Benefits eligibility and enrollment

Benefit earning employees

Benefit-eligible employees are those employees who work full- or part-time in a regular or limited duration position and whose standard hours are at least 20 hours per week.

Some temporary positions also provide benefits, including limited duration appointments that exceed six onths and have standard hours of 20 or more per week; and grant, trainee, and unclassified positions that are defined to include benefits.

Some benefits for part-time employees are pro-rated based on the number of hours worked.

Benefit earning employees may participate in

  • Health insurance 
  • Dental insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Short term disability insurance*
  • Long term disability insurance*
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Health care savings plan
  • Deferred compensation
  • Bus card program
  • Employee assistance program
  • MERSC
  • Mental health screening
  • Minnesota Benefits Association
  • PERA
  • HealthWorks

*Employees must have standard hours of 30 or more per week to be eligible for short- and long-term disability benefits. Trainee positions are excluded from short and long term disability benefits.

Non-benefit earning employees may participate in

  • Deferred compensation (as long as check is large enough for the deduction to be taken)
  • Bus card program (depends on employee status)
  • Employee assistance program
  • MERSC
  • Mental health screening
  • Minnesota Benefits Association
  • PERA (mandatory when employee earns more than $425 in any given month)
  • HealthWorks
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Dependent eligibility and enrollment

Health and dental insurance

Dependents are eligible to be covered under the county’s health and dental insurance plans as long as the employee is a covered member and the dependent meets one the following eligibility criteria:

  • Spouse (can be same-sex spouse)
  • Child up to age 26
  • Disabled child (disability status determined by PreferredOne or HealthPartners)
  • Grandchild up to age 26 who is a federal tax dependent and is residing with the employee

Life insurance

Dependents are eligible to be covered under the county’s dependent life insurance plan as long as the employee is covered under the additional life insurance program and the dependent meets one the following eligibility criteria:

  • Spouse (can be same-sex spouse)
  • Domestic partner
  • Child up to age 18, or through age 24 if a full-time student

Add or drop coverage

Health or dental insurance

You may add or drop health and dental coverage annually during the open enrollment period.

In addition, you may make a change to these benefits within 30 days, if you experience one of the following qualifying life events:

  • Marriage (including same-sex marriage)
  • Divorce or legal separation
  • Birth or adoption
  • Death
  • Employment change (you or your spouse)
  • Loss or gain of medical assistance or Medicare coverage

To add or drop health or dental coverage for you and or your dependents after a qualifying event, submit the family status change form (DOC) and the required documentation. The effective date of coverage can be found on the family status change form.

You must submit documentation within 30 days of the qualifying event(s). Failure to provide documents within 30 days will result in coverage being rejected. If you re-enroll the non-verified person(s) at a later date or during open enrollment, documentation will be required.

Send form and documentation to

Hennepin County Government Center
A-400 Attn: Benefits Division
300 S. 6th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55487

Fax: 612-348-9638
Email: HR.Benefits@hennepin.us

Life insurance

You may add or drop dependent life insurance at any time throughout the year. To add dependent life insurance you must have additional life insurance on yourself.

To add dependent life insurance without providing evidence of insurability, complete the life insurance change form within 31 days of a qualifying event for:

  • Marriage (including same-sex marriage)
  • Domestic partner relationship
  • Birth or adoption

Return the completed life insurance change form (DOC) to HR-Benefits, mail code 040.

You can drop dependent life insurance anytime throughout the year. It is the employee’s responsibility to drop this coverage when they no longer have an eligible dependent. Complete the life insurance change form (DOC) and submit it to HR-Benefits, mail code 040.

Required documentation for qualifying events

Marriage

Includes same-sex marriage.

  • For a new marriage:  A copy of your marriage certificate; for existing marriages:  a copy of your marriage certificate AND a document dated within the last 60 days showing current relationship with spouse (such as household bill) OR the front page of your most recent federal tax return

and

  • If adding a step-child, include a copy of child’s birth certificate naming your spouse as child’s parent

Divorce or legal separation

  • Court document with both parties’ full names and date filed with the court

and

  • Ex-spouse address

Birth / adoption

  • Birth certificate or adoption papers naming you as parent
  • If adding a spouse, a copy of your marriage certificate AND a document dated within the last 60 days showing current relationship with spouse (such as household bill) OR the front page of your most recent federal tax return

Grandchild

  • Grandchild’s birth certificate naming your child as parent

and

  • Your child’s birth certificate naming you as parent

and

  • Copy of your most recent tax return showing the grandchild as your dependent

and

  • Document dated within the last 6 months establishing that the grandchild lives with you

Death

  • Copy of death certificate – uncertified copy is acceptable

Loss or gain of employer health / dental coverage due to a spouse or dependent change in employment

  • Letter from employer listing the names of all covered persons, coverage each person has and the effective date of the coverage change
  • If adding a spouse, a copy of your marriage certificate AND front page of your most recent federal tax return OR document dated within the last 60 days showing current relationship with spouse (such as household bill)
  • If adding child, a copy of the birth certificate naming you as parent.

Loss or gain of Medical Assistance coverage

  • Letter from your county indicating date coverage ended
  • If adding a spouse, a copy of your marriage certificate AND front page of your most recent federal tax return OR document dated within the last 60 days showing current relationship with spouse (such as household bill)
  • If adding child, a copy of the birth certificate naming you as parent

Medicare

  • Proof of Medicare coverage showing effective date

Send documents to

Hennepin County Government Center
A-400 Attn: Benefits Division
300 S. 6th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55487

Fax: 612-348-9638
Email: HR.Benefits

HMS documentation for Dependent Audit 2/3-3/21/14

Eligible dependents to be covered under county’s health plans:

  • Spouse
  • Child up to age 26
  • Disabled child
  • Grandchild to age 26 AND federal tax dependent

Required documentation (copies only) to be submitted to HMS 2/3/14 – 3/21/14:

  • Spouse–Marriage certificate AND one of the following:
    • Either — a document dated within the last 60 days showing current relationship with spouse, such as a household bill
    • Or — the front page of your most recent tax return**
  • Child – birth certificate
  • Grandchild – grandchild’s birth certificate
    • Your child’s birth certificate
    • Copy of most recent tax return showing grandchild as dependent
    • Document dated within the last 6 months establishing grandchild lives with you


**Blackout all financial information and Social Security numbers**

Decrease in hours

If your hours decrease to below 30 standard hours per week

You are no longer eligible for short and/or long term disability insurance and cannot continue coverage at your own expense. You may still qualify for a monthly disability benefit if your disability began while covered by the plan.

If your hours decrease to below 20 standard hours per week

You may need to make changes to continue some benefits and you will lose access to others.

Impact on health, dental, and life insurance

Under federal law (known as COBRA) and Minnesota state law, you have the right to continue health, dental, and/or life insurance through the county’s group insurance program. You will receive continuation material from Eide Bailly Employee Benefits, the county’s COBRA administrator. You need to respond to the offer from Eide Bailly to continue these benefits for up to 18 months at your own expense. Learn more about COBRA.

Impact on long- and short-term disability insurance

You are no longer eligible for short and/or long term disability insurance and cannot continue coverage at your own expense. You may still qualify for a monthly disability benefit if your disability began while covered by the plan.

Impact on your commuting and flexible spending accounts

  • MetroPass, Go-To cards, parking, and van pool programs: You may continue to participate.
  • Dependent care assistance: You may no longer participate in this program. If you are enrolled in this program, any expenses incurred prior to your benefit termination date may continue to be submitted to the plan through the end of the calendar year if you are working, looking for work, or attending school on a full-time basis.
  • Health care expense account: You may no longer participate in this program. If you are enrolled, your contributions will stop on the date your work hours were reduced. You may request reimbursement for claims incurred before the date your work hours were reduced, up to the end of the plan year. Claims incurred after this date are not eligible for reimbursement unless you submit a check on a biweekly basis for remainder of the year.

Impact on retirement savings

  • You may continue to contribute to your deferred compensation plan(s). Remember — you may adjust the amount of your contribution(s) through APEX.
  • You will continue to contribute a percentage to Public Employees Retirement Association.
  • If you qualify and are enrolled in the 1% Supplemental Retirement plan, you will continue to contribute 1% of your salary.

Impact on time off and pay

  • Holiday pay: You are not eligible to receive holiday pay. If you have deferred holiday time accrued, you may use it subject to your department’s policy.
  • Paid vacation, sick leave and paid time off (PTO): Accrual of these hours stops on the day your standard hours decrease to less than 20 hours per week. Any unused leave balances you have at the time you change work hours are available for you to use, subject to vacation/sick leave and PTO policies.
  • Stability pay: You are not eligible to receive stability pay.
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