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Benefits Overview

The State of Ohio provides a variety of quality, competitive  benefits to eligible full-time and part-time employees that range from affordable health care to discounts to popular Ohio entertainment venues. This section provides an overview of these benefits.

The State of Ohio provides quality, affordable and competitive health care benefits to permanent full-time and permanent part-time employees. The State of Ohio is required to offer medical coverage only, per the ACA, to all part-time temporary employees who average at least 30 hours of service per week over a twelve-month measurement period (Standard Measurement Period). The Benefits Administration Services Office has taken great care in selecting reputable health, dental and vision plan providers to ensure you get the best services available. 

Medical

When you enroll in medical coverage, you also automatically gain prescription drug, behavioral health and Take Charge! Live Well! benefits.

The state contracts with Aetna, Anthem and Medical Mutual of Ohio to serve as third-party administrators for the Ohio Med PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plan. Aetna, Anthem and Medical Mutual of Ohio each serve specific regions of Ohio based upon home ZIP codes. Your plan administrator is determined by the first three digits of your home ZIP code. If your home ZIP code is outside of Ohio, you will be enrolled in Anthem. 

ZIP Code Chart

The Ohio Med PPO plan does not contain pre-existing condition exclusions. Therefore, coverage is available to you and your eligible dependents regardless of current health or health history. 

Medical coverage begins on the first day of the month following the month of your date of hire. If you do not enroll within this time frame, you must wait until the annual open enrollment period, or until you or an eligible dependent experience a change in status/qualifying event. In the occurrence of a qualifying life event, you have 31 days to add or remove yourself or your dependents to or from coverage.

Summary of Medical Benefits

Helpful medical links:

Medical Coverage, Cost and Enrollment

Eligibility Requirements

Prescription Drug Coverage

OptumRx provides prescription drug benefits for all State of Ohio employees who are enrolled in the Ohio Med PPO plan.


OptumRx.com, is a private, secure website designed just for you. All of your pharmacy plan information is available 24/7 and kept up-to-date.

Click here for information about the Specialty Drug List and a list of drugs not covered. 

Behavioral Health

HELP AVAILABLE 24/7

Specialized mental health and chemical dependency services are provided under a single program available to all employees and dependents enrolled in the state’s medical plan. This program, administered by Optum Behavioral Solutions, provides 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week phone assessment and referral services for a variety of behavioral health issues, such as:

  • Anger management;
  • Anxiety;
  • Compulsive disorders;
  • Depression;
  • Grief and loss;
  • Marital and family and relational issues;
  • Mental disorders;
  • Physical abuse;
  • Stress; and
  • Substance use disorders.

In addition, habilitative services are available to members with a medical diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Copayments, deductibles and coinsurance are shared and combined with your medical plan. If you receive mental health services prior to meeting your medical plan deductible, you may need to pay for these services up to the deductible amount before your plan starts paying. This does not apply to routine office visits for which you pay only an office visit copayment.

 BENEFITS

All enrolled employees and their families have access to both in-network and out-of-network behavioral health benefits. However, you will pay more if you do not use a network of participating providers and facilities. See the chart for more information.

Click here for more information on Behavioral Health Benefits.

Dental and Vision

 

All full- and part-time permanent employees are eligible for dental and vision insurance after one year of continuous service. 


UNION-REPRESENTED EMPLOYEES

Union-represented employees receive dental, vision, life and legal plan benefits through Union Benefits Trust (UBT). For more information about these benefits, visit benefitstrust.org.


EXEMPT EMPLOYEES

The state pays the cost for exempt employees and their eligible dependents to participate in the dental and vision plans. 

An enrollment packet will be mailed to you prior to your one-year anniversary. Coverage will be effective the first day of your 13th month of state service, as long as you submit your completed enrollment form at least 31 days before your anniversary date. You may enroll in dental and vision coverage up to 31 days after your anniversary date. If you do not enroll within 31 days of your anniversary date, you must wait until the next open enrollment period to obtain dental and/or vision care coverage.

Delta Dental Plan

Dental coverage is offered to eligible exempt employees and their dependents through the Delta Dental PPO plan, offered through Delta Dental of Ohio. You can go to any licensed dentist of your choice and receive benefits, but you typically will pay less when you go to an in-network dentist. Your out-of-pocket expenses will vary depending on the participation status of your dentist. Your out-of-pocket costs are likely to be lower if you go to a dentist who participates in one of the Delta Dental networks. For most covered services, Delta Dental pays a higher percentage if you go to a dentist in its PPO network over its Premier network. Delta pays the least for out-of-network dentists.

Click here for more information on dental benefits.

 
Vision Service Plan (VSP)

Vision coverage is offered to eligible exempt employees and their dependents through Vision Service Plan (VSP). The VSP Choice network encompasses a large number of providers. If you choose to use a non-network provider, out-of-network charges will apply.

Click here for more information on vision benefits.

The insurance programs available through the State of Ohio offer steady sources of income for you and your family in the event of unexpected situations.

Life Insurance

 

BASIC LIFE INSURANCE

Eligible exempt and union-represented employees are entitled to basic life insurance coverage after completing one full year of continuous state service. Enrollment is automatic. This benefit – equal to your annual earnings rounded to the next highest $1,000 – is provided at no cost to you.

SUPPLEMENTAL LIFE INSURANCE

Eligible exempt and union-represented employees have the option of purchasing supplemental life insurance coverage on their date of hire, and have 90 days to enroll. You also may enroll during open enrollment. You may purchase coverage for yourself, your spouse and eligible dependent children younger than age 26. The cost of coverage is at your expense, and you must enroll directly with the carrier. 


Exempt employees receive basic and supplemental life insurance benefits through Minnesota Life Insurance. For more information about these benefits, click here.

Union-represented employees receive basic and supplemental life insurance benefits through Union Benefits Trust. For more information about these benefits, visit: benefitstrust.org  

Disability

 

As a State of Ohio employee, you are eligible to apply for disability leave benefits. These benefits provide financial and medical assistance to you and your family in the event that you are unable to perform the duties of your position due to a non-work-related disabling illness, injury or condition for a period of more than 14* consecutive calendar days. 

* Employees of the Auditor of State, Ohio Attorney General, Secretary of State and Treasurer of State subject to a collective bargaining agreement should refer to the applicable contract.


Eligibility

Those who may be eligible for disability benefits include:

  • Full-time permanent employees who have completed one year of continuous state service immediately prior to the date of the disability; and
  • Part-time permanent employees who have completed one year of continuous state service, and who have worked 1,500 or more hours in the 12 calendar months preceding the disability.

Conditions Covered

The following disabling illnesses, injuries or conditions may be considered for disability leave benefits:

  • Non-work-related injury or illness;
  • Mental health conditions; and
  • Substance abuse conditions (An employee must be receiving ongoing treatment, which prevents the employee from working.)     

Click here for more information about the disability leave program.

Workers' Compensation

 

Workers’ compensation is a ‘no-fault’ system that compensates employees for work-related injuries or illnesses.    

If you sustain a workplace injury, it is imperative that you:

  • Obtain medical care promptly;
  • Follow your agency’s policy on reporting accidents and injuries; and
  • Complete an Accident or Illness Report.

Employer-provided benefits for Workers’ Compensation claims include:

·         Salary Continuation

This benefit is available to permanent full-time or part-time employees*. 

*The Offices of the Auditor of State, Attorney General and Secretary of State do not participate in salary continuation.  In addition, employees covered by the Ohio State Troopers Association (OSTA) collective bargaining agreement are not eligible for salary continuation. 

·         Occupational Injury Leave (OIL)

This benefit is available to employees who are injured in the line of duty as a result of a bodily injury sustained by an inmate, client, patient, resident, youth or student, and is limited to specific agencies.

Benefits are limited to a maximum number of hours determined by your bargaining unit. Non-bargaining unit employees have a maximum of 960 hours.

For detailed information about workers’ compensation eligibility requirements, application and decision processes, click here.

The State of Ohio offers generous holiday and leave benefits to permanent employees. In addition to accrued vacation, sick and personal leave, there are a number of other leave benefits for which employees may be eligible.  Specific questions regarding your eligibility for leave benefits should be directed to your agency’s human resources department.

Holidays

State employees observe 10 paid holidays each year. Holidays falling on Sunday are observed on the following Monday. Holidays falling on Saturday are observed on the preceding Friday. If your scheduled work week is other than Monday through Friday, you still will be entitled to up to eight hours of holiday pay. Part-time permanent employees receive holiday pay for a portion of any holiday that they are normally scheduled to work. 

STATE HOLIDAYS

January 1

New Year’s Day

Third Monday in January       

Martin Luther King Day

Third Monday in February

Presidents Day

Last Monday in May              

Memorial Day

July 4             

Independence Day

First Monday in September

Labor Day

Second Monday in October   

Columbus Day

November 11                         

Veterans Day

Fourth Thursday in November

Thanksgiving Day

December 25             

Christmas

Vacation Leave

 Vacation leave is accrued each pay period. See here for chart of accrual rates and maximum accumulation allowed.

Personal Leave

Exempt and bargaining unit employees accrue personal leave each year. The amount of leave and accrual varies. See here for chart of accrual rates and maximum accumulation allowed. 


Sick Leave

Exempt and bargaining unit employees accumulate sick leave each pay period. Exempt employees and bargaining unit employees, except employees represented by SEIU District 1199, accumulate 3.1 hours per pay period, for a total of 80 hours per year. Employees in SEIU District 1199 accumulate 2.77 hours per pay period, for a total of 72 hours per year.

Bereavement Leave

Full-time permanent employees are entitled to three days of bereavement leave with pay upon the death of a member of their immediate family.

“Immediate family” is defined as your spouse, parents, children, grandparents, siblings, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, or a legal guardian or other person who stands in the place of the parent.*

*Bargaining unit employees should refer to collective bargaining agreement for definition of immediate family.

Childbirth / Adoption Leave

If you are a permanent employee who works an average of at least 30 hours per week, you are eligible for adoption/childbirth leave upon the birth or adoption of your child. Upon completion of a 14-day waiting period, new parents will receive up to four weeks of leave paid at 70 percent of their regular rate of pay. Eligible parents may use any accrued leave or may choose to work to supplement their leave up to 100 percent of their regular rate of pay. The full policy is available here. Bargaining unit employees also should refer to their collective bargaining agreement for additional information.

FMLA Leave

Eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per rolling 12 month period for absences due to their own health condition, certain family members’ qualifying health condition, caring for a child after birth or placement for adoption or foster care, or a qualifying exigency related to military service. In addition, eligible employees may take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member or covered veteran on a per-injury, per-illness basis. 

Family and medical leave is unpaid. However, you must exhaust accrued paid leave (e.g., sick, vacation and personal) prior to using unpaid leave. Additionally, some employees may be required to exhaust compensatory time prior to using unpaid leave. Your agency’s policy may specify the order in which leave must be used. 

To be eligible, you must:

  • Have been employed by the state for at least 12 months; and
  • Have been in active work status for at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the date on which the requested leave begins.

The full policy is available here.

 

Credit Unions

Credit Union of Ohio 

All state employees can join this credit union. For more information, call 614-487-6650 or 800-443-5698 or visit cuofohio.org.

Bridge Credit Union

State employees of the following state agencies can join the Bridge Credit Union: Ohio Departments of Administrative Services, Budget and Management, Public Safety, Transportation and Youth Services. For more information, visit bridgecu.org.

Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS)

Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) is the retirement system for state and local government employees. Contributions to your retirement are automatically deducted from your earned salary. Your employer also contributes a percentage to your retirement. New employees have 180 days, after employment begins, to select one of three retirement plans. For more information about OPERS, visit opers.org or call 800-222-7377.

Ohio Public Employees Deferred Compensation Program

The Deferred Compensation Program is a pre-tax private 457 retirement account. The account is administered by PEBSCO, a subsidiary of Nationwide Insurance. You may enroll in the program at any time. Participation is optional; however, all employees are required to complete and return the Supplemental Retirement Account Election Form. For more information, visit ohio457.org or call 877-644-6457.

Ohio Tuition Trust Authority / CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan

All permanent full-time and part-time employees are eligible to save for college through payroll deduction to the CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Savings Plan, Ohio's 529 Plan. Employees can set up payroll deduction in their CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan account and their employee self-service payroll management system. Invest as little as $25 per pay to pre-save for future college expenses. The funds are managed by leading investment firms and are exempt from federal and state taxes when used for eligible higher education expenses. Contributions up to $2,000 per year per beneficiary can be deducted from your State of Ohio income tax. For more information, visit CollegeAdvantage.com, or call 1-800-AFFORD-IT (233-6734).

 

Child Care Voucher

The State of Ohio offers the Child Care Voucher Program (CCVP) to eligible full-time and part-time permanent employees. 

 

This program applies to employees who have an annual federal adjusted gross income of less than $35,000 ($40,000 for employees of the Attorney General's Office), and who incur work-related child care expenses for dependents younger than age 13.

 

The Child Care Voucher Program provides cash grants once a year for work-related child care expenses. The amount you receive depends on:

 

  • Your family adjusted gross income;
  • Your hours and pay periods worked;
  • Your number of dependents; and
  • The grant amount allowed in your collective bargaining agreement.

For more about the Child Care Voucher Program, click here

Commuter Choice

Full and part-time permanent employees are eligible to participate in the Commuter Choice Parking and Transit Program. The program allows pre-tax payment of eligible parking and transit expenses associated with commuting to work. No federal, state, school district or Medicare taxes are withheld from eligible commuting expenses. Therefore, you save money each month you participate in the program.

The Commuter Choice Program is managed by a third-party administrator, WageWorks.  A monthly administrative fee of $4.60 is assessed on an after- tax basis.

The Commuter Choice program covers two types of commuting expenses:

  • Transportation expenses, which include qualified fares for riding buses, trains, subways, ferries and other types of mass transportation or van pools.  When you enroll in the Commuter Choice transit benefit, your fare pass is delivered directly to your home address; and
  • Parking expenses, which include the cost of parking at or near your place of work, or at or near a place from which you commute to work by mass transit, such as a park-and-ride lot. When you enroll in the Commuter Choice parking benefit, WageWorks pays your parking service directly.

The 2014 IRS monthly allowable dollar limit for transit is $130; the monthly dollar limit for parking is $250. If parking and/or transit expenses exceed the IRS monthly allowable dollar limit, you may have additional dollars withheld on an after-tax basis to pay your expenses that exceed the IRS dollar limit.

For more information:

Commuter Choice Program

WageWorks

Flexible Spending Accounts

HEALTH CARE SPENDING ACCOUNT

The health care spending account (HCSA) is a tax-favored account that provides the opportunity for eligible employees to defer on a pre-tax basis up to a maximum of $2,500 into an account to pay for eligible medical expenses not paid by your health care, vision or dental plans. There is no administrative fee for participants.

To enroll in an HCSA, you must:

  • Be a permanent part-time or permanent full-time employee who has successfully completed her or his initial probationary period and has sufficient pay to cover the election amount; and
  • Enroll within 31 days of the hire date, if there is no probationary period; or
  • Enroll within 31 days of completing probation, if there is a probationary period.

It is not necessary to be enrolled in the State of Ohio’s health benefits to participate in HCSA.  If both a husband and wife are state employees, both may participate in HCSA as separate individuals. 


DEPENDENT CARE SPENDING ACCOUNT

 

The dependent care spending account (DCSA) is a tax-favored account that provides the opportunity for eligible employees to defer on a pre-tax basis up to a maximum of $5,000 (depending on tax filing status) into an account to pay for eligible child care, dependent care or eldercare expenses.

To enroll in a DCSA, you must:

  • Be a permanent part-time or permanent full-time employee with sufficient pay to cover the election amount;
  • Have a qualifying dependent(s); and
  • Enroll within 31 days of the hire date.

Both a husband and wife, regardless if they are state employees, may participate in DCSA as separate individuals but cannot exceed the $5,000 IRS annual maximum per family.

If an employee does not enroll within the time frames noted, other opportunities to enroll are as follows: 

  • During the annual Open Enrollment period; or
  • Following a qualifying change in status: According to the IRS regulations governing Section 125 Cafeteria Plans, a mid-year change can be made to the employee’s HCSA and DCSA election. However, the proposed change must be consistent with the type of change experienced. Contributions and benefit changes must be an appropriate result of the change in status. The time frame for notification is within 31 days of the qualifying event. 

Click here for more detailed information about Flexible Spending Accounts.


IRS Forfeiture Rules: Federal regulations provide certain forfeiture rules. For example, at the end of the month of your employment termination, any unspent HCSA or DCSA balance will be forfeited.

 

Caregiver Resources

Many state employees are faced with the need to care for an adult individual. To help them understand the support and resources available, a new Caregiver Resources initiative provides the details they need on the Caregiver Resources website at das.ohio.gov/caregiver, which includes information about:

• Being a caregiver;
• Leave plans;
• Scheduling options;
• Tips for the most common caregiver needs;
• Legal resources;
• Support organizations;
• Frequently asked questions about being a caregiver and more.

Employee Discounts

As a State of Ohio employee, you have access to Employee Discounts for certain attractions, recreational facilities, and entertainment and sporting events. For a list of discounts currently offered to state employees, click here.

Ohio Employee Assistance Program

The Ohio Employee Assistance Program (OEAP) is a confidential, professional support service designated to assist state employees and their dependents. The goal of the program is to help resolve personal and job problems. These can include marital and family conflicts, emotional problems, illness, financial difficulties, drug and alcohol problems, job stress, burnout, legal difficulties and other major life changes.

There is no cost associated with using EAP for assistance. If a referral is made to counseling, the employee or employee’s dependent may be responsible for a co-payment. For State of Ohio employees covered by a state health plan, mental health services are covered by the behavioral health provider that the state contracts with for these services.

Employees not covered by a state health plan can still contact EAP for assistance.

For more information about services and courses provided by OEAP, visit: ohio.gov/eap

A phone call can make all the difference. Toll-free statewide: 800-221-6EAP (6327).

Take Charge! Live Well! Program

Take Charge! Live Well! is the State of Ohio's 
health and wellness program available to State of Ohio employees and spouses enrolled in the State of Ohio medical plan. As a member of the plan, you can earn rewards by enhancing your wellness experience and achieving your wellness goals. State employees and spouses are each eligible to receive up to $350 in rewards. Refer to the Pathways to Wellness chart on the right (click image to download the chart) and see how easy it is for you to improve your health and be rewarded for your effort for achieving activities.

 

For more information, visit the Take Charge! Live Well! website: ohio.gov/tclw.

 

Dental Benefits

For information about dental benefits for exempt State of Ohio employees

 

Vision Benefits

For information about vision benefits for exempt State of Ohio employees

 

Medical Benefits

For information about medical benefits for all employees enrolled in the Ohio Med PPO plan

 

Prescription Drug Benefits

For information about the Specialty Drug Management Program available to all employees enrolled in the state’s medical plan

 

Behavioral Health Benefits

For information about the Behavioral Health Program available to all employees enrolled in the state’s medical plan

 

benefitstrust.org

For information about dental, vision and life insurance benefits for union-represented State of Ohio employees

 

Disability Leave Benefits

For information about the disability leave program

 

Life Insurance Benefits

For information about basic and supplemental life insurance available for exempt State of Ohio employees

 

Workers’ Compensation

For detailed information about Workers’ Compensation eligibility requirements, application and decision processes and more

 

HRD/OCB Policy

For a comprehensive list of statewide Human Resources policies

 

Credit Union of Ohio (available to all state employees)

For information about services, rates, resources and more

 

Bridge Credit Union (available to state employees in certain agencies)

For information about services, rates, resources and more

 

Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS)

For forms, resources and additional information

 

Highway Patrol Retirement System (HPRS)

For forms, resources and additional information

 

State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS)

For forms, resources and additional information

 

School Employees Retirement System of Ohio (SERS)

For forms, resources and additional information

 

Ohio Public Employees Deferred Compensation Program

For information about enrollment and more

 

College Advantage

Available to all full-time and part-time State of Ohio employees; for information about savings plans and more

 

Child Care Voucher Program

For information about eligibility, the application process and more

 

Commuter Choice Program

For additional information about the benefit program

 

Flexible Spending Account Program

For additional information about the benefit program

 

WageWorks

For information about the Commuter Choice and Flexible Spending Accounts

 

Take Charge! Live Well!

For information about the health and wellness program for state employees and their spouses

 

Ohio Employee Assistance Program (OEAP)

For information about services and resources offered by the Ohio Employee Assistance Program.

 

State of Ohio Employee Discounts

For a list of discounts available to State of Ohio employees