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Frequently Asked Questions

Perhaps you have asked, or wanted to ask, one of the following questions. We hope the questions below, and the answers, will help you. If you do not find your question, or if you have further questions, please contact the Health Benefits Unit.

You are eligible as long as:

  • You are not covered by Medicare or over 65
  • You were not covered by Veteran’s Services (VA) during the last three months
  • You are not covered under TRICARE
  • You are eligible for your employer’s major medical plan. If you are not eligible for a major medical plan then a limited FSA could be a possibility.

​Yes, you may use funds to pay for the qualified medical expenses of yourself, your spouse, or a tax dependent.

No, you can still contribute up to $2,650 (or the limit set by your employer) even if you carry over $500 from the previous plan year.

The carryover option is available with a Healthcare FSA. It is not available with a Dependent Care FSA.

You have a few options. You may do nothing and continue your current benefits and have the premiums deducted from your retirement check. If you do not want to continue with benefits through LACCD, you must inform either CalPERS that you do not want to continue your medical benefits after you retire, or you can inform the Health Benefits Unit. However, you must inform either CalPERS or LACCD before you actually retire.

If you are currently receiving a STRS pension, but have not vested in LACCD benefits, you may be eligible to purchase medical and dental insurance for you and your spouse or domestic partner under the provisions of AB 528. You can find more information about AB 528 in California Education Code, Section 7000-7008.

Under CalPERS’ 60/90 rule, you must submit a complete health benefits packet within the first 60 days after being hired and your benefits will go into effect the first day of the month after the Health Benefits Unit receives the complete packet. If you submit a complete packet 61 days or more after your hire date, your benefits will go into effect the first day of the month after a 90 day wait period, or January 1, following the Open Enrollment Period, whichever comes first.

NOTE: “Hire Date” is the first day of employment, not the day you were offered employment.​

If you want to continue to have the same life insurance coverage(s) that you had before retirement through LACCD, you must convert your plan to an individual plan. Please speak with MetLife (Group #2188) about how to do this.

CalPERS will automatically move you to retiree medical benefits. As a courtesy, please inform the LACCD Health Benefits Unit that you are retiring. Please complete and submit an Application for Retiree Health Benefits, a copy of your PERS or STRS award letter, a copy of your Medicare card if you are 65 years of age or older, and a copy of CalPERS' Health Benefits Plan Enrollment for Retirees.

Please remember that even if you do not notify the Health Benefits Unit, CalPERS will continue your medical plan as long as you satisfy their requirements. But unless you notify the Health Benefits Unit, your dental and vision coverage may be lost.

​No. If any funds remain in your Healthcare FSA at the end of the current plan year, you carry over up to $500 into the subsequent year, indefinitely. Your carryover balance can be used at any time for expenses incurred in the new plan year (in addition to the elected payroll deductions).

Your employer can choose to allow a carryover of any amount up to $500 per participating employee per plan year. WageWorks encourages all employers to allow the maximum $500 carryover amount.

Yes, the $500 carryover option is available for any Healthcare FSA contribution level your employer elects.

Consider the following questions:

  • Do you have a monthly medication prescription?
  • Do you wear glasses?
  • Do you pay for childcare?
  • Do you have a medical copay or deductible charge when you visit the doctor?
  • Do you or your dependents have orthodontia costs?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions then an FSA might be right for you. FSAs are helpful for anyone with eligible out-of-pocket medical, dental, or vision expenses, or eligible dependent care costs.

Cosmetic surgery and procedures

  • Dental whitening
  • Expenses for healthcare services rendered outside the coverage period
  • Expenses reimbursed by an insurance provider or another health plan
  • Family or marriage counseling
  • Herbs, vitamins, supplements, or other over-the-counter items used for general health
  • Insurance premiums
  • Personal use items (e.g., toothpaste, shaving cream, cosmetics)

​If you don’t re-elect a Healthcare FSA, Your carryover balance will be defaulted to a Healthcare FSA (with no contributions) for the new plan year automatically.

Within 90 days of quitting, you may claim reimbursement for expenses incurred while you were covered. Alternatively, if you elect COBRA, you may use your FSA funds for the remainder of the plan year in which you quit.

A Healthcare Flexible Spending Account, or FSA, is a pre-tax benefit account that you can use to pay for eligible medical, dental, and vision care expenses that aren’t covered by your health insurance plan. You decide how much to contribute to your Healthcare FSA each year, and funds are withdrawn automatically from each paycheck for deposit into your account before taxes are deducted. The total amount you elect to contribute to your Healthcare FSA each year is available on the first day of your plan year.

Generally, you need to spend the funds in your Healthcare FSA within the plan year. However, your employer may provide you a grace period of 2-½ months after the end of the plan year to spend funds left in your account, or your employer may allow you to carry over up to $500 left in your account into the next plan year.

​In general, female employees normally take two types of leave while on “maternity” leave. The first leave is an Illness Leave (also called “sick leave”) for the “pregnancy-disability” portion of the leave. The duration of the leave is determined by the doctor- normally 6 to 8 weeks. Pay during this type of leave is generated by use of the faculty member’s illness days. Faculty members are able to use half-pay illness days once the full-pay illness days have been exhausted. D basis faculty are also able to use their non-duty D basis days if approved by the chair.

Most faculty members follow the Illness Leave with a FMLA bonding leave. Faculty members are entitled to 12 weeks of FMLA bonding leave per calendar year and can take leave up to the baby’s first birthday. The unions have negotiated to run FMLA quota on a calendar year basis so a faculty member could take two 12-week periods of FMLA bonding for one child. For example, if the baby is born in June 2019, the parent can take 12 weeks of FMLA bonding leave in 2019 and another 12 weeks in 2020 up to the baby’s first birthday.

Faculty members on FMLA bonding leave have the option of a paid FMLA leave using their illness quota (full-pay and half-pay) or an unpaid leave (but district-paid medical benefits are still provided). Also, the Faculty Guild has negotiated for a separate paid “Maternity/Paternity Leave” which provides for the district to pay 50% of the faculty member’s salary for the first ten days on this type of leave. For the first 10 days of leave, only 5 days are deducted from the faculty member’s illness quota. The “Maternity/Paternity” leave is run concurrently with the FMLA bonding leave.

Adjunct faculty are also entitled to take Illness Leave for pregnancy if they start the class before taking leave. Adjunct faculty are also eligible for FMLA bonding leave if they have worked for the district for at least 12 months. Adjuncts are entitled to half-pay illness while on Illness Leave if they are on the seniority list per the contract. Adjuncts are also entitled to use half-pay illness for FMLA bonding leave. The requirement to have worked 1250 hours in the year prior to bonding leave was removed in California in 2016 due to a revision of state law. The “Maternity/Paternity” leave that the Guild negotiated is available to contract and regular faculty only.

A Medical FSA Plan allows you to pay for eligible out-of-pocket medical expenses with pre-tax dollars. The IRS annual maximum contribution is $2,650 (in 2018); however, your employer may elect a lesser amount. Eligible expenses may include deductibles, copayments, or medical costs that are generally deductible on your annual tax return. Examples include contact lenses and solution, eye exams, dental services, orthodontia, chiropractors and acupuncture. For additional details, please refer to IRS Publication 502.

The Dependent Care FSA Plan allows you to pay for eligible out-of-pocket daycare expenses with pre-tax dollars. The IRS annual maximum deferral is $5,000, or $2,500 if married & filing separately. Qualified expenses include costs to care for a tax-dependent child under 13 living with you, or a tax-dependent parent, spouse or adult child living with you and incapable of caring for themselves. Examples of qualified expenses include after school day care, registration costs and preschools and home-based daycare facilities. Overnight camps, music lessons, foreign language and gymnastics classes are examples of ineligible expenses. Dependent Care providers must furnish a federal tax ID or social security number. For additional details, please refer to IRS Publication 503

Your funds will be available on the first day of the new plan year. The amount carried over is determined at the end of any runout period for the previous plan year. You do not have to make a new contribution election for the new plan year to receive the carryover funds.

​The 2018 (current) plan year will pay first and the 2017 (carryover) plan will pay second. You get the best use of your funds by having the current plan year pay first, and the previous plan year pay second.

HRA dollars must be used first unless there is an eligible expense that the HRA does not cover, in which case the FSA can be used.