Resources Division - Frequently Asked Questions
How do I go about getting an eye exam?
If you have;
Anthem Blue Cross PPO, you will need a claim form from Medical Eye Services (MES) for your eye exam, frame & lenses,
Kaiser insurance plan, you will need to contact Kaiser for your eye exam. For your frame and lenses, you will need a claim form from Medical Eye Services (MES).
Anthem Blue Cross HMO, Bakersfield Family Medical, GemCare or Independence Medical group, contact your respective medical group for your eye exam. For your frame and lenses, you will need a claim form from Medical Eye Services (MES).
MES claim forms are available at this website or the Benefits Office.
How soon do I have to add a new spouse or newborn child to my insurance plan? And what documents do I need to submit with my application?
You need to enroll all new dependents within 2 weeks of the qualifying event.
Supporting documents are; Commemorative Birth Certificate, Birth Certificate, Marriage License, Adoptions papers or Legal Guardianship papers.
When can I change my insurance?
The City of Bakersfield has an Open Enrollment period for medical or dental changes once a year. The Open Enrollment is usually held in November/December.
Do I have to carry the City’s Health Insurance?
No. You may opt-out of either Medical (includes prescriptions, mental health, & vision) and/or Dental or both. You will not be compensated for opting-out of the health plans.
If I opt-out when may I sign up again?
You may sign up at Open Enrollment or if your spouse loses their coverage due to loss of work. Documents are required and it must be within a 2 weeks of the event.
When can I change my doctor?
For the Anthem Blue Cross (ABC) HMO plan, you may change your doctor once a month. You may call the Customer Service number (800-227-3560) that is located on back of your medical card. Listings of the ABC HMO providers are listed on their website www.Anthem.com. Or a list of the Primary Care Physician’s is also available online at this website or at the Benefits Office.
For the Kaiser insurance plan, you may call Customer Service number (800-464-4000) that is on your medical card.
For Anthem Blue Cross PPO insurance plan you do not need to select a primary care physician. To review the listing of PPO/Prudent Buyer physicians refer to www.anthem.com.
At what age does my child’s health care coverage end?
Ages 19-23; a dependent child must be enrolled in school to be covered under your Dental plan. Student certification will be required.
After age 19, a dependent my remain on your medical plan (includes prescriptions, mental health, & vision) until they are age 23. This dependent does not need to be in school, living at home or unmarried.
Age 23 – 26; your dependent my remain on your medical plan but it will not include the vision plan.
If your child has to be removed from one or all of your health insurance plans for one of the above reasons, we can offer continuing health care coverage under COBRA. See COBRA topic.
I forgot to add my spouse or newborn child within the required 2 week qualifying event period. When may I add them to my insurance plans?
Qualifying events are; marriage, birth, adoptions, legal guardianship, or the final decree of divorce.
You may add your dependents at Open Enrollment which is typically held in November/December of each year.
Do I have Chiropractic or Acupuncture coverage?
Only Anthem Blue Cross PPO covers Chiropractic and Acupuncture services. Refer to you Summary of Benefits or your Evidence of Coverage booklet.
Under the HMO plans, your Primary Care Physician would have to refer you out for this type of service to covered.
Do I have to pay a deductible on my medical?
Only Anthem Blue Cross PPO has a deductible. The annual calendar year deductible is $350 per each family member up to a family deductible of $1050.
Kaiser Permanent and Anthem Blue Cross HMO have office copays of $25.
Do I have Life Insurance?
All employees’ have Life Insurance that is paid for by City. The amount coverage varies by Bargaining Unit.
Employees in the Miscellaneous Unit are eligible to apply for additional coverage at Open Enrollment.
I am in need of marital and/or family counseling. What is my coverage?
The Employee Assistance Program through PacifiCare Behavioral Health (www.PBHI.com) offers 3 free visits to one of their providers.
You need to call 800-999-9585 for pre-authorization.
After the 3 free visits it reverts to your Medical plan.
For Anthem Blue Cross PPO & HMO subscribers the mental health is administered by PacifiCare Behavioral Health (www.PBHI.com) and is $10 a visit.
Kaiser subscribers may use the 3 free visit with PacifiCare however, Kaiser has their own mental health plan. You should contact Kaiser Customer Service at 800-464-4000 for any further visits.
Do I have a disability insurance?
All Miscellaneous White and Blue Collar employees are covered by State Disability Insurance (SDI).
Employees in the Miscellaneous, Supervisory or Management Units are eligible to participate in the Unum Long Term Disability program. You may apply for coverage during Open Enrollment.
Employees in the Safety Units are not eligible for these two plans.
Does the City offer Long Term Care to their employees?
No. CalPERS offers the Long Term Care program. Their Open Enrollment period is usually held in the spring. You can find more information at their website www.calpers.ca.gov.
I am leaving employment with the City, what happens now?
Make an appointment with the Benefits Office 326-3094 and they will assist you with this process.
You are eligible for continuing health care coverage under COBRA. See COBRA topic.
The Benefits Office will notify CalPERS of your ending date once you receive your final pay check.
After this notification CalPERS will notify you.
Your final pay check will be direct deposited just like your previous checks. You will receive your copy on your regular pay day. You may request your department to mail this copy to you.
Your final pay check will include any vacation or comp time you have on the books.
Floating holidays are lost.
You are eligible only to receive your sick leave time, if you retire.
If you are in the Miscellaneous White Collar Bargaining Unit 2, ½ of your vacation and sick leave time will be deposited into your Retirement Health Savings account to be used for your future medical expenses.
When does my health insurance end? Your insurance ends at the end of the biweekly pay period in which you leave. You will not have health insurance taken out of your final pay check.
I’m thinking about retirement, how do I get an estimate?
On the CalPERS website www.calpers.ca.gov there is an online Retirement calculator where your can get an estimate. Remember that this is just an ESTIMATE. This figure does not include items such as; longevity, uniform, schooling or the final year “Employer Paid Contribution” amounts.
If you need assistance with your estimate, contact Ginger Rubin in the Benefits Office at 326-3094.
90 days prior to your retirement date, contact Ginger Rubin in the Benefits Office at 326-3094 and she will assist you with your application and health insurance.
How do I change my Federal or State tax withholdings?
Tax withholding forms are available at the Finance department at City Hall North 2nd floor or you can go on the intranet under Department, Financial Services, Payroll Information & Online Forms.
I want to change my Direct Deposit.
Forms are available at the Finance department at City Hall North 2nd floor or you can go on the intranet under Department, Financial Services, Payroll Information & Online Forms. The signed form and a check “marked void” or a Financial Institutions form is due at the Payroll department the Friday before pay day.
I would like to sign up or increase my Deferred Compensation Plan.
Deferred Compensation is handled by the Finance department. Follow the steps above for forms and information.
COBRA is a mandated Federal and State law that says that the City of Bakersfield must offer continuing health insurance for a period of 18 or 36 months depending on your eligibility.
You have 60 days to sign up and remit your premium for this coverage.
Contact the Benefits Office at 326-3094 for your enrollment forms.
FOR FURTHER QUESTIONS OR ASSISTANCE, CONTACT THE BENEFITS OFFICE AT 326-3094
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