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Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance
Eligible employees can enroll themselves and their eligible dependents for medical coverage, and have the choice of a Blue Cross of Idaho Traditional, PPO, or High Deductible plan. Employee premium rates are competitive, and begin at only $23.12 bimonthly for medical, dental, and vision insurance. Vision coverage is included with medical rates. Health insurance coverage is effective on the first day of the month following date of hire. For more information: click here.
Employee Wellness Programs
Available employee wellness programs include tobacco cessation, weight management, group fitness classes, health management, and more. Employees have online access to Health Matters, an employee newsletter and health promotion program designed to promote healthy lifestyles through a variety of programs and resources for state of Idaho employees. For more information: click here and here.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) offer convenient and easy ways to save money for eligible medical and dependent care expenses. Employees may set pre-tax money aside in medical (max $2,500/year) and/or dependent care (max $5,000/year) accounts. New employees have a 30-day enrollment period at time of hire; current employees have open enrollment every year. For more information: click here.
Bright Beginnings Pregnancy Program
Bright Beginnings is a prenatal program designed to promote healthy prenatal care through education to expectant mothers. Blue Cross of Idaho offers this program to any employee, or their spouse, who is pregnant. Members are provided with nutrition, exercise, prenatal care, and child care information to help maintain a healthy pregnancy and to deliver a healthy baby. Upon enrollment, expectant mothers receive the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy. After successful program completion, the mother may choose to receive a $50 gift card to Babies”R”Us, or reimbursement up to $50 toward the purchase of a car seat. Mothers will also receive the book, What to Expect – The First Year. For more information: click here.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Blue Cross of Idaho contracts with ComPsych to provide no-cost EAP benefits in each of the state's medical plans. The EAP provides short-term counseling services for employees and dependents (up to five one-hour visits per person per benefit period with no copayment required). In addition to individual counseling, the EAP also includes Conflict Resolution and Critical Incident Stress Debriefing services. For more information: click here.
Eligible employees earn vacation leave for every hour worked or paid. All benefitted employees are entitled to vacation leave based on their Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) employee designation. For more information: click here.
Sick Leave Accrual
Employees earn paid sick leave at 0.04615 per hour paid, or 3.7 hours per pay period for full-time employment. Sick leave accrues without limit and may be used for funeral or illness of family members. Upon retirement, state employees can arrange for portions of unpaid sick leave to be used to pay premiums on certain employer-maintained insurance, including health, dental, vision, long-term care, prescription, or life insurance. For more information: click here.
State of Idaho employees enjoy ten paid holidays throughout the year, including: New Year’s Day, Idaho Human Rights Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. For more information: click here.
Other Types of Special Leave
In addition to sick and vacation leave benefits, other miscellaneous leave benefits may be available to employees. Special leave may include: military leave, organ and bone marrow donation leave, court and jury services, and Red Cross Disaster leave. For more information: click here.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
FMLA is a federal law that entitles eligible employees to unpaid, job protected leave, under qualifying circumstances, as follows: (1) for a qualifying health condition of the employee or a family member; (2) for the birth or adoption of a child; and (3) for specific purposes to family members of qualifying military service members. Eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave in a 12-month period. Annual leave may also be donated from one benefitted employee to another in the event of a serious illness or injury of the employee or family member, which necessitates absence from work. For more information: click here.
DHW and the state of Idaho are committed to our veterans and military members. Employees who are members of the U.S. Armed Forces or the National Guard and receive federal military orders requiring them to be absent from work, shall be entitled each calendar year to 120 hours of paid military leave. Any employee who voluntarily, or upon demand, leaves a position to enter upon prolonged federal active duty with the military will be returned to their same or similar position upon their return from such leave. Employees will receive regular employee benefits for 30 calendar days after departure. Any employee who voluntarily, or upon demand, leaves a position to enter state active duty with the Military Division will be granted military leave without pay, and will be returned to their same or similar position upon their return from such leave. For more information: click here.
Public Employees Retirement System of Idaho (PERSI) Base Plan
State of Idaho employees are automatically enrolled in the PERSI Base Plan, a defined benefits plan. When an employee retires, PERSI Base Plan will pay them every month for as long as they live; employees can also designate a contingent annuitant to receive the benefits after their death. Current contribution rates are 6.79% of gross wages for employees; the state of Idaho contributes an impressive 11.32%. Employees are vested after 60 months of employment. PERSI is a nationally-recognized state retirement system. Multiple PERSI retirement and financial management workshops and resources are available for all state employees. Retirement educators are also available to answer questions regarding a variety of retirement related topics. For more information: click here.
PERSI Choice - 401(k)
The Choice 401(k) Plan is an optional PERSI account. It contains any gain sharing contributions state employees receive, any voluntary contributions employees make, any rollovers requested from other plans, and any employer contributions on an employee’s behalf, as well as the earnings on those funds. The Choice 401(k) Plan is a defined contribution plan, meaning the amount employees receive at retirement is based on the contributions and earnings in the plan. For more information: click here.
Idaho College Savings Program (IDeal) 529 Plan
Employees can participate in an IDeal 529 plan, a program that helps families save for higher education. Earnings grow tax-deferred and qualified withdrawals are tax free. For more information: click here.
457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan
State employees may participate in a 457(b) deferred compensation plan, a retirement plan created to allow public employees to put aside money from each paycheck toward retirement. For more information: click here.
Roth 457 Plan
State employees may also participate in a Roth 457 after-tax deferred compensation plan. For more information: click here.
Federal Treasury Savings Bonds
Employees can set this up as a payroll deduction. For more information: click here.
Basic Life Insurance
The state pays the premium for this coverage; there is no cost to employees. Term life insurance is equal to 100% of an employee’s annual salary rounded up to the next $1,000 (minimum of $20,000), and includes dependent coverage at no charge. Coverage is effective at the beginning of the month following hire. For more information: click here.
Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D)
AD&D pays a percentage of employees' annual salaries for certain serious physical losses, including loss of life, due to a covered accident. AD&D benefits are part of the basic life insurance benefits, and are in addition to any benefits paid by basic or other state life insurance plans.
Benefits are equal to 60% of pre-disability salary for the first 26 weeks of disability. Waiting period is the longer of: 30 continuous days of Total Disability, or 30 continuous days of Residual Disability, or the expiration of all accrued sick leave earned at the date of disability. Coverage is included at no cost to employees. For more information: click here.
Benefits are equal to 60% of pre-disability salary when totally disabled. Waiting period is the longer of: 26 continuous weeks of Total Disability or Residual Disability, or the exhaustion of all sick leave earned as of the date of Total Disability or Residual Disability. Coverage is included at no cost to employees. For more information: click here.
Voluntary Term Life Insurance
Employees may purchase additional coverage in the amount of one, two, or three times annual salary (rounded up to the next $1,000) with a minimum benefit of $20,000 and a maximum benefit of $500,000. Premium cost is age/salary based. Coverage for spouse and children is available when coverage purchased for self. New employees have a 30-day enrollment period at time of hire; current employees have open enrollment every year. For more information: click here.
Decreasing Term Life Insurance – National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS)
Employees may purchase low-cost, group decreasing term life insurance with a $16 per month premium, regardless of age. This plan has some coverage for dependents (as defined by tax code). New employees have a 90-day enrollment period at time of hire; current employees have open enrollment every year. For more information: click here.
Provides financial protection for on-the-job injuries and illnesses. Employees must notify HR and see a preferred provider.
Provides financial assistance for out-of-work employees.
Provides financial assistance at retirement, disability, or death.
Pay Days and Direct Deposit
All state employees are paid on a bi-weekly schedule. The state requires direct deposit; paperless pay stubs are available online. Paychecks are deposited every other Friday.
Employee and Supervisory Training Opportunities
DHW offers over 200 trainings for employees through our online Learning Management System and classroom settings. Classes and online courses may be required for some positions, and a variety of optional trainings are available for employees interested in learning more about themselves (self-discovery) and mastering new skills (self-improvement). CEUs are available for some courses. Supervisors participate in the DHW Supervisor Training and Resource (STAR) Program, and attend a series of courses to develop and strengthen their leadership and management skills. State employees may also apply for the Certified Public Manager® (CPM) program, a nationally recognized training and development program administered through Idaho’s Division of Professional-Technical Education.
State Employee Discounts
State employees are eligible for numerous discounts on participating services, including fitness centers, vision correction, and cell phone plans. Discounted tickets may be available for fun activities such as amusement parks, concerts and shows, and sporting events. For more information: click here and here.