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Employee insurance

County employees who earn benefits have a number of insurance options: health, dental, vision, disability, life, flexible spending accounts and the health incentive.

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Signing up for health insurance

  • You can sign up for health insurance when your job includes benefits
  • Health insurance starts the first of the month after your first day of work or after the first day you start earning benefits (for example, if your first day of work is February 15, your insurance starts March 1)
  • You pay for insurance out of your paycheck, pre-tax
  • You also have out-of-pocket costs (copays and deductibles)
  • The county offers a choice among four plans
  • Plans cover health care, prescription drugs, teeth cleanings, and exams for children up to age 19
  • To enroll in one of the Advantage plans, you and your covered dependents must live in the Twin Cities metro area or the western border of Wisconsin. If you reside outside this area, you must enroll in the Standard plan.

Premiums and costs

You can lower your office copays by earning the county’s health incentive.

Compare premiums, copays and other costs

Providers

Find a provider

Online care

You can get online care for 60 of the most common conditions without any copay or deductible.

Your online care depends on your health plan:

  • All plans – MDLive
  • Advantage (HealthPartners/Park Nicollet) and Standard – Virtuwell
  • Advantage (M Health/North Memorial) and Standard – Oncare
  • Advantage (Hennepin Healthcare/NorthPoint) – E-visits

Pay less for prescriptions

Add or drop insurance

  1. Complete the family status change form. Family status change form (DOCX)
  2. Send in the form and all required documents

Contact information

Health benefits and claims

PreferredOne
763-847-4477 (Toll free: 1-800-379-7727)
7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday
PreferredOne website

Health networks

Advantage – M Health Fairview / North Memorial

Advantage HealthPartners / Park Nicollet

Advantage – Hennepin Healthcare / NorthPoint

Standard

Signing up for dental insurance

  • You can sign up for dental insurance when your job includes benefits.
  • Dental insurance pays for teeth cleanings, exams, x-rays, fluoride treatments and special dental care.
  • Dental insurance starts the first of the month after your first day of work or after the first day you start earning benefits (for example, if your first day of work is February 15, your insurance starts March 1).
  • You pay for insurance out of your paycheck, pre-tax.
  • You also have out-of-pocket costs (copays and deductibles).

Cost per paycheck for dental insurance

Union employees in AFSCME Council 34, AFSCME Local 1719, AFSCME Local 2822, and Teamsters General Services (HH):

  • Single: $19.34 per paycheck
  • Family: $43.27 per paycheck

All other employees:

  • Single: $11.60 per paycheck
  • Family: $25.96 per paycheck

Plan overview

Add or drop insurance

  1. Complete the family status change form. Family status change form (DOCX).
  2. Send in the form and all required documents.

Contact information for dental benefits and claims

HealthPartners
952-883-5000
7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday

Signing up for vision insurance

You can sign up for vision insurance when your job includes benefits. Vision insurance starts the first of the month after your first day of work or after the first day you start earning benefits. For example, if your first day of work is February 15, your insurance starts March 1. 

Vision insurance doesn't cover eye exams or other eye care. Your health insurance covers eye exams.

Vision insurance pays for frames, lenses and contact lenses:

  • Frames: pays up to $175
  • Contact lenses: pays up to $175 (instead of lenses for glasses)
  • Lenses: $25 lens co-pay (instead of contact lenses)
  • Additional pairs of frames and lenses (including prescription sunglasses): 40% discount
  • Non-prescription sunglasses: discounts
  • No deductible
  • Starts over every January 1 (if you receive glasses today, you are eligible again next January 1 from today’s date of service)

Vision benefits summary (PDF)

Find a provider

EyeMed video (GoToMeeting video)

Employee cost per paycheck

You pay for vision insurance out of your paycheck pre-tax:

  • Employee: $2.34
  • Employee and spouse: $4.44
  • Employee and children: $4.62
  • Family: $6.90

There is no county contribution toward vision insurance.

Add or drop insurance

  1. Complete the family status change form. Family status change form (DOCX)
  2. Send in the form and all required documents

Contact information for vision benefits and claims

EyeMed (requires sign-in)
866-804-0982
6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday
10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday

Signing up for disability insurance

  • Employees who earn benefits and are scheduled to work 30+ standard hours each week can get disability insurance.
  • Long-term disability coverage: you automatically receive this coverage at no cost to you.
  • Short-term disability coverage: you can choose this coverage and opt out any time.
  • Disability insurance starts either the first of the month after your first day of work, or after the first day you start earning benefits (for example, if your first day of work is February 15, your insurance starts March 1).

Partial income replacement

  • Disability covers some income if you miss work due to illness or injury.
  • Payments apply only to your own illness or injury, not a family member's.

Short-term disability

  • You can choose short-term disability insurance and opt out any time.
  • Your pay for short-term disability out of your paycheck, after tax.
  • Your cost is based on your salary.
  • Determine your cost by using the premium calculator.

Short-term disability payments

  • You receive at least $100 per week for about two-and-a-half months.

Relation to other paid leave

  • You don't have to use up your paid leave to receive disability. When filing a short term disability claim, if you have sick leave, this must be used first.
  • You can still have a balance of up to 80 hours paid leave. The Floating Leave with Pay Day can be saved and will not count against your leave balance.

Avoiding sign-up penalties

  • You must sign up within 30 days of qualifying, to avoid a penalty.
  • Shortening your original chosen waiting period also has a penalty.
  • If you drop coverage and want to sign up again, there’s no penalty. But you must fill out a medical history statement (evidence of insurability). How to submit a medical history statement.

Plan details

To file a claim for short-term disability

  1. You must record your last day of paid time in APEX.
  2. Read and follow the claim instructions. Short-term disability claim instructions (PDF)
  3. Call 1-833-878-8857

Certificate of coverage

Long-term disability

  • You’re automatically enrolled in long-term disability insurance at no cost to you.
  • You can opt out any time.
  • Long-term disability payments amount to at least $100 per month.
  • Payments could start once you’ve missed 90 days of work.

Plan details

Opting out of long-term disability insurance

  • Email HR benefits at hr.benefits@hennepin.us.
  • Once we get the email your coverage ends last day of that month (for example, if we get the email March 9, your coverage ends March 31).
  • If you opt out and want to opt back in, you must fill out a medical history statement (evidence of insurability). How to fill out a medical history statement.

If you're already receiving short-term disability payments

  • You don’t have to also file a long-term disability claim.
  • You may have a gap between when short-term coverage ends and long-term begins.
  • Long-term payments are monthly, while short-term payments are weekly.

To file a claim for long-term disability

  1. Read and follow the instructions. Long-term disability claim instructions (PDF)
  2. Call 1-833-878-8857

Certificate of coverage

Other disability coverage

Signing up for life insurance

  • Employees who earn benefits automatically receive a basic life insurance policy at no cost to you.
  • Life insurance starts the first of the month after your first day of work or after the first day you start earning benefits (for example, if your first day of work is February 15, your insurance starts March 1).

Plan overview

  • No cost to you
  • Payment to your family if you die while employed at the county: $50,000 life and $50,000 accidental death and dismemberment
  • If you get a terminal illness while under age 60 you can get a one-time payment of up to 75 percent of your life insurance
  • Return of your body if you die more than 200 miles from home
  • Additional payment for using a seat belt or air bag in a car accident
  • Travel assistance including medical help, emergency transportation and legal services
  • Help creating a will, funeral planning, and grief support for your survivors
  • Summary of basic life insurance

Cost

Filing a claim

Change your coverage or beneficiary

You must cancel coverage for children who are no longer eligible for your plan. Cancellation is not automatic.

To change your coverage, complete and submit the enrollment and change form.

Enrollment and change form (PDF) – if you're not able to sign the form electronically, please indicate "unable to sign due to COVID-19" in the email you send to HR.Benefits@Hennepin.us with your form.

To change your beneficiary:

Additional life insurance you can buy

The cost for additional insurance you buy above your automatic insurance comes out of your paycheck. You pay for this with after-tax dollars.

Determine your cost with the life insurance calculator.

Summary of benefits for additional life insurance

Coverage for yourself if you die

If you buy within 31 days of being hired or becoming eligible for benefits:

If you buy after 31 days:

Coverage for your spouse or domestic partner if they die

If you buy within 31 days of being hired or becoming eligible for benefits:

  • You must first have additional life insurance for yourself.
  • You can buy up to $50,000 in coverage without a medical evaluation (evidence of insurability).
  • You can buy up to an additional $200,000, with a medical evaluation the insurer approves. Instructions for submitting a medical history form (evidence of insurability)
  • You buy in amounts of $5,000.
  • You can’t buy any more than half the value of your additional insurance.
  • Doesn’t include accidental death or dismemberment.

If you buy after 31 days:

  • You must first have additional life insurance for yourself.
  • Your spouse or domestic partner must fill out a medical evaluation (evidence of insurability).
  • You can buy up to an additional $250,000, with a medical evaluation the insurer approves. Instructions for submitting a medical history form (evidence of insurability)
  • You buy in amounts of $5,000.
  • You can’t buy any more than half the value of your additional insurance.
  • A spouse cannot be covered both as employee and spouse.
  • Doesn’t include accidental death or dismemberment.

To cover a domestic partner, you must complete a domestic partner certificate and send a copy to hr.benefits@hennepin.us. View the domestic partner certificate.

Coverage for your children if they die (biological, adopted or step)

  • You must first have additional life insurance for yourself.
  • You can buy in amounts of $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000 and pay one cost for all children.
  • You can cover them through age 18 if living at home, and through age 24 for full-time students.
  • Once you no longer have an eligible child, you must cancel their coverage. Cancel coverage with the Enrollment and change form (PDF).
  • You can't cover children who are married or full-time military.
  • You can cover a disabled child after they turn 18 but you must apply for that coverage. Application for disabled child (PDF)
  • No medical evaluation required (evidence of insurability)
  • Doesn’t include accidental death and dismemberment

Certificate of coverage

Certificate of coverage – Standard Insurance Company (PDF)

Other life insurance plans for county employees

Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA)

New hires have 90 days to enroll in PERA's life insurance plan. Other employees can enroll in October and November (PERA's open enrollment period). View the PERA life insurance summary of benefits (PDF).

To sign up for or cancel PERA life insurance complete the form in APEX.

Minnesota Benefits Association

View highlights of Minnesota Benefits Association life insurance.

Changes from the COVID-19 relief bill of December 2020

The Federal government passed legislation for COVID-19 relief, which provides employers with additional options to amend their Flexible Spending Account plan and provide relief to employees during the COVID-19 outbreak.

What's changing for health care expense accounts?

Normally, you can only roll over up to $500 in flexible spending for health care expense accounts per IRS rules. Under the provisions of the law that the county is adopting, employees will be allowed to roll over any remaining balance from 2020 into 2021.

What's changing for dependent care expense accounts?

Normally, money set aside in one year cannot roll over after March 15 of the following year from one year to the next. Under provisions Hennepin County is adopting:

  • Employees will be able to roll over any balance from 2020 into 2021.
  • The age limit is being increased from 13 to 14 years old.

To log into your account, get a refresher on how to use your debit card, submit a claim and more, visit padmin.com.

Balance roll over

  • If you have money remaining from 2020, you will see that roll over into your account for use in 2021 in mid-April.

Questions?

We understand the rules around health and dependent care expense accounts can be complex and individual situations may vary. For assistance, contact our HR Service Center staff at 612-348-7855.

Signing up for flexible spending accounts

The county offers several types of flexible spending accounts. You can sign up during open enrollment.

Flexible spending accounts start the first of the month after your first day of work or after the first day you start earning benefits (for example, if your first day of work is February 15, your insurance starts March 1).

Health care expense account

  • You can set aside money pre-tax for medical, dental or vision expenses and other eligible health care related expenses.
  • You can cover expenses for yourself and any dependent listed on your taxes.
  • You must enroll during open enrollment each year for the following year.
  • You choose an amount to set aside for the year and the entire amount is available to you January 1.
  • You can set aside up to $2,750 per year, per employee.
  • You don’t have to take part in the county's medical, dental or vision plan to have an employee-funded health care expense account.
  • If you have a life event mid-year (like a marriage, birth, death, etc.) you can change the amount you set aside.
  • View the list of expenses you can cover with a health care expense account (PDF).

If your spouse has a Health Savings Account (HSA) with another employer

  • You cannot choose the health care expense account.
  • Because both plans save on taxes, the IRS prevents married couples from using both.

Using your account

  1. You can use the P&A issued debit card, or submit claims. Save your receipts.
  2. Electronic claim upload from your computer or Smartphone or by downloading the P&A mobile app.
  3. Pay out of pocket and submit a reimbursement form (PDF).

You must submit your claims for the current plan year by March 31 the following year. If you have leftover money, you can carry over up to $550 of it the next year. You lose any unused money over $550.

Learn more about using your debit card and submitting claims (PDF).

Change the amount you set aside (PDF).

Contact

P&A Group
1-833-752-9413
M–F, 7:30am – 9:00pm CST
https://padmin.com/hennepin-county/

Dependent care assistance

  • You can set aside pre-tax dollars for certain day care and elder care costs.
  • If you’re married, you and your spouse must be working, attending school full time or looking for work.
  • A family can set aside up to $5,000 per year.
  • If you’re married and filing taxes separately, you can set aside up to $2,500 per year.

Eligible expenses

  • Care for a child under age 13
  • Care for someone who can’t care for themselves and who lives with you more than half the year
  • In-home child care
  • Licensed day care
  • Preschool
  • Before- and after-school care
  • Elder care

Kindergarten fees aren’t covered.

Enrollment and changes

You can enroll during open enrollment. If you have a life event mid-year, you can enroll mid-year or make changes. Mid-year change form (PDF)

You can make changes within 30 days of:

  • Date your daycare began or ended
  • Date your daycare began with a new provider
  • Change in cost or coverage with your previous provider

Reimbursement

  • You can turn in claims for expenses you had from January 1 to December 31
  • You have until March 15 of the next year to incur claims. You have until March 31 to turn in claims for the previous year.
  • You give up any unused funds
  • Reimbursement form (PDF)

Contact

P&A Group
1-833-752-9413 Mon-Fri 7:30am – 9:00pm CST
https://padmin.com/hennepin-county/

Adoption assistance

  • You can set aside pre-tax dollars for certain adoption costs
  • You can set aside up to $12,000 per year

Eligible expenses

  • Attorney fees
  • Court costs
  • Counseling fees
  • Travel fees

For questions, contact P&A Group 1-833-752-9413.

U.S. adoptions

If the child is a U.S. citizen or resident of the U.S., you can be reimbursed even if the adoption never becomes final.

Foreign adoptions

If the child is not a U.S. citizen or resident, you can’t be reimbursed unless the adoption becomes final.

Enrollment and changes

  • You can enroll during open enrollment.
  • If you have a life event mid-year, you can enroll mid-year or make changes
  • Mid-year change form (PDF)

You can make changes at these times:

  • Start or end of the adoption process
  • Increase in the number of children you intend to adopt

Reimbursement

  • You can turn in claims for expenses you had from January 1 to December 31
  • You have until March 15 of the next year to incur claims. You have until March 31 to turn in claims for the previous year.
  • You give up any unused funds.
  • Reimbursement form (PDF)

Contact

P&A Group
1-833-752-9413 Mon-Fri 7:30am – 9:00pm CST
https://padmin.com/hennepin-county/

Understanding the health incentive program

  • You can lower your office visit copays by $15 when you earn the health incentive.
  • You must earn 3,000 points by participating in a range of health activities.
  • You earn points by taking part in health activities like health screenings, HealthWorks classes, online Virgin Pulse activities and/or fitness run/walks.
  • You must earn all points by October 31 for the lower copay to take effect the following year.
  • For a married couple or family to earn the lower copay, both employee and spouse must earn 3,000 points each.

Understanding and using the online health and wellness tool: Virgin Pulse

Earning points

20 points

50 points

70 points

100 points

250 points

300 points

500 points

600 points

1,000 points:

1,500 points

Time off for county-sponsored health activities

  • You can use up to one hour paid time per month for county-sponsored health activities.
  • County-sponsored screenings, flu shots, health classes, health coaching, and blood drives are included.
  • You must have your supervisor’s approval to use paid time for these activities.

Getting the incentive without earning points

Some employees and spouses automatically get the incentive for the following year

  • New employees who have a health insurance start date of September 1 or later
  • Employees who add new health insurance coverage with a start date of September 1 or later, or during open enrollment
  • If an employee with existing coverage earns the lower copay for the following year and adds a spouse with a start date of September 1 or later, or during open enrollment, the couple or family will receive the lower copay the following year.

We may also grant exceptions for certain situations

  • Chronic disability, medical condition or emergency
  • Extraordinary and unpredictable events outside your control
  • Incorrect insurance card information

We may not grant exceptions for other situations

  • Leave of absence
  • Vacation out of the area
  • Residence out of the area
  • Employee or retiree did not read home mailings
  • Employee did not share information with covered spouse
  • Employee did not read email notification(s), HCConnect or website
  • Technical trouble on deadline day
  • Short-term illness (like getting the flu the last week of October)

To request an exception or to have your incentive status reviewed, complete and submit the exception/inquiry request form. Information is confidential. We respond within a few weeks.

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