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Employee Benefits

Welcome to the benefits page for the City of Takoma Park. This page describes the benefit package available to all benefit-eligible employees, and includes the applicable forms needed to enroll in them.

The benefits listed below include those that are required and those that are optional.  Please carefully review each of the benefit options and let the Human Resources office know of questions.

Completed forms should be returned to the Human Resources office or emailed to humanresources@takomaparkmd.gov.

Who is eligible?

Benefit-eligible employees are permanent full-time employees, those permanent part-time employees who are regularly scheduled to work twenty (20) hours or more per week, and elected Councilmembers. Benefit eligibility begins on the first day of employment.

Temporary employees, interns, contractors, and volunteers are not benefit eligible at this time.

Employee Benefits Guide: Similar to the information on this Benefits page, summary of benefits and benefit descriptions are included in this guide. Current benefits were generally effective July 1, 2021, for existing employees, and become effective on a new employee’s first day of employment.

Benefit selection is required for the following benefits:

Health Insurance

Employees may choose from three health insurance options, or may waive health insurance.

Currently, the City pays the premium for employee-only coverage for all benefit-eligible employees.  Premiums for dependent coverage options are split between the City and employee, with the premium being dependent on employee status, as specified in the rate sheets below.

Currently, health insurance for new employees is available through United Healthcare, via the following plans:

  • The Choice plan – this is a standard PPO plan. This plan only has coverage for in-network benefits.
  • The Choice Plus plan – this has the same coverage as the Choice plan but has both in-network and out-of-network benefits.
  • The Choice Health Savings Account (HSA) plan – This plan carries a higher deductible, but then covers the cost of most services without co-insurance. The plan allows for payroll deduction of funds to be used for the medical expenses of the deductible.
  • If waiving health insurance, the City will contribute the amount of employee-only premiums to a 457 account in the employee’s name.

Dental Insurance

Employees may choose from two dental plans or may waive dental coverage. Currently, dental insurance is available through United Healthcare, via the following plans:

  • PPO Plan 7100 (High) – this is a standard dental plan but has more coverage and less deductible than the other plan.
  • PPO Plan 7101 (Low) – this is another standard plan but does not have as much coverage.

The enrollment form for dental coverage is included on the health insurance enrollment form.

Rate Sheets
Review the specific employee contribution amounts for a given employment category to help make a selection.

Rate sheets for existing staff still on a Kaiser Plan: Full-time exempt staff, full-time non-exempt staff, grandfathered crossing guards.

Complete and return this form for selection of your health and dental insurance, or to waive these benefits. (If you waive health insurance, please complete the enrollment form for the 457 plan, as the City will contribute the employee-only premium to this account.)

If you select CHOICE HSA, you must also complete and return this form to designate your contribution. The City contributes an initial, one-time, $5,000 to your account.

Vision Insurance

Employees may choose from two vision insurances, EyeMed or VSP.  There are slightly different coverages if utilizing out-of-network doctors, but the main difference between the two plans is the doctors offices available in each network. The City recommends looking at the EyeMed or VSP websites to verify if preferred doctors or vision outlets are available.

Complete and return this form to enroll in, waive, or change your vision plan.

 

Maryland State Retirement and Pension System

As a participating jurisdiction in Maryland, all full-time employees are enrolled in Maryland State Retirement. Those part-time employees that are expected to work 500 hours or more per year are also enrolled in the system.

Participating employees must contribute 7% of their annual compensation to the Retirement System.  For more information, employees are encouraged to visit the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System website or view a welcome pamphlet here.

Complete and return this application form for the employee pension system.

Complete and return this form to designate a beneficiary. Please note that this form must be notarized, which can be completed at many banks or financial institutions.  The City also has notaries on staff, who can notarize your form if they are available.

Life Insurance and Long Term Disability Insurance

The City provides all benefit-eligible employees with Term Life Insurance / Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance, as well as Long-Term Disability.

The life insurance benefit amount is equal to the employee’s annual salary up to $250,000 for non-AFSCME members and equal to the employee’s annual salary up to $50,000 for AFSCME members. Specific benefits and features of both plans can be found here.

Employees may choose to pay for supplemental insurance for specific situations.  Optional policies include:

  • Life Insurance (additional beyond what is paid by the City)
    Short-Term Disability
  • Critical Illness – includes specific health incidents like heart attack, stroke, or cancer
  • Accident

Information on each of these policies can be found here.

Complete and return this enrollment form for City-paid Life and Long-Term Disability, plus any supplemental policies you choose to add.

 

 

 

Quick Links

Employees may choose to take advantage of the following Optional Benefits:

Flexible Spending Accounts

Employees may choose to set aside pre-tax money from their paycheck to help pay for qualified expenses, such as medical expenses or child care.  Employees choose the amount, up to the maximum allowed annual contribution, that is deducted from each paycheck via payroll deduction.

If an employee chooses to participate in either the medical or child care FSA, they will receive a card in the mail, similar to a debit card, from Health Equity / Wage Works.  Tracking of expenses is available online via a mobile app.

Legal Resources

Employees may choose to receive comprehensive legal coverage on a broad range of services on topics like family law, estate planning, traffic violations, or civil actions.  Representation is via various law firms in the DMV and your use is not shared with the City. The current cost is $18 per month, with many services covered at 100%.

457 Deferred Compensation Plan

Employees may contribute pre-tax dollars to a 457 Deferred Compensation plan, with contributions matched by the City up to two percent (2%) of the employee’s annual pay.  This plan will also receive the benefit paid for waived health insurance.

Smart Benefits Commuter Benefits Program

SmartBenefits allows the employee to transfer funds to their SmarTrip® card via pre-tax payroll deductions.  The employee chooses the amount which is loaded onto their card. These SmartBenefits can be used to pay for transit anywhere Metro’s SmarTrip® card is accepted, including Metrorail parking lots.

Employee Assistance Programs

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) are resources available to help employees through stressful situations and events.  These are third-party resources, and use of them is never reported to the City.  EAP support is available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Every City employee has access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for yourself, your eligible dependents, and anyone living in the same household.  EAP is offered through Assistance by BHS, Mutual of Omaha, and Optum/United Healthcare.  Specific information for each plan is provided below.

Assistance by BHS

  • Available to all employees and their household members at no cost.
  • Eligible to receive up to 4 short-term problem resolution sessions per issue, per year.
  • Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via toll-free number 800-327-2251.
  • Provides information and referral resources.
  • Confidential emotional support.

Mutual of Omaha

  • Available to benefit-eligible employees and their eligible dependents at no cost.
  • Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via toll-free number 800-316-2796, or online at mutualofomaha.com/eap
  • Provides information and referral resources.
  • Confidential emotional support.

Optum/United Healthcare

  • Available to UHC members and covered dependents at no additional cost, unless referred to a physician where co-pays would apply.
  • Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via toll-free number 1-866-342-6892

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