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The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second-largest school district in the United States, offers a variety of benefits to employees, retirees, and former employees who are Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA) participants. During the open enrollment period in November, changes are allowed to certain benefit plans without any qualifying event such as marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, death or loss of other insurance coverage. Benefit choices made during open enrollment take effect Jan. 1 of the following year.
LAUSD provides health insurance to active employees with no out-of-pocket premium cost to the employee. As of 2010, active employees who decline medical coverage receive $3,000 each year paid in monthly payroll installments. Qualified retirees receive district-sponsored health insurance at no cost. COBRA participants pay all health insurance premiums out of pocket. Active employees, district retirees and COBRA participants must select a health insurance option during open enrollment.
LAUSD offers vision insurance to active employees, retirees and COBRA participants; insured members pay their own premiums out of pocket. The two vision plans are EyeMed Vision Care and VSP. Insured members must commit to their open enrollment vision plan choice for at least two years.
Active employees, retirees and COBRA participants select a dental insurance plan during LAUSD open enrollment. The district offers the following dental plan options: SafeGuard Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO), MetLife Preferred Dentist Program and Western Dental DHMO. Dental plan enrollees pay all monthly premiums out of pocket.
LAUSD offers life insurance options to active employees during open enrollment. All active employees automatically receive basic life insurance coverage of $20,000 underwritten by Metlife. Employees may choose additional life insurance coverage and have the premiums payroll-deducted.
Flexible Spending Accounts
Health and dependent Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are available for active LAUSD employees. FSAs allow employees to contribute up to $5,000 of pre-tax income to an account they can use to pay eligible health and dependent care expenses. Employees pay the expenses up front and then make a reimbursement claim to their FSA administrator. Eligible health care expenses include eyeglasses, contact lenses, deductibles, insurance co-payments and prescription medication. Eligible dependent care expenses include the cost of day care for children or adults.
The FSA benefit year runs from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31; however, employees have until March 15 of the following year to use any remaining FSA funds. Unused funds are forfeited.
Based in Atlanta, Ga., Veronica King has been writing professionally since 2010. Having completed graduate studies in biological science and public health, she enjoys writing about health care, nursing and science. King holds a Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic studies from Columbia University.