getting to know benefits

Frequently Asked Questions For General Group Insurance Benefits

When do my benefits become effective?

Benefits are effective on the first of the following month of date of hire.


How do I sign up for my benefits?
The San Diego Community College District Employment Office will schedule your benefits appointment with a Benefits Technician after you have completed the necessary new hire processing requirements. During your appointment with the Benefits Technician they will be able to answer any questions you may have and ensure your benefits enrollment process is complete.


Who can I cover as an eligible dependent under the San Diego Community College District benefits plan?
Eligible dependents are:

  • Legal spouse (husband, wife) or domestic partner
  • Dependent children under 26 years of age effective January 1, 2011
  • Your unmarried children who are deemed disable by their physician and approved by your carrier. The disability must have occurred prior to age 19.
Eligible children include:
  • Your natural and adopted children
  • Stepchildren, if you are married to your stepchildren's parent. If you and your spouse divorce, your former dependent stepchildren are no longer eligible for coverage.
  • Children of your domestic partner. If you and your domestic partner separate, the children of your former domestic partner are no longer eligible for coverage.
  • Children for whom you have permanent legal guardianship issued by a court of law.
  • Your children who must be covered under a Qualified Medical Child Support Order.
  • Stepchildren who must be covered under a Qualified Medical Child Support Order will be eligible at open enrollment.
Please note you will be required to provide documentation of your dependent's eligibility via appropriate certificates for dependents: marriage and/or birth, legal documents for custody or adoption.


Once I sign up for benefits with San Diego Community College District, when can I expect my ID cards?
Please allow approximately 2 weeks for your ID cards to be mailed to your home from the insurance carriers.


I have questions about my insurance benefits. Who should I contact for answers?
You can call the Human Resources Benefits office at (619) 388-6587. Your call will be transferred to a Benefits staff member pertaining to your specific questions.


What and who is VEBA?

  • VEBA stands for the Voluntary Employees Benefits Association.
  • The Southern California Schools VEBA began operations in October 1993 as a cooperative labor-management trust program committed to achieving the highest quality and most cost-effective benefits programs for every eligible education employee in Southern California.
  • VEBA administers the San Diego Community College District various health insurance plans within the District.
  • Total participation in the trust includes 30 districts and associations. The trust serves both employees and their dependents, totaling more than 86,000 members.

How can I find out what benefit plans I'm covered under and who I've covered as dependents?
You can go online to Click on "Benefits" then "My Benefit Coverage" and click the "My Benefits" button.

  • You will be taken to the login screen. Enter your PIN and password, click on the "Log In" button.
  • Your personalized information will show on the screen, including your current medical plan coverage. Scroll down to see the dependents covered under your plan.
  • No PIN or Password? Click the link next to "Not Registered." To retrieve your information, you will need to provide your:
    • Social Security Number
    • Date of Birth
    • Zip Code

When can I make changes to my benefits plans?
In general, you may only make changes to your benefits once a year during Open Enrollment period in November for an effective date of January 1 of the following year. However, the plan does allow for changes during the year if you experience a "family status change" as defined by the IRS. Examples of a family status change are:

  • Marriage or divorce
  • Birth, adoption, or death
  • Change in your spouse or domestic partner's employment that would affect coverage under the other employer's plan, such as gain or loss of coverage.
  • Change in court order for custody or visitation, or requirement to provide health insurance coverage.
If you have an eligible family status change, a request for change must be made within 30-days of the family status change; otherwise, you must wait until next Open Enrollment period.

How do I get additional or replacement medical ID cards?
You can call the San Diego Community College District Human Resources Benefits office at (619) 388-6587.


What is an HMO plan?
An HMO, Health Maintenance Organization, is a specific type of health care plan within a Medical Group. An HMO plan sets out guidelines under which doctors can operate. When one joins an HMO, one is usually asked to choose a primary care physician or "gatekeeper". This doctor then acts in part as the HMO's agent in determining what treatments the patient does and does not need. When the primary care physician determines that the patient needs care they cannot offer, they give a referral to a specialist within the same medical group that can address the patient's concerns.


What is a PPO plan?
With a PPO option, you are free to see any provider you wish – although the plan pays higher benefits when you choose to use an in-network doctor. You are not required to coordinate your care through a primary care physician and there are no referrals needed to see specialists. A PPO health insurance plan allows you to see any doctor of your choice, allowing you more control. Visits are most affordable if you stay within the network of physicians that work with your PPO medical plan. PPO health plans are unique because they allow patients to practice "self-referral". This means that you can see any specialist you want, without waiting for your primary care physician (PCP) to refer you.