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Benefits FAQs
How many hours do I have to work to be considered benefit eligible?

Any permanent position that is at least a .5 FTE (20 hours) or greater is eligible to receive benefits.

When can I enroll or make changes to my benefits?

You must enroll for benefits within 30 days from your official start date or hire date, whichever is the later of the two or during Open Enrollment each year. Changes, including adding or deleting coverage, can only be made if you have an IRS qualifying event.

When is Open Enrollment?

Open Enrollment is usually held in the fall of the year.

What is considered an IRS qualifying event?

A qualifying event would include any of the following: Marriage, Divorce, Birth, Death, or a change to your spouse’s employment and coverage. You must make any changes within 30 days from the qualifying event date.

How do I make changes to my current coverage?

A qualifying event would include any of the following: Marriage, Divorce, Birth, Death, or a change to your spouse’s employment and coverage. You must make any changes within 30 days from the qualifying event date.

How does the domestic partner tax work?

You must pay taxes on the health benefit dollars taken out of your paycheck that are going towards a non-tax dependent.

How does a leave of absence affect my Benefits?

You will want to contact the Benefits office and speak with a representative. They will need to discuss with you the type of leave you were/are on and the amount of time you will be on the leave.

Who do I contact if I need an ID card for myself or a dependent?

You will need to contact HealthPartners member services at (952) 883-5000 and Delta Dental customer service at (651) 406-5900. 

Can the Benefits Department tell me if a particular doctor or procedure would be covered under our current plan?

You will want to speak with a customer service representative for HealthPartners. Their contact number is (952) 883-5000.

I have COBRA and would like to end my coverage for medical/dental/life insurance. How do I do this?

You will need to submit a request in writing to CieloStar, Attention: Retiree Administration Department. 730 2nd Avenue South, Suite 530 Minneapolis, MN 55402. You can also call them at 877-491-5980.

I did not elect to purchase supplemental life insurance within the first 30 days of my hire. It’s been a year since I began working. Is it still possible to obtain supplemental life at this time?

If you do not elect to purchase supplemental life insurance within your initial 30 days from hire, you will need to complete an Evidence of Insurability (EOI) form and indicate the amount of supplemental life you would like to purchase. This will then be sent to the provider, Sun Life, who will make the final decision.

If I currently have supplemental life and would like to reduce or drop my coverage, what do I need to do?

You will need to complete a Supplemental Change form which can be requested by contacting the Benefits Department.

How do I know if I’m enrolled in the Sick Leave Pool?

If you have previously enrolled in the Sick Leave Pool, you remain a member unless you have specifically submitted a written request to withdraw your membership. If you are not sure if you’ve previously enrolled, contact the Benefits Office and a representative can verify this for you. Not all unions have the Sick Leave Pool as an option in their collective bargaining agreement language. The Benefit’s office can verify if the union you are a member with is eligible.

Who do I contact if I would like to utilize the Sick Leave Pool while I’m out on a leave of absence?

You will need to contact the Benefits office for a Sick Leave Pool application. Once this form is submitted to the Benefit’s office, the eligibility process will begin per your collective bargaining agreement language.

Who are the current vendors for the 403b and 457 Deferred Compensation Plans?

The 403b plan is currently administered by Valic. Their contact information is (952) 838-7800. The 457 plan is currently administered by the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS). Their contact information is (651) 296-2761.

How do I enroll in the 403b or 457 Deferred Compensation Plans?

Information is available on the Benefit’s webpage. There is a link to both provider’s web pages as well as contact information where you can contact their representatives directly with any questions that you may have.

How do I change the amount I’m currently contributing to either the 403b or 457 plans?

District employees can make changes to their 403b contributions directly through the ESS portal. For the 457, employees will need to call MSRS at (651) 296-2761 or go to www.msrs.state.mn.us and log in with their User ID and PIN.

Who is our current Flexible Spending Account provider?

CieloStar is the current plan administrator. Their contact information is 877-491-5979. There is also a link directly to their website which can be found on the Benefit’s webpage.

When am I able to enroll into the Flexible Spending Plan (FSA)?

Due to IRS regulations, annual enrollment is required during the open enrollment period which is usually held in the fall.
Changes during the plan year can only occur if you have an IRS qualifying event.

Who do I contact to inquire if I have enough years in my pension to retire from the District?

You will need to contact your current plan administrator. There are currently three administrators that District employees are members with.

  • Teacher’s Retirement Association of Minnesota (TRA) – (651) 296-2409
  • Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) – (651) 296-7460
  • Minneapolis Employees Retirement Fund (MERF) – (651) 296-7460

Effective July 1, 2010 MERF will be administered by PERA

By speaking with the appropriate representatives, they can look at your current employment history and determine if you’ve met the correct threshold and eligibility.