Glossary

Blue Cross

Company that administers PERSCare and PERSChoice health plans.Blue Cross website

Blue Shield

Blue Shield website

CalPERS

California Public Employees' Retirement System; The program covers State employees by law and local public agencies and school employers can contract to have CalPERS provide these benefits to their employees.CalPERS website

CMS

Common Management System; also known as PeopleSoft, HR Database; HR database where information about employees is stored.Visit CMS website

COBRA

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act; Federal legislation that allows you or a family member to continue your health plan enrollment when coverage is lost. A loss of coverage could include separation from employment, marriage of a dependent, a dependent reaching age 23, or divorce or legal separation.

Copayment

The amount you pay out-of-pocket for a service provided by a health care provider.

Coverage Begin Date

The first of the month following the date the enrollment is received.

Delta Dental

One of the optional dental plans, the other is PMI. Delta is an indemnity plan where enrollees are allowed to select a dentist of their choice. Visit Delta Dental website. The plan sets the limits that it will pay for each specific type of dental treatment. Members are responsible for paying any remaining balance that might be due based on the type of dental treatment they receive. Members may choose a dentist in the Delta Premier network and pay less.

Election Date

The date your enrollment form is received by the Human Resources Office.

Golden Handshake

An early retirement incentive program that provides you with additional age or years of service credit enabling you to receive a higher retirement benefit than otherwise possible.

FMLA

Family and Medical Leave Act; Covered employers must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • for the birth and care of the newborn child of the employee;
  • for placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care;
  • to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
  • ​to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

HMO

Health Maintenance Organization; A health plan that provides care from specific doctors and hospitals that contract with the plan. Usually there are no claim forms to be completed and there is often a geographically-restricted service area. HMOs offer members a range of health benefits, including preventive care, for a monthly fee, with no deductibles or maximums. They also set copayments for the care you receive. The HMO will give you a list of doctors for your use in choosing a primary care physician (PCP). The PCP coordinates all your care, including referrals to a specialist. If you go outside of the HMO without a referral from the plan, you'll be responsible for the total cost of services, except for emergencies or urgent care services. HMOs are only available in designated California services areas.

MES

Medical Eye Services

Open Enrollment

This is the time you can enroll, change health plans, or add eligible family members. You'll receive your Health Plan Statement before the open period begins with information on your current coverage and the steps you'll need to take if you need to make changes. Any changes made during open enrollment take effect the following January 1.

PCP

Primary Care Physician

PERS

Public Employees' Retirement System, another acronym sometimes used in place of CalPERS (California Public Employees' Retirement System) Visit CalPERS website

PERSCare

PPO plans that cater to individuals who value freedom of choice. Unlike a health maintenance organization where a primary care physician directs all medical care, PERSCare and PERS Choice allow you to manage your own care. You can see a specialist without a referral and can change physicians whenever you wish. Also, there are no restricted geographic service areas, so coverage is provided anywhere in the world. Also see PERSChoice

PERSChoice

PPO plan that cater to individuals who value freedom of choice. Unlike a health maintenance organization where a primary care physician directs all medical care, PERSCare and PERS Choice allow you to manage your own care. You can see a specialist without a referral and can change physicians whenever you wish. Also, there are no restricted geographic service areas, so coverage is provided anywhere in the world. Also see PERSCare

PMI DeltaCare

Private Medical Care Inc.; one of the dental benefit plan options, the other is Delta. PMI is a prepaid plan which requires the employee and their eligible dependents to use a dentist from a specific list of dentists who contract with the selected prepaid carrier. Most basic services are covered at no cost. Visit PMI DeltaCare website

PPO

Preferred Provider Organization; A CalPERS health plan with an established provider network that allows maximum benefit coverage when using its contracted physicians and hospitals. The plan may reduce benefits when you use providers outside of the set provider network.

SCO

California State Controller's Office

Service Credit

Your credited years of employment with a CalPERS employer. This amount of service is credited to your CalPERS account and used as part of the formula to determine your retirement benefits.

TSA

Tax Sheltered Annuity; also known as Salary Reduction Agreement​