located below to seek reimbursement. Claim for Reimbursement forms must include the employees name, the dependents name (if applicable) and have a copy of the receipt showing proof of payment as well as the Rx form showing the recipients name.

Claim for Reimbursement - Flu Vaccine

For more information, please contact Benefits and Payroll Administrator Kristin Bush at x86173, or Kristin.Bush@kern.courts.ca.gov

Pharmacy Vaccination Program

Effective January 1, 2020, all employees who are enrolled in the Medical/Rx component of the Court’s Health Benefit Plan (and their enrolled dependents) will be able to obtain many routine vaccinations and immunizations at local retail pharmacies without having to incur up-front, out-of-pocket costs and having to seek reimbursement.

While routine vaccines and immunizations have been covered by our Medical plan since its inception, the employee/enrolled dependent was required to obtain such vaccines/immunizations through their healthcare provider, often having to incur a co-pay at the doctor’s office for the visit. Employees/enrolled dependents have also always been able to obtain vaccines/immunizations at local retail pharmacies; however, pharmacies will only bill Pharmacy Benefit plans, not Medical plans; therefore, any vaccination/immunization received through the pharmacy resulted in the employee/enrolled dependent having to cover the out-of-pocket expenses associated with that vaccine and completing additional paperwork to seek reimbursement if they wanted to re-coupe the costs they had incurred. While employees and their enrolled dependents can still obtain vaccinations/immunizations at their healthcare providers office (co-pays may still apply), after January 1, 2020, there will be no need to submit a claim for reimbursement when obtaining vaccinations/immunizations at a participating pharmacy. This will result in easier access to care, more convenience to employees and their covered dependents, and a cost savings to both the covered member as well as the Court’s Benefit Plan.

Over-the Counter (OTC)SARs-CoV-2 Testing Member FAQs

Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and recent regulatory guidance, certain health plans are required to provide benefits for items and services related to testing for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) until the current public health emergency ends.

What will those covered under the plan have to pay?
Under the FFCRA, for qualifying tests, your health plan may not impose any cost-sharing requirements (including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance), prior authorization, or other medical management requirements. For this reason, such items and services covered will come at no cost to those covered under your plan.

Do I need a prescription or an order from a doctor for testing?
A prescription or doctor’s order is no longer required for your plan to pay the cost of any qualifying over the counter (OTC) testing purchased from January 15, 2022 until the current public health emergency ends. The manner by which the plan will directly cover or reimburse for such testing is described below.

How do I submit my qualifying OTC test expenses for reimbursement?
Members enrolled in the Superior Court of California, County of Kern PPO Plan can submit a completed OTC COVID Test Claim Form, along with your receipt(s) to Healthcomp for reimbursement of qualifying OTC tests. The claim form can be completed electronically by logging in to HCOnline here and clicking on “Member Forms”, then “COVID Test Claim Form” which can be located under the Downloadable Forms section. You may also submit the form by mail - P.O. BOX 45018, FRESNO, CA 93718-5018, or fax - FAX (559) 499-2464. The OTC COVID claim form can also be found on the Superior Court intranet under Departments; Human Resources; and the “COVID Tests” link among other benefit-related material, or under the Forms/Documents link and typing in the keyword COVID.

How can I receive FDA-approved rapid antigen home tests?

  • Starting January 19, members can request free rapid antigen home tests, without shipping fees, from the federal government here
  • Rapid antigen home tests are also available at local drugstores or online.

Is there a limit to how often I can be reimbursed for the cost of tests?
Yes, the plan will only provide reimbursement for a maximum of eight (8) tests purchased within any thirty (30) day period, per covered individual. But note, OTC tests purchased with a doctor’s order or prescription will not count against this eight (8) test limit.

May I use this benefit to purchase tests for an individual not covered by my plan?
No. Tests purchased under these rules must be for the covered individual’s personal use. The test cannot be for employment-related purposes (e.g., fitness to return to work) either. You may be required, when seeking reimbursement, to legally attest to the fact that test(s) purchased were for your own use or for the use of another covered individual under whose benefit the test was purchased, and that the test will not be reimbursed by another source and was not used for resale or employment purposes.

Must I show proof of purchase for over-the-counter tests?
Yes. As explained above, when you seek reimbursement for the purchase of over-the-counter testing, you will be required to show documentation that proves that the tests were actually purchased and paid for. An itemized receipt is adequate proof of purchase for reimbursement.

What kind of testing would be best for me and those covered under my plan?
There are different kinds of tests designed to detect SARS-CoV-2 which you can choose. The information below may help guide you in choosing what kind of testing to seek. Your personal physician may have a recommendation on which type of test is most appropriate for you.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests

Generally, the most sensitive tests are polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which look for certain genetic material found in the virus. These tests are performed via a nasal swab, and usually done in a clinical setting by a technician, nurse, or other professional. PCR tests must then be sent to a laboratory which will generate a result, typically within a few days.

Antigen tests

Popular at-home tests (which are the kind you purchase over the counter) are usually antigen tests. These tests are fast, and will generate a result you can read yourself, within just a few minutes. However, according to the FDA, antigen tests are less sensitive than PCR tests, and are more likely to provide a false negative result. Many such tests are intended to be used serially, meaning that the test-taker should take the test on two separate days to minimize the possibility of giving the false impression that the test-taker is negative for SARS-CoV-2.

It is important to note that no test is 100% reliable. If you experience symptoms associated with COVID-19 or have any questions about testing, you should follow the guidance of your doctor and public health professionals, and limit your exposure to others, even if you have received a negative result through testing.

What home tests have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as qualifying tests?
These manufacturers and brand names have been approved by the FDA (this list is periodically updated by the FDA on its website, see below)

  • Abbott Diagnostics' BinaxNOW
  • SD Biosensor's COVID-19 At-Home Test.
  • Siemens' Clinitest.
  • IHealth Labs' iHealth test.
  • Quanterix Corp.'s Simoa.
  • Salofa Oy's Sienna-Clarity.
  • Becton, Dickinson and Company's BD Veritor System.
  • Nano-Ditech Corp.'s Nano-Check.
  • Access Bio's CareStart.
  • InBios' SCOV-2 Ag Detect.
  • GenBody Inc.'s GenBody COVID-19 Ag.
  • Ortho Clinical Diagnostic's Vitros.
  • Phase Scientific's Inicaid.
  • Quidel's QuickVue.
  • OraSure Technologies' InteliSwab.
  • LumiraDX UK's LumiraDx.
  • Princeton BioMeditec's Status.
  • Celltrion USA's Celltrion DiaTrusst.

More information about approved tests is available from the FDA’s website: here

What options are available if the availability of at-home testing is limited in my area?
The Federal Government now offers four (4) free at-home SARS-CoV-2 tests to every American household. These can be ordered online at COVIDtests.gov, and are shipped at no cost: https://www.covidtests.gov/

Beginning January 1, 2023, the Court will contract with Nationwide® Insurance to make
available voluntary Pet Protection Insurance through a convenient payroll deduction.  Enrollment begins starting November 1, 2022, so don't delay if you want coverage to begin January 1st.  

  • Get cash back on eligible vet bills: Choose your reimbursement level of 50% or 70%
  • Available exclusively for employees: Plans with preferred pricing only offered through the Superior Court
  • Use any vet, anywhere: No networks, no pre‐approvals

*Some exclusions may apply. Certain coverages may be subject to pre‐existing exclusions. Contact Nationwide for more information on exclusions. Reimbursement options may not be available in all states. Prices vary based on plan, species and ZIP code. 

Employees can enroll at any time throughout the year using the below enrollment options.

  1. Go directly to the dedicated URL that’s been created for the Superior Court: https://benefits.petinsurance.com/kerncourtsca (link will be active on 11/1/2022)
  2. Call 877‐738‐7874 and mention that you’re an employee of the Superior Court of California, County of Kern to receive preferred pricing
  3. Visit PetsNationwide.com or scan the QR code on the attached At-A-Glance below, and enter Superior Court of California, County of Kern

Beginning January 1, 2023, the Court will contract with UnitedHealthCare (the same company who underwrites our Basic, AD&D and Supplemental Life Insurance policies, as well as our Long‐Term Disability policy), to offer an additional Critical Illness Protection Plan. This plan helps give you and your family more financial security if you or a covered family member is diagnosed with a covered illness.

The Critical Illness Protection Plan sends a lump‐sum payment directly to you after a diagnosis of a covered condition.

The money is yours to use however you want, including paying for:

• Out‐of‐pocket health plan costs (deductibles, coinsurance, etc.)
• Mortgage or rent
• Groceries
• Prescriptions
• Treatment by a specialist
• Transportation to and from treatment

Covered conditions - For a complete list of covered conditions and benefit payment amounts,* see your official plan documents:

Base conditions:

  • Benign brain tumor
  • Cancer - invasive
  • Cancer - non-invasive (25%)
  • Chronic renal failure
  • Coma
  • Coronary artery disease (25%)
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Major organ failure
  • Permanent paralysis
  • Ruptured aneurysm
  • Stroke

Additional Conditions:

  • Advanced Alzheimer's
  • Advanced multiple scerolsis
  • Advanced Parkinson's
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Complete blindness
  • Complete loss of hearing

Child-Only Conditions:**

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Cleft lip/palate
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Down syndrome
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Spina bifida

*All benefits are payable at 100% unless otherwise noted as a partial benefit. Conditions and coverage may vary depending on where you live or what your employer is offering. **Coverage for child-only conditions is included, payable at 25% of the benefit amount. Coverage is from birth to age 26.

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