Part-time Faculty Health Benefits FAQ
What kinds of health benefits are available to part-time faculty at SMC?
- Employee-only non-PERS Kaiser medical, OR family dental (Delta Dental DMO or PPO), OR family vision (VSP). See descriptions on the SMC website HERE.
When do I become eligible for health benefits through SMC?
- You must have worked at SMC during two of the past six semesters. If you meet that requirement and you have an assignment of at least 5 hours per week by the Monday of the third week of a subsequent semester, you will be notified that you are eligible to enroll in one of the medical, dental or vision plans offered to adjunct faculty at SMC.
- If you are eligible for SMC health benefits, elected coverage begins September 1 for someone eligible in the fall semester and coverage begins March 1 for someone eligible in the spring semester. (That is, coverage is "back-dated" to those dates even though you will not be notified of coverage until those dates are passed.)
When will I be told that I am eligible for health insurance through SMC?
- Human Resources staff check for eligible part-time faculty members at the start of the third week of each fall and spring semester, and generally send out "newly eligible" notification emails on the Tuesday of the third week of the semester and "continuation of coverage" emails by the Wednesday of that same week.
Once I am eligible and have enrolled in coverage, do I need to do anything to continue coverage in subsequent semesters?
- As long as you have an assignment by the start of the third week of the semester of 3 or more hours per week, the same coverage will continue as you first elected - and generally you will be notified of this continuation by Wednesday of the third week of the semester. You can elect to change among medical, dental or vision coverage during the open enrolment period.
If I do not have any assignment in a fall or spring semester, can I continue my health care coverage through SMC?
- When employer-provided health coverage is lost it is classified as a "mid-year qualifying event" which means you are able to enroll in outside coverage through such things as the Covered CA Exchange, another employer, another individual policy, a spouse's plan, COBRA or Medicare (if aged 65 or older). Any part-time faculty member who loses SMC coverage will receive a COBRA notice that basically allows you to continue to have your SMC Kaiser HMO plan, but with you making the payments. You have 60 days from the date that coverage is lost to decide if you wish to elect COBRA, and if you do, it will be retroactive to the date that coverage was lost (September 1 for fall semesters and March 1 for spring semesters)..
If I have no assignment at SMC in a fall or spring semester and I choose not to purchase the COBRA extension of coverage, when will my health benefits end?
- If you have SMC benefits in the fall semester but no SMC assignment for the following spring semester, your coverage continues through February and is lost on March 1. If you have SMC benefits in the spring semester but no assignment for the following fall semester, your coverage continues through August and is lost on September 1.
If I am contacted by my department chair after the third Monday of a semester and am offered a "late start" class, can I enroll in the SMC insurance plan then?
- Unfortunately, no. You must be listed as having an assignment at the start of the third week of the semester to be eligible for SMC health benefits in that semester. Similarly, the offer of an assignment during the winter or summer intersession does not make you eligible for SMC health benefits.
If I had no spring assignment but I get a summer assignment, when can I start SMC health coverage again?
- Employment during the fall or spring semesters are the only possible ways to maintain (or become eligible for) SMC health benefits. Coverage begins September 1 for someone eligible in the fall semester and coverage begins March 1 for someone eligible in the spring semester.
Who are the Human Resources personnel that I should contact to learn more about my possible health benefit options?