Frequently Asked Questions Question Marks Clip

Enrollment & Eligibility | Premiums & HSA's | Mid-Year Changes with a Qualifying Life Event Who Do I Call for Benefit Questions, Coverage & Claims?What Happens to My Insurance If...? (Leaves of Absence, Leaving the District, etc.)


Enrollment and Eligibility

Question:  As a new employee to the District, when do I receive my benefit enrollment information?
Answer:  Benefit information will be sent within one week of starting employment with Mesa Public Schools.  Benefits information will be sent through the TalentEd Records system.

Question:  When are insurance benefits effective for a new full-time employee?
Answer:  As a new full-time benefits eligible employee, you have 31-days including your contract start date to enroll in benefits of your choice.  Benefits are effective the first of the month following 31-days of full-time employment.

Question:  How do I enroll for Benefits?
Answer:  Log on to the MPS/BenefitFocus online enrollment system within 31 days of your date of hire.  If you do not enroll during your initial new hire period, your next opportunity to enroll in benefits would be during the Open Enrollment period for the following plan year.  If you need help navigating the MPS/BenefitFocus online enrollment system please call 1.877.336.8082.

Question:  If I cover dependent(s), what documents do I need to provide?
Answer:  In order to verify your dependent(s) eligibility see the Required Documents form.  Gather your documents and upload them using the online enrollment system MPS/BenefitFocus website.

Question:  When is my dependent child no longer eligible for health insurance?
Answer:  Coverage for your dependent child will remain in effect through the last of the month in which they turn 26.  As a result of this status change, your child will be eligible for COBRA enrollment.

Question:  If I do not enroll for benefits as a newly benefits eligible employee, may I enroll at a later date?
Answer:  The Mesa Public Schools benefit programs are pre-tax cafeteria benefits program under Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code.  The IRS regulations governing the program do not permit changes after open enrollment, except in very limited circumstances.   Once you have elected a plan, you must stay in the selected plan, at the selected coverage level, for the full calendar year, unless there has been a qualifying event.  A qualifying event can also occur in cases where your spouse's employment is terminated.  You have 31-days including the date of the occurrence of the qualifying event to make changes to your benefit plan.  The changes made, however, must be because of and consistent with the change of status that has occurred.

The penalty for non-compliance with the IRS regulations is the loss of the tax-exempt status for both Mesa Public Schools and the employees in the plan.  Changes outside of the open enrollment period will be permitted only in accordance with the IRS regulations.  For this reason, you are cautioned to be very careful in making your selections.

The qualifying reasons for the termination of individual coverage are referred to in the Plan Document/Summary Plan Description.  Contact the Benefits Office if you have any questions.

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Premium Deductions and HSA Contributions

Question:  For insurance plans that involve a premium deduction for the employee, when does the premium come out of my payroll check?
Answer:  Employee premiums are deducted from your bi-weekly payroll check.

Question:  Who is eligible for a Health Savings Account (HSA)?
Answer:  To be eligible for Health Savings Account: See Benefits and Enrollment Guide

  1. The employee must be covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)
  2. Does not have other non-HDHP medical coverage, including coverage under a spouse's plan (unless it is an HDHP plan), or general purpose Medical Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  3. Not entitled to benefits under Medicare
  4. Cannot be claimed as a dependent on another person's tax return

Question:  If I elect the Health Savings Account (HSA), as the employee do I have to contribute?
Answer:  No, your contribution to the account is optional.  However, you will want to accept the Health Savings Account in order to receive the Mesa Public Schools district contribution.

Question:  When is Mesa Public Schools HSA district contribution made?
Answer:  Mesa Public Schools HSA district contributions is deposited annually in September

Question:  How do I change my HSA contributions?
Answer:  Log in to the MPS/BenefitFocus online benefits system to make your change OR you can submit a HSA Change Form (Paper) to the Benefits department.

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Mid-Year Changes with Qualifying Life Event

Question:  How do I add my spouse/dependents to my benefits due to a qualifying life event such as birth or change from single coverage to family coverage during special enrollment? See Benefits and Enrollment Guide for qualifying life events, such as (birth, marriage, divorce, lose of coverage, etc.)
Answer:  You must complete enrollment using the online benefits enrollment system MPS/BenefitFocus  and provide proof of qualifying life event and dependent verification documents no later than 31-days including date of the qualifying event (date of birth, date of marriage, date of divorce, etc.).  For any questions call the Benefits Department at 480.472.7222.

Question:  How are premiums calculated if I have a Mid-Year Qualifying Life Event? 
Answer:  Premiums are calculated by taking the monthly premium, multiplied by the months of coverage, then divided by the remaining pay periods based on your contract.

Question:  How do I terminate benefit coverage for myself and/ or my family members?
Answer:  Log on to the online enrollment benefits system MPS/BenefitFocus and process your termination of benefits using the life event option.  If you do not have a qualified life event to terminate your coverage mid-year then you must wait until Open Enrollment to make your changes.  If you have questions please call your benefits specialist at 480.472.7222.  Benefits coverage will end the last day of the calendar month in which the change occurs.

Example:  If an employee has a dependent child who turns 26 on September 10, insurance coverage for the child will end September 30.

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Who Do I Call? (Benefit Questions, Coverage, Claims, Billing)

Question:  Who do I call for benefit questions?
Answer:  For specific benefit or coverage questions, call the service provider directly (Service providers can be found in the back of the Benefits and Enrollment Guide.  In the unlikely event they are unable to resolve your issue, call 480.472.7222.

Question:  Who do I talk to about coverage, claims, or billing questions for the MPS Health/Dental Plans?
Answer:  Direct all health/dental plan questions to Cigna Healthcare at 1.800.244.6224.

Question:  Who do I talk to about coverage, claims, or billing questions for the MPS Vision Plan?
Answer:  Direct all vision plan questions to Vision Service Plan (VSP) at 1.800.877.71.95 - MPS Group #12-140015

Question:  How do I obtain a health/dental plan ID card?
Answer:  Cigna Healthcare issues health/dental plan ID cards automatically to all new participants.  These cards are sent directly to you from Cigna Healthcare.  You may request an additional card or a replacement card directly from Cigna Healthcare by calling them at 1.800.244.6224 or log into and create a mycigna account.

Question:  How do I obtain a vision plan ID card?
Answer:  Vision Service Plan (VSP) is a green company and does not issue insurance cards.  When using the benefit, let your provider know you have Vision Service Plan (VSP) and they can verify benefits at 1.800.877.7195 - MPS Group #12-140015

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What Happens to My Insurance If....?

Question:  What happens to my insurance benefits when I am on a leave of absence?
Answer:  Refer to the Continuation of Coverage: FMLA & Leaves of Absence to answer the individual questions that you may have. 

During paid/unpaid FMLA and Long Term Leave Medical leave, Mesa Public Schools will maintain the district-provided benefits and optional employee-paid benefit plans for you on the same terms and conditions as if you had continued to work.  Thus, if you paid for all or part of your coverage before leave, you will be required to continue the coverage during your leave through payroll deduction or by direct payment to the MPS Benefits Department.  The employee will be notified by US mail of any unpaid premiums.

Question:  What happens to my insurance benefits when I leave employment  with Mesa Public Schools?
Answer:  Your coverage ends at midnight on the last day of the month in which your employment ends.

Example:  If employment is terminated April 15, benefits terminate April 30.

Question:  If I resign during the summer, when will my benefits end?
Answer:  If you are a certified employee and you do not return to work for at least 30 days in the new school year, benefits will terminate based on the last day worked of the prior school year contract.

If you are a classified employee and you do not return to work for at least 30 days of the new school year, benefits will be terminated based on the last day worked of the prior school year contract.

Question:  If I leave the district but need to keep my health insurance, can I do that?
Answer:  Yes, you can retain your health insurance coverage through COBRA after leaving the district.  For more information, please contact the MPS COBRA specialist at 480.472.0425.

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