Employees eligible for benefits have 60 days from the date of their qualifying appointment to sign-up/enroll in benefits--this is called the "initial enrollment period." If an eligible employee does not enroll during their initial enrollment period, they may be eligible to enroll during the Late Enrollment Period, the Open Enrollment Period, or possibly due to a Special Enrollment Update/Life Event.
Once an employee has acquired eligibility and has enrolled in a plan, he/she may continue enrollment during subsequent continuous appointments of at least half-time regardless of the duration of the new appointment.
Eligible family members can be enrolled when you initially sign up for a CalPERS health plan or they can be added as described
You can add the following family members either at the time of enrollment or at a later date:
Members who are married or in a registered domestic partnership who both work, or worked, for agencies in the CalPERS Health Program can enroll separately. If you and your spouse or domestic partner enroll separately, you must enroll all eligible family members, regardless of the relationship, under only one of you. Dependents cannot be split between parents.
For example, if a CalPERS member with children marries or registers a domestic partnership with another CalPERS member with children and each member has their own enrollment in the CalPERS Health Program, all children must be enrolled under one parent.
The effective date of coverage will be the first of the month following the date of marriage or domestic partnership registration. If split enrollments are discovered, they will be retroactively corrected. You will be responsible for all costs incurred from the date the split enrollment began.
You cannot be enrolled in a CalPERS-contracted health plan as both a member and a dependent or as a dependent on two enrollments. This is called CalPERS dual coverage and it is against the law to have CalPERS dual coverage.
When CalPERS dual coverage is discovered the coverage is retroactively canceled. This may result in your having to to pay for all costs incurred from the date the dual coverage began.
Before enrolling in a second medical or dental plan, you need to verify with each plan how the "coordination of benefits" will work--determine which plan is primary and which one is secondary. You need to check this coordination not only for yourself, but for each dependent that is to have dual insurance coverage.
For example, if you are currently covered by your spouse's or domestic partner's non-CalPERS sponsored health plan and you are considering enrolling you and your spouse/domestic partner in a CalPERS-sponsored health plan, then you need to know how this affects your coverage and that of your dependents. Does it change the physician or hospital that you prefer to go to for services? Are there certain services for which benefits will not be coordinated? Find out in advance of enrolling in a secondary plan, so you may choose the right plan that works for your particular needs and are not surprised with a bill because you did not follow the coordination of benefits rules for your two health plans.