Frequently Asked Questions

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Benefits-COBRA

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Who administers the program?
CDS Group Health administers our COBRA program for participants in the High Deductible Health Plan, PPO and the HMO plans.

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Who do I contact if I have any questions on my COBRA election?
The contact person handling COBRA administration at CDS is Alicia Greenwood at 352-6965; email Alicia.Greenwood@uhsinc.com

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How much does COBRA continuation coverage cost?

Current rates can be found on the Human Resources website with the following link: Washoe County Employee Benefits 

Normally, qualified beneficiaries are required to pay the entire cost of continuation coverage.  The amount a qualified beneficiary may be required to pay may not exceed 102 percent (or, in the case of an extension of continuation coverage due to a disability, 150 percent) of the cost to the group health plan (including both employer and employee contributions).



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How and when will I be notified of continuing my health coverage?
Terminated employees and their dependents (qualified beneficiaries) will be provided an election notice within 14 days of their termination date.

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When is my payment due?
The initial premium payment must be made within 45 days after the date of the COBRA election (This is the date the Election Notice is post-marked, if mailed.) Payments must cover the period of coverage from the date of COBRA election retroactive to the date of the loss of coverage.  Qualified Beneficiaries have 60 days beyond the date they receive their election notice to sign up for their health care coverage.

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When would my coverage start?
The COBRA continued health insurance begins following the date that the health coverage is terminated. The insurance is not activated until payment is received.

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When does my health insurance coverage end?
Your current health insurance coverage ends on your last day of work.

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What is COBRA?
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985 mandates that employers that have with 20 or more employees and offer health coverage continue to offer employees benefits when they quit, are laid off or fired or have their work hours reduced. Additionally, benefits must be offered to the employee’s spouse and dependents. COBRA benefits apply to health care plans, dental plans, vision plans, prescription drug plans, etc. Benefits may continue for up to 18, 24, 29 or 36 months, depending on the cause for the loss of benefits.

If you are separating service with the County you will most likely be entitled to 18 months of continued coverage.

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When and how must payment for COBRA continuation coverage be made?
You will be notified by CDS Group Health on the process utilized to continue your health insurance program. After you make your first payment for continuation coverage, you will be required to make periodic payments for each subsequent coverage period.   The periodic payments can be made on a monthly basis.  Under the Plan, each of these periodic payments for continuation coverage is due on the 1st of the month for that coverage period.  If you make a periodic payment on or before the first day of the coverage period to which it applies, your coverage under the Plan will continue for that coverage period without any break.  The Plan will not send periodic notices of payments due for these coverage periods.  

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Benefits-Deferred Comp

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Where can I get more information and education on saving for my retirement?

Contact your local MassMutual Account Representative, Tom Verducci, at 775-384-7981 or tverducci@massmutual.com . You may also set up a personal account on the MassMutual website to view information on your investments and have access to educational tools: www.retiresmart.com      



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What are the responsibilities of the Deferred Compensation Committee?
The Deferred Compensation Committee has a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of participants with respect to plan administrators, fund offerings, account management, plan review for compliance, best practices and competitiveness, and is responsible for plan revisions and other necessary actions to meet those responsibilities.

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What is the authority of the Washoe County Deferred Compensation Committee?
In accordance with NRS 287.440, the Board of County Commissioners established a Washoe County Deferred Compensation Committee in 1979 to administer the 457 plan. The powers of the Deferred Compensation Committee as established by NRS and conferred upon the Committee as approved by the Board include collecting deferred compensation, transmitting to depositories within the State, payment of deferred compensation to participants and contracting with a private entity for services necessary to the administration of the plan.

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Who is on the Deferred Compensation Committee and who do they represent?

On May 13, 2003, the Board of County Commissioners approved the current resolution regarding the Committee on Deferred Compensation Programs offered to Washoe County Employees under 26 U.S.C. § 401(a) and § 457. This resolution defines the six (6) voting members of the Committee and the group from which they are appointed, including who makes the appointment. Current Committee Members are as follows:

• Two (2) members are appointed by the WCEA Executive Board

        Darrell Craig, Committee Chairman

        Scottie Wallace, Committee Member

• One (1) member is appointed by the County Manager from the confidential/exempt/ management groups of employees

       Cathy Hill, Committee Secretary/Treasurer

• One (1) member is appointed by the President of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Deputies Association, such appointment to be from that Association or the Washoe County Sheriff’s Supervisory Deputies Association

        Scott Thomas, Committee Member

• One (1) member is appointed by the President of the Washoe County District Attorney Investigators’ Association from that Association

        Stephanie Shuman, Committee Vice-Chair

• One (1) member is appointed by the Chief Administrative Judge of the Second Judicial District Court from the Judicial/Probation/Other Court or District Attorney groups

        Nikki Berry, Committee Member



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What are the enrollment periods for the 457 and 401(a) plans?
Enrollment periods are established by Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Codes. For the 457 plan, eligible employees can enroll at any time. For the 401(a) plan, employees are eligible to participate after one (1) year of employment with the County and then have a 90 day window in which to enroll. After the 90 day period ends, the employee is not eligible to enroll in the 401(a) plan for the remainder of his/her employment with Washoe
County.


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Can I take a loan from my 457 or my 401(a) plan?

Participants are eligible to take loans from the deferred compensation plans. The minimum loan amount is $1,000 and the minimum loan term is 12 months. For more information contact MassMutual at 800-743-5274 or you can apply for a loan online at www.retiresmart.com        



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What is the minimum contribution required for participation in the plans?

Participants in the 457 Plan can start your retirement savings with as little as $10 per pay period, so starting sooner rather than later is easy.  You can start or stop your contributions to the 457 at any time. Participants electing to participate in the 401(a) Plan may select a minimum contribution amount of 2.5%. 401(a) enrollment and contribution elections are irrevocable.



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Why does Washoe County have only one provider for the Deferred Compensation plans?
The Committee has conducted record-keeper and administrator searches in 2005, 2010 and 2015. During these search projects the Committee has not found any compelling evidence that there are any advantages for our employees in adding a second provider. A single provider also minimizes confusion for plan participants and creates pricing advantages due to the economies of scale that are created.

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How is the performance of the offered investment options evaluated?
The Committee adopted a written Statement of Investment Policies and Guidelines at their August 12, 2004 meeting. This Statement establishes criteria for funds offered within the 457 and 401(a) plans as well as the criteria for eliminating investment options. The policy is reviewed annually and assists in meeting the fiduciary responsibility of the Committee to act in the best interest of all plan participants. As stated in the guidelines, “the Committee will evaluate fund performance at least annually. Performance results will be evaluated using comparisons with the guidelines, pertinent market indices and appropriate peer groups of managers. When necessary, fund performance will be reviewed more frequently.” Evaluation is focused on long-term performance, though interim qualitative factors may influence a decision to add or remove a fund.

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What are the participation rates for the 457 and 401(a) plans?
Both the 457 and 401(a) plans are voluntary retirement plans that employees may utilize. Neither plan offers a matching contribution which means each plan is funded solely from employee contributions. The 457 plan has maintained a strong participation rate of nearly 70% for several years. The 401(a) plan is a supplemental plan and is an irrevocable enrollment which make it appealing for a smaller number of employees.

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Can I purchase PERS service credits with my 457 or 401(a) dollars?
Participants in the 457 plan may elect to have any portion of their account balance transferred to a defined benefit governmental plan (PERS) at any time during their employment. However, 401(a) dollars cannot be used to purchase service credits while still actively employed. For more information on purchasing “time” go to the PERS website at www.nvpers.org and contact MassMutual at 800-743-5274 to request the form to transfer the funds.

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What is a Roth 457 plan?
The Roth Provision was added to the 457 Deferred Compensation program in May 2011. This feature enables you to contribute after-tax money from your paycheck to your 457 retirement plan account. The Roth option offers alternative tax benefits. Unlike traditional before-tax contributions, the Roth feature lets you save and invest with after-tax dollars. Because Roth contributions have already been taxed, Roth contributions and earnings can grow tax free.

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Benefits-GAP

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How do I know what my account number is?
In the upper right hand corner of the reimbursement form, there is a place to enter an account number, although account numbers are not assigned until after the first claim is received. This field should be left blank on the first claim submission.

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Who administers the GAP Plan?
The GAP is administered by American Fidelity Assurance (AFA) who also administers our Flexible Spending and Health Savings Accounts.

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How should I submit my Claim Form and supporting documentation to American Fidelity?

Claims can be sent to American Fidelity by fax or by mail. If you fax your claim, a follow up phone call is not required but is welcome to ensure your claim has been received. If faxing, please allow 48 hours for the system to process the fax.

American Fidelity Assurance Company

Medical/Supplement Department

Attn: Benefits Division

P O Box 25160

Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0160

Fax: 1-800-818-3453

After the first claim submission to American Fidelity, you will be able to create an online account to submit future claims.  Visit www.afadvantage.com to create a log on and password. 



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What documentation should accompany the Claim Reimbursement Form for each type of claim?

Dr. Office Visit:

• A copy of the bill, OR

• An EOB (Explanation of Benefits), OR

• Office notes

Note: Routine care is not reimbursable under the GAP Plan.

  Out-Patient Hospital: • A copy of the hospital bill

  In-Patient Hospital:

• A copy of the EOB

• A copy of the hospital bill

Note:  There is no limit to the number of hospitalization benefits payable. Each hospitalization benefit is payable on its own. There is a limit for the out-patient benefit if the treatment is for the same condition within a 90-day period.



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I want to submit a claim for reimbursement. Where can I find these forms?

Forms are available on the Employee Benefit Forms page of the Human Resources website: https://www.washoecounty.us/humanresources/files/hrfiles/GAP_Claim_Form.pdf Forms can also be obtained from your department’s Human Resources representative.

Please note that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act does require that information submitted on this claim form is protected and only disclosed as necessary to process your claim. Employers, plan sponsors and providers are subject to ensuring that your data is private and secure.



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What number do I call should I wish to follow up on the fax, or if I have other questions?
To follow up on a fax (after 48 hours to allow processing time): 1-800-662-1113
  
For any other plan or claim questions, contact the local American Fidelity office at 829-1313.

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What does the GAP cover?

The following out-of-pocket expenses are covered:

Maximum In-Hospital Benefit:

• Up to $1,000 per hospital confinement

Maximum Out-patient Benefit:

• Treatment in a hospital emergency room

• Out-patient surgery in a hospital out-patient facility or free-standing out-patient surgery center

• Diagnostic testing in a hospital out-patient facility or MRI facility

• Up to $200 for treatment of the same or related conditions unless separated by a period of 90 consecutive days (then a new out-patient benefit will be payable)

Physician Out-patient Treatment Benefit:

• Treatment in a hospital out-patient clinic, free-standing emergency care clinic or physician’s office

• Up to $25 per treatment; $125 maximum per family per calendar year (non-routine care excluded)



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How can I cover my dependents through a GAP plan?
If your dependents are covered under your HMO, you may also purchase GAP coverage for them. You may enroll dependents during the annual Open Enrollment period (mid-October through mid-November for a January 1 effective date) by meeting with an American Fidelity representative, or anytime during the year with a qualifying event. Rates can be found on the Human Resources website and premiums are collected pre-tax through payroll deduction. To enroll your dependents outside of the Open Enrollment period (with a qualifying event), contact American Fidelity at 829-1313.

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What if I want to drop a dependent?
Just as with your health plans, dependents can only be dropped during Open Enrollment or with a qualifying event. To delete a dependent, you must contact American Fidelity directly. Dependent GAP coverage is privately purchased insurance and it is the responsibility of the employee to maintain the integrity of that policy. Calling Health Benefits to delete a dependent from your health insurance plan will not automatically delete them from your GAP Plan.

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How can I obtain an EOB (Explanation of Benefits)?
Sign up for “My Hometown Benefits” at www.hometownhealth.com to view all of your claims and print EOBs.

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Can I check my individual account online?
Employees can visit www.afadvantage.com and request an online account once they have submitted their first claim. This is a very useful tool for reviewing flex plans and any outstanding claims, and we encourage all GAP participants to avail themselves of this convenient resource.

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What is the GAP Plan?
This supplement benefit works in conjunction with the HMO Plan and is provided only to HMO participants. The GAP was added as a result of health insurance negotiations to offset plan design changes that helped the County meet budget needs in FY 2010/2011. The cost of the GAP Plan is covered by the County for all employees and retirees, and is available on a voluntary basis for dependents.

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What constitutes a qualifying event?
A list of qualifying events can be found under the “Eligibility Quick Reference” link on the Medical-Dental-Vision page of the Human Resources website:

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Benefits-Health Savings Account

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What is a limited-purpose Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?
This type of plan still allows you to participate in an HSA, and simply limits your FSA reimbursements to dental and vision expenses only (no medical).

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Who is administering our HDHP claims?

Starting in January 2017, employees on the High Deductible Health Plan have a choice between two administrators: CDS Group Health and Hometown Health. You can go to their secure website to review your claim status and other information. For CDS Group Health go to: cdsgrouphealth.com. For Hometown Health go to: hometownhealth.com



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What is a qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)?

In order to obtain an HSA, you must have a qualifying High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). An HDHP has a lower premium than conventional health plans, but has a high deductible that must be reached before the plan starts paying. Prescription drugs must be paid at contract price until the deductible is met.  HSA’s help pay for the medical expenses not covered by your HDHP— tax- free.



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What happens to the money in an HSA after I turn age 65?
You can continue to use your account tax-free for out-of-pocket health expenses. When you enroll in Medicare, you can use your account to pay Medicare premiums, deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance under any part of Medicare. If you have retiree health benefits through your former employer you can also use your account to pay for your share of retiree medical insurance premiums; however, the coverage may not be a Medicare Supplement Policy. Medicare premiums for a dependent who has reached age 65 is not an eligible expense.

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How do I access funds in my HSA?
American Fidelity will send you a debit card to pay for your qualifying expenses. Funds are also accessible by completing a payment request form, requesting a check reimbursement or bank transfer. 

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Can I have and participate in an HSA if I am on Medicare?
No, Medicare participants are not eligible for the HSA. Even if you have waived coverage in Medicare Part B (medical) while you continue to be employed, you are still enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospital). If you had an HSA before you enrolled in Medicare, you can keep it; however, you cannot continue to make contributions to an HSA after you enroll in Medicare.

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In what bank will HSA contributions be deposited and will those funds be FDIC insured?
American Fidelity uses First Fidelity Bank, N.A. which has had FDIC insurance since July 1, 1981.

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Who will be the “bookkeeper” for my HSA?
You will be the bookkeeper. While the County will deposit their contribution and any pre-tax payroll deductions you decide to contribute, and American Fidelity is the custodian, it is  your responsibility to keep track of your deposits and expenditures and keep all of your receipts (necessary if the IRS audits you). It is also your responsibility to adhere to the regulations governing HSAs and payment of qualified medical expenses. American Fidelity does allow the option to scan receipts into their system and will save them for you should you ever be audited.

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Would dental and vision coverage be the same as they are now?
Yes.  All employees, regardless of which medical plan they are enrolled in, participate in the same self-funded dental and vision insurance plans.  You can pay for your portion of dental (other than cosmetic) and vision services from your HSA or your limited purpose FSA.

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I have a 25 year-old dependent on my health plan. Can I add them to the HSA/HDHP?
In 2010, Health Care Reform Law extended health plan eligibility to children of the covered employee until the child turns 26 years of age, so you can cover your 25 year-old on your HDHP medical plan.  However, the HSA is subject to IRS rules and guidelines, and since their definition of dependent is “up to age 24 if a full-time student,” you are not able to use your HSA funds to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses for that dependent, even though they may be covered on your HDHP for medical expenses.

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Is the network of doctors for the HDHP the same as for the current PPO Plan?

Starting in January of 2017, individuals on the High Deductible Health Plan have a choice of two networks:  Saint Mary’s Hospital/Universal Health Network or Renown Hospital/Hometown Health Network.



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I want to cover my domestic partner on my HDHP. Can I use the HSA funds to pay for out-of-pocket expenses?

You are not able to use your HSA funds to pay expenses for your registered Domestic Partner per IRS rules and guidelines.



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Do I have to contribute to my HSA? Can I change my contribution amount at anytime?
You are not required to contribute to the HSA; however; it is a good way to save pre-tax dollars for medical expenses incurred in the future.  You can change/stop your contribution as often as you like via the Benefits and Payroll Tab in ESS.

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Can my employer contribute to my HSA?

Although it is not a requirement, Washoe County has agreed to fund a significant portion of the $2,500/individual and $2600/family annual calendar year deductible in 2017 to help encourage participation. All employees enrolled on the High Deductible Health Plan effective January 1, 2017 will receive $2,000 contribution to their Health Savings Account. Anyone hired after January 1, 2017, will receive a pro-rated contribution to their Health Savings Account based upon their date of hire. The money in your HSA is your money and you may keep any County contributions when you change jobs or retire.



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How much does it cost to maintain my bank account with American Fidelity?

Currently, there is no cost to maintain your bank account with American Fidelity.  Upon separation from employment or transfer to another Washoe County health plan, you will be responsible for the $2 per month fee as applicable.



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Can I use my HSA to pay for medical services provided in other countries?
Yes, if the expenses are qualified medical expenses.

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I have a current FSA for medical and dependent care reimbursements. How will this impact my ability to join the HSA/HDHP plan?
You will need to spend all your FSA money by December 31, 2017 in order to contribute and have contributions made to your HSA account. While you can still enroll in a limited purpose FSA if you are participating in the HDHP/HSA, the limited purpose FSA is for vision and dental expenses only. You will still be able to have a dependent care reimbursement account.

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What is the difference between an FSA and an HSA?

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) allow you to contribute pre-tax dollars to an account managed by your employer. This money can be used for health care spending, but anything left over at the end of the year is forfeited. 

HSAs allow you to contribute pre-tax dollars into an account that is owned and managed by you, the employee. The money is used for health care expenses, but unlike an FSA, the unspent amount can remain in the account year after year and it stays with you in the event you terminate from your employer.



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How do I know if the HSA is a good choice for me?
You will need to consider your options carefully, and we encourage you to attend one of the many HSA training sessions that will be held throughout the Open Enrollment period.

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Do I have to use the HSA in conjunction with the HDHP?
Yes. In order to qualify for an HSA, the IRS dictates that the employee must be enrolled in a qualified HDHP. IRS regulations for 2017 require the HDHP to have a minimum  deductible of $1,300 for individuals and $2,600 for families. The premium for an HDHP generally costs less than a traditional health care plan, so the money that you save can be put in your HSA. You own and control the money in your HSA and decisions on how to spend the money are made by you.

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My spouse and I both currently work at Washoe County. Can we both have an HSA/HDHP?
Since you are covered as individual employees by Washoe County, you will have a separate $2,500 annual deductible if both enroll in the HDHP/HSA. It may be more cost effective for one spouse to enroll in the HDHP/HSA with the $2,500 deductible ($2,600 deductible for family coverage) and the other spouse to enroll in the current PPO or HMO plan. Monies from the employee with the HSA account can be used for out-of-pocket medical expenses for family members regardless of whether or not they are on the same health plan.

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Can I roll the money from my HSA into an IRA?
No.  However, you are allowed to make a one-time transfer from an IRA to an HSA.  You are also allowed to rollover funds from an Archer MSA or an existing HSA to a new HSA.  We recommend that you seek advice from a financial expert before making any transfers or rollovers.

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Can I purchase long-term care insurance with money from my HSA?
Yes, if you have tax-qualified long-term care insurance.  However, the amount considered a qualified medical expense depends on your age.  See IRS Publication 502 for the amounts deductible by age.

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What is the maximum amount of pre-tax dollars that I can contribute to an HSA?

The IRS has set contribution limits of $3,400 for individuals and $6,750 for families for 2017. Individuals 55 and over may contribute an extra $1,000 to their HSA.

The County’s HSA are administered by American Fidelity, and employees can make pre-tax payroll deductions every pay period.  



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What happens to HSA funds when an employee is no longer covered by the qualifying High Deductible Health Plan leaves Washoe County, or turns age 65?

The HSA is owned by the employee; therefore, the funds remain in the account.  The employee can choose to use the funds for qualified medical expenses or save the funds for future medical expenses.



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What happens if I use the money in my HSA for expenses other than medical?
The expenditure will be taxed, and for individuals who are not disabled or over age 65, subject to a 10% tax penalty.  It is your responsibility to report this information on your income taxes.

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What if I contribute more than the employee contribution limit?

 The HSA contribution maximums are set up in payroll to not exceed the IRS limitations. If an employee’s contributions exceed the IRS limitation, the employee contribution amount will not be deducted from their paycheck.



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What happens if I spend more than I have in the account?
If you try to use your debit card for an expense that exceeds the available balance, your card will simply be declined at the time of purchase.

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Can I pay my health insurance premiums with an HSA?
In most cases, no. You can only use your HSA to pay health insurance premiums if you are collecting federal or state unemployment benefits, or if you have COBRA continuation coverage through a former employer.

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Who decides whether the money I’m spending from my HSA is for “qualified medical expense?”
You are responsible for that decision, and therefore should familiarize yourself with what qualified medical expenses are (at least as partially defined in IRS publication 502).  Also, keep your receipts in case you need to defend your expenditures or decisions during an audit.

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Can I stay on the HSA/HDHP when I retire from Washoe County?
 Yes. Starting January 1, 2017, the High Deductible Health Plan with a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) is another health plan option available to retirees.

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Do unused funds in an HSA roll over year after year?
Yes. The unused balance in an HSA automatically rolls over year after year.

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My spouse has a Flexible Spending Account or Health Reimbursement Arrangement through their employer. Can I still have an HSA through my employment with Washoe County?
No, the IRS does not allow you to have an HSA if your spouse’s FSA or Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) can pay for any of your medical expenses before your HDHP deductible is met.

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I am an active employee that has access to, but I am not utilizing, veteran’s benefits or Tri- Care. Can I enroll in the HSA/HDHP?

Yes, if you are a veteran who has not retired from the military and is not enrolled in Tricare, you can enroll in the HSA/HDHP. The only exception is for veterans with service-related disabilities. The Internal Revenue Code was amended recently to allow veterans receiving VA medical care for service-related disabilities to fund an HSA.



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What is a Health Savings Account?
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are another option when it comes to conventional health insurance. It is a tax-free savings account that gives you the power to decide how to pay for your medical care. You can pay for qualified medical expenses now or save for future medical expenses—all while earning interest on your money! Tax-free withdrawals can be made by the employee to pay for qualified medical expenses incurred by the employee, spouse, children or other dependents.

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Benefits-Life Insurance

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Can I purchase additional life insurance?

Additional life insurance may be purchased through Western Insurance Specialties and American Fidelity.  Western Insurance Specialties can be reached at 775-826-2333.  American Fidelity can be reached at 775-829-1313.



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Can I name more than one beneficiary to my life insurance?
Yes.  You may name as many primary beneficiaries as you want, as long as you indicate the desired percentage of distribution.  For example, if you name two children, you may want to show that each of them is entitled to 50% of the benefit.  You may also list contingent beneficiaries as well.

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Can only family members be named as the beneficiary to my life insurance?
You can name anyone as your beneficiary, regardless of your relationship.  However, if you name a minor, the life insurance company will typically place the benefit in a Trust until that minor turns 18 years of age.

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Does the County offer life insurance?
The County provides $20,000 of life and accidental death & dismemberment insurance for all benefited-employees, as well as a $1,000 benefit for those beneficiaries who are covered under your health insurance plan.  The $20,000 benefit does drop to $13,000 at age 65, and once again to $7,000 at age 70. 

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How does the $1,000 beneficiary benefit work?
The County provides a $1,000 of life insurance for dependents who are carried on the participant’s health insurance plan. In the event a dependent dies while on the participant’s insurance, the participant would receive $1,000 in life insurance.

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What if I predecease my spouse? Will they still be entitled to any beneficiary benefit?
No, not unless they are eligible to enroll onto the retiree insurance.  In that case, they would have the $1,000 life insurance benefit for as long as they remain on the plan.

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What is the difference between a primary and a contingent beneficiary?
Your contingent beneficiary comes into play only in the event that the primary beneficiary has predeceased them.

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Do I lose my life insurance benefit when I retire?
The County provides this benefit for as long as you are covered under one of our health insurance plans.

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Benefits-Medical Insurance

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How do I add and/or delete a dependent?

You must log onto ESS and submit a Life and Work Event request to add or remove a dependent.  

Please see the “Eligibility Quick Reference” on the Human Resources website for more information on adding or deleting dependents: Eligibility Quick Reference 

Under the new Health Care Reform Bill, you may cover your child/children up to age 26.  They do not have to be a full-time student, living with you, and/or dependent upon your financial support. 

If you are adding a domestic partner, you must do so within 31 days of filing the declaration of domestic partnership, or during the annual Open Enrollment period. 

You may add your new baby within 31 days of the birth by submitting a Life and Work Event request through ESS and providing a copy of the live birth confirmation to Human Resources.



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Where is the Benefits Office? How do I contact them?

Washoe County Employee Benefits is located within the Human Resources Department at the County Administration Complex, 1001 East Ninth Street, Building A, Room A220, and the contact information for the benefits team is as follows:          



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How do I change health insurance plans?
You may change your choice of health plan for any reason during the annual Open Enrollment period by logging on to ESS and completing the online enrollment process. 

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How much does the County contribute toward premiums for me and my dependents?
Washoe County pays 100% of the employee premium. Through collective bargaining, the County has also agreed to pay 50% of the enrolled dependent’s premium.  Employees are responsible for the remaining premium for their enrolled dependents.

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My dependent child just turned 19. Is he/she still covered?
As a result of the Health Care Reform Act, dependent children may now continue on your health insurance until age 26.

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How can I find out how much it will cost to carry my dependents on my insurance?
Current insurance rates are posted on the Washoe County Human Resources public website and can be found under the Benefits section (Washoe County Employee Benefits).

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Do the Washoe County health plans include prescription drug coverage?

Yes.  By visiting one of the websites below, you can identify which drugs are available on your specific plan, how much they cost, and the applicable co-payment:

• Self-funded PPO:  www.welldynerx.com (or call 1-844-635-7351)

• HMO:  www.hometownhealth.com (or call 844-373-0970)



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What is the GAP Plan?

The GAP Plan was first introduced in FY 10/11 and is available in conjunction with the Hometown Health HMO Plan only.  Washoe County pays the cost of the GAP plan for all employees enrolled in the HMO; however, it is an elective coverage for dependents and employees are responsible for those premiums.  Provided by American Fidelity, the GAP Plan is designed to reimburse the following out-of-pocket expenses up to:

• $1,000 per inpatient hospital confinement

• $200 for certain outpatient services

• $25 for non-routine doctors visits (limit of $125 per family per year)

For more information about the GAP Plan, or to enroll or delete a dependent, you must contact American Fidelity directly at 775-829-1313. 



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When do my health insurance benefits go into effect?
Coverage becomes effective on the 91st day of continuous full-time or permanent part-time employment.  You must log onto Employee Self Service (ESS) and select your health plan network within 30 days of your effective date.  If enrollment is not completed on a timely basis, you will be enrolled with employee-only coverage in the High Deductible Health Plan with Saint Mary's Network as of your effective date.

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What hospitals are associated with each plan?

• Self-funded PPO:  Saint Mary’s, Northern Nevada Medical Center and Carson-Tahoe

• Hometown Health’s HMO:  Renown Regional Medical Center

• High Deductible Health Plan - CDS Group Health:  Saint Mary’s, Northern Nevada Medical Center and Carson-Tahoe

• High Deductible Health Plan - Hometown Health:  Renown Regional Medical Center



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I lost my insurance card. How can I obtain a new one?

If you are on the Self-funded PPO, you may contact CDS Group Health at 775-352-6900 to request new cards. 

For those on the HMO, you may contact Hometown Health at 775-982-3232.

For those on the High Deductible Health Plan with the Renown Network, you may contact Hometown Health at 775-982-5425.

For those on the High Deductible Health Plan with the Universal Health Network, you may contact CDS Group Health at 775-352-6900.



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What is the Medicare Advantage Plan?
The HMO Medicare Advantage Plan was added to the Washoe County Retiree Health Benefits Program in FY 10/11.  The coverage is provided through Senior Care Plus, and is available only to those retirees and their dependents with both Medicare parts A and B.  This plan is a great option for those retirees who are receiving only a partial premium benefit from Washoe County and/or who are covering dependents. Please note that enrollment occurs only on the first of each month.

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How do I find out more information about the Medicare Advantage Plan?
You may contact the Enrollment Specialist at Senior Care Plus at 775-982-3134.

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What is the “Open Enrollment” period?

Every year, mid-October through mid-November, the County holds an Open Enrollment period during which time you can make any changes to your health insurance plan without qualifying event restrictions.  This is the perfect opportunity to review all your health insurance options to make sure you and your family are appropriately covered.



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What if I do not want to make any changes during Open Enrollment?
With the introduction of online open enrollment in FY 12/13, you must now review and certify your existing benefits via ESS even if you are not making any changes. You are strongly encouraged to attend one of the annual Open Enrollment meetings or review the Open Enrollment data posted on the website to be sure you understand any changes occurring at the beginning of the calendar year (January 1).

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How do I find out more about the plans offered through the Health Benefits Program?

We strongly encourage all employees to attend Open Enrollment meetings which are scheduled each year mid-October through mid-November.  If for some reason you cannot attend one of these informative meetings, you may contact a Benefits Specialist:  Kristie Harmon at 775 328-2079 or Vicki Scott at 775 328-2099 to set up an appointment.



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How do I find out if my doctor is a provider on my plan?

If you are on the Self-funded Plan, go to www.uhnppo.com.  Enter your provider’s name and click search.  Or you may contact Universal Health Care directly at 775-356-1159.

If you are on the HMO, go to www.hometownhealth.com.  Click on provider directory, choose HMO Plan, enter the provider’s name and click search.  Or you may contact Hometown Health Customer Service at 775-982-3232.

If you are on the High Deductible Health Plan with the Universal Health Network, go to www.uhnppo.com.  Enter your provider’s name and click search.  Or you may contact Universal Health Care directly at 775-356-1159.

If you are on the High Deductible Health Plan with the Renown Network, go to www.hometownhealth.com.  Click on provider directory, choose Self-funded Plan, enter the provider's name and click search.  Or you may contact Hometown Health Customer Service at 775-982-5425.



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I see preventative and routine medical care is now covered at 100%. What exactly does this include?

For a full description of what services meet the definition of preventative and routine medical care, please refer to your plan summary or contact your plan administrator directly:

• Self-funded PPO participants may contact CDS Customer Service at 775-352-6900.

• HMO participants may contact their Customer Service at 775-982-3232.

• High Deductible Health Plan participants with the Universal Health Network may contact CDS Group Health Customer Service at 775-352-6900.

• High Deductible Health Plan participants with the Renown Network may contact Hometown Health Customer Service at 775-982-5425.



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My spouse/partner lost his/her job. Can I add them to my insurance?
Yes, this is considered a “qualifying event” and they must be added within 31 days of the loss of coverage.  You must submit a Life and Work Event request through ESS along with documentation from the previous insurance company that indicates their last day of coverage.

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My spouse/partner has a new job and insurance is being offered. Can I remove them from my insurance?

Yes, this is considered a “qualifying event” and they must be removed within 31 days of the effective date of the new insurance.  You must also submit a Life and Work Event request through ESS along with documentation from your spouse’s new employer that indicates the effective date of his/her coverage.



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Am I required to receive care only from contracted providers?

If you are on the HMO, you must receive care only from the physicians, hospitals and other health care providers that have contracted to provide services for Hometown Health. 

If you are on the Self-funded PPO, you will receive a better rate if you use contracted providers, but you do have flexibility. 

If you are on the High Deductible Health Plan, you will receive a better rate if you use contracted providers, but you do have flexibility. 



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Benefits-MEDICARE

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I am a pre 97/98 hire. Do I retain the same retiree health benefits when I retire?
Yes, you currently retain the same benefit provided by contract. However, the actual benefit plan design is subject to future changes that may take place during labor negotiations with the bargaining units. Upon retirement, employees hired prior to 97/98 are not required to enroll in Medicare but are strongly encouraged to do so. If Medicare is primary to your Washoe County Health Plan, it helps defray future claims costs, which in turn helps to keep premium rates down. Increased premiums impact plan design which could result in increased out-of-pocket expenses to employees and retirees.

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How do I find out more information about the Medicare Advantage Plan?
You may contact the Enrollment Specialist at Senior Care Plus, at 775-982-3721. Inform them that you are a retiree of Washoe County.

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What is the Medicare Advantage Plan?
The HMO Medicare Advantage Plan was added to the Washoe County Retiree Health Benefits Program in FY 10/11. The coverage is provided through Senior Care Plus, and is available only to those retirees and their dependents with both Medicare parts A and B. This plan is a great option for those retirees who are receiving only a partial premium benefit from Washoe County and/or who are covering dependents. Please note that enrollment occurs only on the first of each month.

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I am over 65 and covered under a COBRA policy. Is COBRA considered creditable coverage?
No. Regardless of your insurance coverage, you must enroll in Medicare within the 8-month Special Enrollment Period immediately following termination of your employment.

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Who do I contact for more information on Medicare?
Information is available on the Medicare website http://www.medicare.gov or you can contact the local Social Security Office at 1-888-808-5481; 1170 Harvard Way, Reno, NV 89502.

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How much does Medicare cost?
Typically, Part A costs nothing, but because Part B can vary from year to year, you should always consult directly with Medicare for your personal premium quotes.

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How do I know if I’m eligible for Medicare?

You are eligible for Medicare if you are 65 or older and you OR your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least ten years. When an individual who has not paid Medicare taxes applies for Medicare (assuming the spouse has), they simply provide their spouse’s information in addition to their own.

Federal employees began paying the Medicare payroll tax in 1983 and all newly hired state and local employees (including Washoe County) began doing so in 1986. Thus, most government employees and retirees are now eligible.



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Can I enroll in Medicare at any time?

If you did not sign up when you were first eligible because you are still working and covered under the County’s group plan, you can enroll anytime. After your employment ends, you can enroll anytime during the 8-month Special Enrollment Period or during Medicare’s regular Open Enrollment Period which runs from January – March each year for a July 1st effective date.

Please note: if your active employment ends and you do not enroll during the Special Enrollment Period you may have to pay a higher premium for late enrollment.



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How does Medicare pay for medical services?

Hospitals and community mental health centers are paid a set amount of money (called the payment rate) to give some outpatient services to people with Medicare. The payment rate includes:

  • Medicare’s payment amount for the service you receive
  • Your yearly Medicare Part B deductible ($147 in 2015), if you haven’t already paid it for the year. This amount can change each year.
  • Your co-payment amount or co-insurance

The payment rate is not the same for all hospitals and community mental health centers. The payment rate for a hospital or community mental health center is a national rate adjusted to reflect what people are paid to work in hospitals in the area where you get services. Each January 1, Medicare updates the payment rates to keep up with changes in the cost of providing services.



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I have a spouse who qualifies for Medicare. If I retire at 66 or older, will I be penalized for not enrolling in Medicare at age 65?
No, because the County’s insurance is creditable coverage. Medicare provides an 8-month Special Enrollment Period in which you can sign up for Parts A and B after your employment ends. If you enroll after the 8-month period, you will face late enrollment penalties.

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Do I need to notify you when I am eligible and enroll in Medicare?
Yes. If you notify us upon receiving your Medicare identification card and providing us with a copy, it may lower your premium rate. In addition, we will notify CDS Group Health or Hometown Health which could alleviate issues relating to the payment of claims.

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Is there another Plan option available if I have Medicare?
Yes. The Medicare Advantage Plan was added to the Washoe County Retiree Health Benefits Program in July, 2010. Coverage is provided through Senior Care Plus and is available to those retirees and their dependents with both Medicare parts A and B. This HMO plan is a great option for those retirees who are receiving only a partial premium benefit from Washoe County or who are covering dependents, as premiums are considerably lower. Please note that enrollment occurs only on the first of each month.

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I am curious about what Medicare Parts A and B will cost me when I retire. Is there some where I can go to research this?
You can either contact the Medicare’s customer service at 800-633-4227, or you can access one of their premium or eligibility tools on their website: www.medicare.gov

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Should I enroll in Medicare Part A at age 65 even if I am still employed?
Yes. Part A is available at no cost, and employees and retirees both should always take advantage of this coverage as soon as you are eligible.

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What are some of the advantages of enrolling in Part B?
• Lowers your monthly premium
• Lowers your out-of-pocket costs over time by eliminating, or greatly reducing, co-insurance/co-payments.

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Should I enroll in Medicare Part B at age 65 even if I am still employed?
No, because the County’s insurance is creditable coverage. Medicare provides an 8-month Special Enrollment Period in which you can sign up for Part B after your employment ends. If you enroll after the 8-month period, you will face late enrollment penalties.

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Do I need to sign up for Medicare Part D (Prescription) coverage?
No, the Washoe County Plans are equal to or better than Medicare Part D.

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Do I need to sign up for Medicare when I turn age 65?
Depending on your original hire date with the County, enrollment in Medicare may or may not be required, and the decision to elect or reject Medicare may impact the way your claims are paid. We strongly encourage all retirees who are eligible for Medicare to take Parts A and B. If you are uncertain about whether or not to elect Medicare coverage, please feel free to contact our office.

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I have a spouse who will eventually qualify for Medicare, but currently is only 62. I am 65 and want to retire. Can I enroll in Medicare now, even though my spouse is not yet eligible?
You are eligible to enroll in Medicare A and B if your spouse has paid Medicare taxes for at least ten years.

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I am already retired from the County and am enrolled in the Retiree Health Benefits Program, but I am still working full-time in the private sector. Do I still need to enroll in Medicare when I turn 65?
If you are covered under your current employer’s group health plan in the private sector, you may want to delay enrollment in Medicare Part B.  If you are only enrolled in the Washoe County Retiree Health Benefits Program, then you should not delay enrolling in Medicare.  Retiree insurance is not considered “creditable” coverage by Medicare, so if you do not enroll in Part B at age 65 and decide to enroll later, you will be subject to a late enrollment fee of 10% for each 12-month period beyond your original Part B eligibility date.

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What is Medicare?

Medicare is a national social insurance program, administered by the federal government since 1965 that guarantees access to health insurance for Americans who are:

• Age 65 years and older

• Under age 65 on Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or diagnosed with certain diseases including End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and Lou Gehrig's Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS) The original program included:

• Part A – Hospital Care. Part A is premium-free for most people.

• Part B – Doctor and Outpatient Care. Part B requires a monthly premium.

In 2006, the program was expanded to include:

• Part D – Prescription Drug Coverage. Part D is optional and requires a monthly premium.



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Benefits-OBRA

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What is a Section 457 deferred compensation plan?
Established under the Internal Revenue Code section 457, deferred compensation plans are tax deferred, supplemental retirement plans.  Contributions to 457 plans are not subject to federal income tax at the time of deferral. 

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What if I become a full-time employee with my employer?
If you become a full-time employee, all contributions to the OBRA account cease.  At this point, you may either transfer the value of your OBRA account to the voluntary 457 plan available to full-time employees, or you may simply leave the funds in your OBRA account.  If you choose to leave the funds in the OBRA, please bear in mind that the funds cannot be withdrawn until you separate employment from Washoe County.

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Aside from my quarterly statement, how else can I check my account balance?

You can call MassMutual’s participant services call center at 1-800-743-5274 or go to MassMutual website at http://www.retiresmart.com



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Are there any fees or charges for participating?
There are no charges or fees for participation in the plan.

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When will I have to pay income tax on my OBRA deferred compensation account?
All distributions will be taxed as “ordinary income.”  Taxes are payable on amounts distributed to you in the year of receipt.

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What happens when I leave County employment?
When you separate employment with Washoe County, you have several options.  You can either leave the funds in the account, accruing interest; you can roll the funds over to another qualified plan; or, you can withdraw the funds in their entirety.  If you choose to withdraw, you will be responsible for the applicable taxes on the earnings.

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Is participation in the OBRA deferred compensation plan mandatory?
Yes.  Your employer will automatically deduct the required 7.5% of gross salary to provide you, as a non-benefited part time, seasonal or temporary employee, with a defined contribution plan in lieu of social security coverage.

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Do I need to notify anyone if I change my name and/or address?
Yes.  Notify MassMutual's customer service center at 1-800-743-5274.

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What are the payout options available to me when I separate from service?
Payout options include lump sum or designated amount on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.

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Are there any penalties at withdrawal?
No.  There are no penalties or early withdrawal provisions applicable to the plan.

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Will I receive any account statement?
Quarterly statements will be mailed approximately fifteen days after the end of each quarter.  Statements may also be viewed at http://www.retiresmart.com

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If my contributions are not currently taxable, do I need to make any adjustments to my tax returns each year?
No.  Your employer will make the necessary adjustments on your W-2 form, lowering your gross wages by the amount that you contributed in each tax year.

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What is OBRA?
Established in 1990, OBRA is an acronym for Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.  The primary purpose of this 457 deferred compensation plan is to provide a retirement alternative to Social Security for all non-benefited part-time, seasonal and temporary employees.  In addition, this plan permits those same employees of Washoe County to enter into an agreement which will provide for deferral of payment of a portion of their current compensation until death, retirement, severance from employment, or other event, in accordance with the provisions of Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code.

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When can I withdraw my money?
Assets in the plan may be withdrawn upon termination of employment, regardless of age.

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Where are the contributions invested?
Contributions will be directed to the General Interest (Declared Rate) Account.  The General Interest Account provides safety of principle and a competitive rate of return.

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Why am I required to participate?
OBRA requires that all state and local governmental employees be covered by social security or an employer retirement plan.

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Cat 1

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How to use FSA?

Use FSA



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Examination

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How do I request special testing accommodations

If you have a disability which requires special testing accommodations, please contact the Department of Human Resources at careers@washoecounty.us  include the ADA Special Testing Accommodations Request Form with your request.  Special testing accommodations will be provided in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.



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If I do not pass the exam may I take it again?
Washoe County does offer an exam retake policy.  If you choose, you may re-take an exam after sixty days and up to one year after testing.  This option to re-test is only available for a position when it is open for recruitment and the same exam is used.  In this circumstance, you will be emailed with the opportunity to re-take the exam or transfer your previous score.  If a re-test is chosen, the most recent score will be used, whether higher or lower.  If it has been less than 60 days or more than one year, re-testing will not be an option.

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I wasn't notified when my exam date would be or or I did not receive my exam scores.

All correspondence about your application and the position you applied for are sent through email to the email address you provided on your application.  Prior to contacting Washoe County Human Resources, check your email spam folder. Also, please verify your email address is correct by signing in at https://jobs.washoecounty.us/applicant, be sure to use the User ID and password you previously created.



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Are exams given for all positions?

The Department of Human Resources administers examinations to determine which applicants are the most qualified for a particular position.  There is no single exam; examinations are developed to suit duties and responsibilities of each job classification.  The Department of Human Resources uses written and oral examinations, tests of physical ability, and demonstrations of practical skills as testing instruments.  For some positions, the entire examination consists of a rating of education and experience as you describe them in your application.

Some positions are unclassified and outside of the merit system.  Individuals selected for those positions serve at the pleasure of the hiring authority.  A variety of selection instruments may be used in evaluating candidates for these types of positions.



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How are exams scheduled?

Applicants who meet the qualifications are generally scheduled to take the exam once the applications have been through final review, generally a minimum of one week prior to the exam.  The job announcement states the week the exam will occur so applicants are able to plan accordingly when they apply.  Most applicants are scheduled within a single session, however when there is a large number of applicants it may require more than one testing session and applicants will be scheduled in groups.  Also, if the recruitment is open continuously, applicants may be scheduled in groups in the order of the date their applications are received.



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What type of exam might I expect?

The tentative examination content is described in Required Additional Information. Some jobs require a written exam that may consist of short answer, multiple choice, true-false, or essay type questions that are directly related to the job. For example, do not be concerned about taking a spelling exam if you are applying for a maintenance job; you will most likely be asked questions about plumbing, carpentry, painting, etc.

Not all of Washoe County`s positions require written exams. Some jobs may require a performance test where applicants must perform tasks similar to those performed on the job. For example, clerical applicants may take a typing test. For certain jobs, such as a Sheriff`s Deputy, a physical ability test is also required.

Another type of exam is an oral exam, which reviews your qualifications,  experience, education and other knowledge, skills and abilities required for the job. This type of exam is still structured and scored by a panel, but it does give you the opportunity to express yourself, and to discuss what unique qualifications you bring to the position. It also gives you the opportunity to ask questions about the job.

The examination process may consist of one or any combination of these types of exams. Each portion of the examination is required to be taken in order to be considered. The passing score is determined by a statistical evaluation of the exam scores. Applicants are notified of their exam results by email.



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When will I be notified if I am eligible to take the examination?
Review the Required Additional Information which provides an approximate exam date.  After you have submitted your application and the Recruiting Analyst has determined that the minimum qualifications have been met, you will receive an email at the email address you provided on your application.  This email notification is generally sent approximately one week before the examination notifying you of your exam date, time and location.  

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When will I receive my exam scores?
Exam scores will be emailed to you within a few weeks of taking the examination.  Exam scores are not given out over the telephone or in person.

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Where will the examination be held?
You will be provided the location by email.

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What is an examination and why do I have to take one?
The term "examination" refers to the selection method used to rank all candidates for a particular classification. Applicants applying for employment with the Washoe County Merit System are required to go through an "examination" process. Depending upon the position for which you are applying, examinations may consist of written, oral, performance, physical agility tests, involve a rating of past experience and training, or be comprised of a combination of such exams.

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Interview and Selection

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How long do lists of qualified candidates last?
Most lists remain active for at least 1 year, but no longer than 3 years.  If you are on a list that is being replaced before 3 years has passed, you may be notified to reapply and retest.

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Where am I ranked on the eligible list?

All candidates on the list are ranked in score order, based on the number of eligible candidates.  If there is a tie score, the candidates receive the same ranking.  For example, if two people have a score of 86.44 and are ranked at #8 then both are ranked 8.  If the next candidate’s score on the list is an 87,  that candidate  would be ranked 7 due to  their higher score.

Promotional candidates are ranked at the top of the list followed by open competitive candidates  to complete the list.  Departments receive an even number of candidates from the Promotional and Open Competitive groups based on how many they wish to interview. For example:  If a department requests 6 names to interview, they will receive the top three Promotional candidate’s names and the top three Open Competitive candidate’s names.



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I didn't get notified about an interview or receive my ranking.

All correspondence about your application, testing and ranking are sent through email to the email address you provided on your application.  Prior to contacting Washoe County Human Resources, be sure to check your email spam folder. Hiring departments have the option to contact you directly to schedule an interview; therefore, you may receive notification either from Human Resources or the hiring department.



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Can my rank ever change?
Yes, there are two ways your rank may change. If the examination is open continuous, new names will be added to the list each time the tests are administered. If another applicant scores higher than you, your rank will be lowered. It is also possible for you to advance higher on the eligible list as others are hired or removed for other reasons such as finding other jobs. 

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When will I be notified for an interview?

As vacancies occur, the Department of Human Resources refers a list of eligible candidates to a hiring department. Candidates may be notified for an interview by either the Department of Human Resources or the hiring department.  Interview notices may be made by phone or email. 



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On-line Application

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Can I apply for more than one job at a time?

Yes, once you have completed your online application through our online application system, you can apply for multiple positions that are currently open and on the Job Opportunities web page. Even days or weeks later, all you have to do to apply for another job is to log back on to the online application system and apply--the application you originally submitted will still be in the system available for you to update and/or submit for another job opening.  Use the same User ID and password you created.



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How does the application process work?

Applicants can complete their applications online from any computer with Internet access. After the closing date, applications will be screened by the recruitment staff and all applicants will be notified by email of their results.  Additional information is available at Recruitment and Selection Process.



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How long does it take to complete the online application?

The time it takes depends on several factors including the amount of work experience and education you have to enter, how fast you can type, whether you copy and paste information, etc. You should allow 20-45 minutes for the total process. However, you can speed up the process by collecting important information about previous work experience, education, certifications, etc. before you start creating your application. If you find you are missing a piece of information requested on the application, you may be able to skip the field and go back later to complete it. If you decide to do this, it is important that you return and complete the missing information BEFORE you submit your application for a specific job opening. The information on your application when you apply will be used to evaluate your qualifications for the job opening for which you apply--make sure it is accurate and contains all information requested as well as any specific attachments that are required.



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Can I apply by sending my application via mail?

We do not accept mailed application.  All applications must be completed using the online application system when the position is posted on Job Opportunities.



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This is my first time applying what do I do?
Create a new account by going to https://jobs.washoecounty.us/user/create.html. Click “Create an Account,” an email will be sent to your email address. Then, go to your email to validate your account and create a password. Be sure to create a unique User ID and note it somewhere for future use. You will need it to reset your password should you misplace it at any time.  (IF YOU HAVE PREVIOUSLY APPLIED, PLEASE DO NOT CREATE A NEW ACCOUNT.  USE YOUR PREVIOUSLY CREATED ACCOUNT.)

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Can someone help me complete the online application?

HR staff members are available to help applicants get started and to answer questions about the online application system. Visit the Human Resources Department at the Washoe County Complex,1001 E. Ninth Street, Administration Building A, Room 220,  Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-5:00 pm or call 775-328-2081.



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How do I apply for a job?

The online application process has four steps:

  1. Reviewing the job listing and all documents listed under the title, then selecting "Apply Online" for the position of interest.
  2. Registering by creating a unique User ID and password. This will enable you to come back and apply for additional positions as well as check on the status of a position. 
  3. Creating, completing, reviewing and submitting your online application. 
  4. Application confirmation received in the inbox of your registered email address that will include your Applicant ID number.

It's important that you read and follow all instructions carefully.  Review the Job Opportunities web page to find any open positions that interest you. Once you identify an open position of interest, click on the job title to bring up the Job Announcement, click on the "Required Additional Information" link for exam and specific requirements  for the position. Review the details, if you meet the qualifications and would like to apply to the posting, click on the associated link that says "Apply Online". This will begin the application process. Once the application is completed, you will receive a confirmation number via email. This email confirms that we received your application for this position.

Be sure to remember your User ID and password so you can log back on to the system at a future time. You should make a note of these and keep it handy. Please do NOT create a second account. If you forget your User ID and/or password, please contact careers@washoecounty.us.



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Will a mobile device work with the new online application?

Yes! Your mobile device and all internet browsers will work with the online application.



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Why am I receiving multiple password reset emails?

If your browser caches (saves) the page then you will see the same “welcome back” screen & get the email message to reset your password.  You will need to close all open browsers to allow the screen to refresh.  If you still have issues, please manually clear your cache or restart your device.



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I am a County employee will I continue to use my network logon and ID to apply?

County employees that currently have an online application in the system will use the same network User ID (if that is how they created their application) and password to get started.  Once you do this you will be notified that your password must be reset and will receive an email.  This email will arrive within 15 minutes.  Use the email to get started with the new application.  From this point forward the application will no longer be connected to your network password. If you experience any challenges with your network User ID, please do not create or register a new account. Contact the Human Resources Department at 775-328-2081 or careers@washoecounty.us.



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What if I do not have a computer or access to the web?

There are several ways you can still get access to our online application system:

Public access computers are located in the Human Resources Department`s main lobby (located in the Administration Building A, 2nd floor) at the Washoe County Complex, 1001 East Ninth Street, Suite 220, Reno 89512 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Washoe County Public Libraries - Branch Location and Hours

Nevada Job Connect Centers.

Public community colleges and universities.

Internet cafes.



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Is my previous application still going to be available?

Yes, as long as you use your previously created User ID.  This is the only way to have access to your previous application.  If you do not have this information you may contact the Human Resources Department at 775-328-2081 or careers@washoecounty.us.  You may be asked to come to the Human Resources Office with a valid Photo I.D., in order to obtain assistance with access to your account. Otherwise, you will need to create a new account and start over with a new application.  Be sure to save your User ID and  password in a safe place for future use.



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Will my previous login work even though it was created many years ago?

Yes, you may access your application account with with your previous User ID.  Once you do this you will be notified that your password must be reset and will receive an email.  This email will arrive within 15 minutes.  The email will contain instructions to help you get started with the new online application process.



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Can I save my application before I finish completing it?

No.  The system requires that you complete all of the required fields indicated with a red asterisk in order for the application to be submitted.  It is recommended that you schedule enough time to complete the application in one session as the system will time-out after 45 minutes of inactivity and it does not provide a save option.



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How can I update my address and phone number on the online application?

Sign on to your application history using your previously created User Name and password using this link https://jobs.washoecounty.us/applicant. Once logged in, you are able to view a list of positions you have applied for and the online application; however, you are not able to make any changes to the online application once recruitment is closed or application status has been updated. You can only update contact information, once the changes are made, click “Update my Details.”



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Who will see my application if I use the online application system?

Your application is on a secure web server and will be available to the Human Resources Department and the interviewer(s) for the specific job opening for which you apply. If the same position becomes available in a different department or with a different supervisor, your application may be reviewed for that opening by the responsible supervisor. Washoe County does not share its database with other companies or localities.



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Recruitment

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How do I access my previous application? How do I change personal contact information?

Please log into the online application system using the link listed below. Your login information is the user id and password you created when you applied online.  Once you log in, you may ONLY update your contact information (address, city, state, zip code, phone number and email address). 

Please note:  You will be able to view the list of positions you have previously applied for and your online applications, however, you may not make any changes to the online application if the position you applied for is no longer open online.

https://jobs.washoecounty.us/applicant



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I've been working for the County for a long time. Why do I have to fill out an application?
Applications are required of each person applying for a position. It is likely that you may have acquired additional skills, experience and education since you originally applied that should be considered. In addition, completing an online application ensures your qualifications and personal information will be documented and ensures accurate applicant tracking information for every position.

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Is there a filing deadline for my application?

Most recruitments have a closing date on the announcement, which means that the deadline for filing applications is midnight on the day noted in the job announcement.

This procedure is followed when it is certain that a sufficient number of applications will be received within a specified time. It is important to note this information when applying in order to submit your official application before the deadline. In either case, it is in your best interest to return application materials promptly.

Some recruitments are "open until further notice," meaning official Washoe County employment applications will be taken until further notice as no deadline has been set. Recruitments are announced this way when it is unknown how long it will take to obtain a sufficient number of applications. 



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How do I find out what jobs are available?

Visit our online website to search for jobs that are currently available. A list of available positions can be viewed 24 hours a day at Job Opportunities.

For a full listing of Washoe County job descriptions - see Job Specifications and Salaries 
  
Sign up for Washoe County cMail Email Subscription Service, you will receive email updates on the job openings as they are posted on Washoe County’s Job Opportunities online recruitment page.

To sign up for the cMail Email Subscription Service go to http://www.washoecounty.us/county_news_subscriptions.php and create a new account. You just need an email address and password to get started.



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I missed the deadline - can I still apply?
As with any open position, once a closing date (deadline) has passed, no applications will be accepted. Please continue to visit the Job Opportunities page and apply for new jobs as they become available.

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Who do I contact for further information about the job position or classification?

If you have additional questions after reviewing the job posting, please contact the Recruiting Analyst whose email address and telephone number is listed on the job announcement.

Or view the job specification on the Job Specification web page,



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Will I be notified either way if I have met the training and experience qualifications?

You will be notified via email within a few weeks of the closing date of the job posting notifying you that: A) you have met the qualifications and you are proceeding to the examination, or B) your application did not indicate that you have the necessary qualifications for the job.  The Department of Human Resources generally will not call you.

If you believe that the Department of Human Resources has failed to correctly evaluate your qualifications, you may file a request for review within 5 working days of the notification date.



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Can I obtain a blank application form to fill out although there are no current jobs I want to apply for?
No.  Washoe County only accepts online application for current open vacancies.  There are often supplemental questionnaires, training and experience evaluations, or special instructions that go with specific job postings.  If an application is submitted without these attachments, you may be disqualified from the exam process.

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When will a certain job open?

There is no sure method of knowing when a classification will be opened.  Your best source for up-to-date information is to go to the Job Opportunities web page.

Sign up for Washoe County cMail Email Subscription Service, you will receive email updates on the job openings as they are posted on Washoe County’s Job Opportunities online recruitment page.

To sign up for the cMail Email Subscription Service go to http://www.washoecounty.us/county_news_subscriptions.phpand create a new account. You just need an email address and password to get started.



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What types of jobs are available?

Washoe County has over 300 different classifications of positions performing a wide variety of job duties. The County offers a comprehensive benefit package to full-time employees hired in authorized positions. Washoe County accepts applications only for positions for which we are actively recruiting. 


Sheriff`s Office vacancies are also advertised on the County`s online application system. To learn more about the job requirements for deputy sheriff recruit, visit the Sheriff`s Office.



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The job requires a typing or data entry certificate. Where do I obtain one?
If a typing or data entry certificate is required for a specific job, a typing voucher and a listing of authorized agencies will be provided to you.  You must contact one of the authorized agencies listed to schedule your test. Typing/data entry certificates will only be accepted from the agencies listed.

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Where can I find out information about employment with Washoe County School District?
The Washoe County School District is a separate agency.  Visit the Washoe County School District`s web site at http://www.washoeschools.net/site/default.aspx?PageID=1

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Where can I complete an application?

Applications are accepted via our online application system.  Go to the Job Opportunities page and select "Apply Online". On the login screen select "Create an Account" link and complete the required fields.  You will be creating a unique user ID and password.  Please save your user ID and password for future applications.   

Once you have registered, you may apply for any of the open positions listed on the Job Opportunities page--simply click on `Apply Online`, sign in and apply for the position. 

Kiosks are set up in the Human Resources lobby, 1001 East Ninth St, Reno, NV 89512, County Complex, Building A, 2nd Floor - Monday - Friday from 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM  for those without Internet access or you may use the computers at any WC Libraries.



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Retirees

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How do I add or delete a dependent?

You must complete a new enrollment form in its entirety, as it replaces all previous forms, and return it to Human Resources along with any applicable documentation. 

Under the new Health Care Reform Bill, you may cover your child/children to age 26 if they are not eligible for coverage under another employer-sponsored group health program.  They do not have to be a full-time student, living with you, and/or dependent upon your financial support.

If you are adding a domestic partner, you must do so within 31 days of filing the declaration of domestic partnership, or during the annual Open Enrollment period.



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Who issues my retirement checks?
Your retirement checks are issued directly from PERS.  Please contact them at 775-687-4200 if you have any questions or concerns about your monthly retirement checks.  

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Can I continue my AFLAC, American Fidelity and/or Western insurance coverage after I retire?

Yes, but you will need to contact the applicable company directly and tell them you wish to be billed at home:

• AFLAC 775-322-9393

• American Fidelity 775-829-1313

• Western Insurance 775-826-2333



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Do I need to do anything with my Deferred Compensation through MassMutual?
You may have several options available to you in regard to your Deferred Compensation Account.  For more information, please contact their local representative, Tom Verducci, at 775-384-7981.

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Can I utilize the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) after I retire?
This benefit is available up to three months after your retirement date.  You may contact ACI for assistance at 800-932-0034.

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What is the difference between a primary and a contingent beneficiary?
Your contingent beneficiary comes into play only in the event that the primary beneficiary has predeceased them.

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Do I lose my life insurance benefit when I retire?
The County provides $20,000 of life and accidental death & dismemberment insurance for all benefited-employees, as well as a $1,000 benefit for those beneficiaries who are covered under your health insurance plan.  You will retain this benefit as a retiree for as long as you are covered under the County’s Retiree Health Benefit Program.  However, the benefit does drop to $13,000 at age 65, and once again to $7,000 at age 70.

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Can I name more than one beneficiary to my life insurance?
Yes.  You may name as many primary beneficiaries as you want, as long as you indicate the desired percentage of distribution.  For example, if you name two children, you may want to show that each of them is entitled to 50% of the benefit.  You may also list contingent beneficiaries as well.

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How does the $1,000 beneficiary benefit work?
The County provides $1,000 of life insurance for dependents who are carried on the participant’s health insurance plan. In the event a dependent dies while on the participant’s insurance, the participant would receive $1,000 in life insurance.

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Can only family members be named as the beneficiary to my life insurance?
You can name anyone as your beneficiary, regardless of your relationship.  However, if you name a minor, the life insurance company will typically place the benefit in a Trust until that minor turns 18 years of age.

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What if I predecease my spouse? Will they still be entitled to any beneficiary benefit?
No, not unless they are eligible to enroll onto the retiree insurance.  In that case, they would have the $1,000 life insurance benefit for as long as they remain on the plan.

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Can I add and/or delete a dependent when I transfer to a Retiree Health Plan?
You may add or delete a dependent at this time since the Retiree Plans are not subject to the Section 125 Internal Revenue Code restrictions (premiums are now post-tax).

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Can I change my health plan upon retirement?
Yes.  Retirement is considered a qualifying life event so you are able to change health plans at this time.  You may also change plans during any Open Enrollment period (mid-October through mid-November) for a January 1 effective date.

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Am I required to receive care only from contracted providers?

If you are on the HMO Plan or the Senior Care Plus Medicare Advantage Plan, you must receive care only from the physicians, hospitals and other health care providers that have contracted to provide services for Hometown Health and Senior Care Plus. 

If you are on the Self-funded PPO or High Deductible Health Plan, you will receive a better rate if you use contracted providers, but you do have flexibility.  If you permanently reside more than 50 miles from a PPO provider, you may use the doctor of your choice and it will be covered at the usual and customary allowance.



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What if I want to continue my dental insurance when I retire?
Although dental insurance is an optional coverage and not part of your Retiree Health Benefit, you may purchase this coverage for yourself and your dependents at your cost.  The monthly premiums are posted in the Benefits section on the Washoe County Retirees webpage.  Premiums are updated annually.

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How much would it cost to add my dependent?
Current insurance rates can be found in the Benefits section on the Washoe County Retirees webpage.

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Do the Washoe County health plans include prescription drug coverage?

Yes.  By visiting one of the websites below, you can identify which drugs are available on your specific plan, how much they cost, and the applicable co-payment:

• Self-funded PPO or High Deductible Health Plan:  www.welldynerx.com (or call 1-844-635-7351)

• Hometown Health HMO:  www.hometownhealth.com (or call 1-844-373-0970)



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What is the GAP Plan?

The GAP Plan was first introduced in FY 10/11 and is available in conjunction with the Hometown Health HMO Plan only.  Washoe County pays the cost of the GAP plan for all employees enrolled in the HMO; however, it is an elective coverage for dependents and employees are responsible for those premiums.  Provided by American Fidelity, the GAP Plan is designed to reimburse the following out-of-pocket expenses up to:

• $1,000 per inpatient hospital confinement

• $200 for certain outpatient services

• $25 for non-routine doctors visits (limit of $125 per family per year)

 For more information about the GAP Plan including rates or how to enroll/delete a dependent, you must contact American Fidelity directly at 775-829-1313. 



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If I am responsible for any premiums, how will the deductions work with my PERS check?
You will receive your pension check through PERS at the end of each month, and premiums are deducted one month in advance.  So the deduction coming out of January’s PERS check is for February’s premium; February’s deduction pays for March’s premium, etc.  When you first retire, you will be responsible for submitting your portion of the first month’s insurance premium to Human Resources along with the completed Retiree Health Benefits application.  The exact amounts (which are sometimes pro-rated) will be calculated for you by our Benefits Specialist.

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What is the Medicare Advantage Plan?
The HMO Medicare Advantage Plan was added to the Washoe County Retiree Health Benefits Program in FY 10/11.  The coverage is provided through Senior Care Plus, and is available only to those retirees and their dependents with both Medicare parts A and B.  This plan is a great option for those retirees who are receiving only a partial premium benefit from Washoe County and/or who are covering dependents. Please note that enrollment occurs only on the first of each month.

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How do I find out more information about the Medicare Advantage Plan?
You may contact the Enrollment Specialist at Senior Care Plus at 775-982-3134.

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What if I do not want to make any changes to my insurance when I retire?
You will still need to complete a new Retiree Health Benefits Program Application form to enroll in the County’s Retiree Health Benefits Program.  If you do not submit a new application, the assumption will be made that you do not wish to continue your health insurance through Washoe County and your insurance will terminate as of your last day of employment. 

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What if I do not want to make any changes to my insurance during Open Enrollment?
If you do not wish to make any changes to your insurance plan during the annual Open Enrollment period, you do not need to complete a new form. 

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What if I am retiring out of the area?
If you are starting your new life as a retiree outside of Washoe County, you will qualify only for the Self-funded PPO or High Deductible Health plan since the HMO network consists of local providers only. Please update your contact information with Health Benefits any time you change your address, and remember that if you move out of the local area in the future, it may be necessary to change your choice of health plans.

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How do I find out if my doctor is a provider on my plan?

If you are on the Self-funded PPO or Saint Mary's High Deductible Health Plan, go to www.uhnppo.com.  Enter your provider’s name and click search.  Or you may contact Universal Health Care directly at 775-356-1159.

If you are on the Hometown Health HMO or Renown High Deductible Health Plan, go to www.hometownhealth.com.  Click on provider directory, choose HMO or Self-funded Plan, enter the provider’s name and click search.  Or you may contact Hometown Health Customer Service at 775-982-3232.



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I see preventative and routine medical care is now covered at 100%. What exactly does this include?

For a full description of what services meet the definition of preventative and routine medical care, please refer to your plan summary or contact your plan administrator directly:

• Self-funded PPO and Saint Mary's High Deductible participants may contact CDS Customer Service at 775-352-6900.

• Hometown Health HMO and Renown High Deductible participants may contact their Customer Service at 775-982-3232.



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How do I find out more about the plans offered through the Retiree Health Benefits Program?
We strongly encourage all retirees to attend one of the Open Enrollment meetings scheduled each year.  If for some reason you cannot attend, you may contact one of our Benefits Specialist, Kristie Harmon, at  775-328-2079 or Vicki Scott at 775-328-2099 to set up an appointment.

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When will I receive my pay-off check and can it be separate from my normal check?
Separate checks are not issued for pay-offs; you will receive your final check on a normal payday.

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Can I do a one-time only deferral into my Mass Mutual account from my last check?
Yes.  You will need to contact the local MassMutual Account Representative, Tom Verducci at 775-384-7981, to complete a Contribution Change form which must then be forwarded to Payroll at least ten days prior to your retirement.

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What if I want to stop a voluntary deduction prior to my last check?
You need to notify the Comptroller’s (Payroll) in writing or by e-mail at least ten days prior to your retirement date to insure your requested changes can be made.

Office of the Comptroller, P O Box 11130, Reno NV  89520-0027; email: payroll@washoecounty.us

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When I receive my vacation, sick and/or compensation payoff, how will it be taxed?
Washoe County is a biweekly payer; all checks are taxed biweekly.  Please consult your tax advisor for advice.

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The Learning Center

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I attended a class not offered by the Learning Center but I want to add it to my transcript. How do I do that? (3rd Party classes)

1. On the Flipside/Intranet http://eww/, enter your User ID and password.

2. Click on the "View your student information" link.

3. Under Additional Pages:  click on the "Add 3rd Party Courses".

4. Fill out the information including checking the "Completed" box.

5. Click the "Process" box.



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How do I see what classes are being offered? Are there classes on the schedule more than 90 days from now?

You do not need to login to the Learning Center to browse classes.  On the Flipside/Intranet http://eww/, mouse over the Training Tab, Learning Center and click on Upcoming Classes or Browse The Catalog.

Upcoming Classes shows classes being offered within the next 90 days.  Select a class to view date, time, location, class description and how many seats are available as well as the option to register for the class.

Browse the Catalog has the options of viewing an alphabetical listing of the classes or classes listed by category.

The alphabetical listing shows all of the classes that may be offered by the Learning Center.  Click on a class and you will be given a description of the class and a listing of the sessions available including the date, time, and how many seats are available as well as the option to register for the class.  If there is no class currently being offered, it will show "No Session".  There are Technology Training classes that will show contact information if you have a specific question.

The "Courses, by Category" lists classes required to fulfill certain certificate programs and classes that will support the development of a particular core competency.



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I've completed all the required classes for a certificate program. What do I need to do to get my EPS completion certificate?

1.  Upon completion of courses listed for each program, you may request your completion certificate by providing a copy of the completed index page from the EPS certificate program binder.  You may email it to hrtraining@washoecounty.us, fax it to 328-6119 or send it interoffice mail to HR Training.

2. You will receive an email invitation to attend the next EPS Certificate Presentation on the 2nd Tuesday of each month BCC meeting.  You will be awarded a certificate by the Washoe County Board of County Commissioners at this public meeting.



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How do I drop a class?

1. On the Flipside/Intranet http://eww/, enter your User ID and password.

2. Click on the "View your student information" link.

3.  Under the Current Courses tab, click on the class you wish to drop. 

4.  Click on the "Drop Me" button.

5.   You will receive an auto generated email confirming you have successfully dropped the class.



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I made mistake on a class I added as a third party class to my transcript. How do I fix it?

1. On the Flipside/Intranet http://eww/, enter your User ID and password.

2. Click on the "View your student information" link.

3. Under Additional Pages:  click on the "Add 3rd Party Courses".

4. Select the class you want to edit from the list above Choose Course.  Make your edits. 

5. Click the "Process" box.



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I've transferred to a new department. How do I update my Learning Center profile?

1. On the Flipside/Intranet http://eww/, enter your User ID and password.

2. Click on the "Edit your settings" link.

3. Update your information.  If you are updating your department and your department has divisions, select the new division under the department from the drop down list and it will update the department as well as the division.  If your department doesn't have division, select the department from the drop down list.

4.  Click the "Process" button.



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How do I enroll in the Learning Center?

1. If you are a Washoe County employee, go to the Flipside/Intranet at http://eww/ - click on the "register online" link - Complete the information.         

TIP:  Your SAP number is your employee/personnel number and can be found on your payroll stub.

2. Click on the Process button.

3. A screen will appear that announces you were successful!



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I need a particular class to complete my certificate program, but I don’t see it on the schedule. How often are the classes offered?

The Learning Center offers all the classes in the certificate programs at least once a year.  Many classes are offered 2 times a year. 

If there is a class you need to complete a certificate program and haven't seen it on the schedule, contact hrtraining@washoecounty.us.



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I forgot my log in and/or password. How do I find my login information?

In the event you have forgotten your User ID and/or Password, there is a login lookup by full email address available on the WC Learning Center login page.  An auto-generated email will be sent with your login information.

If you do not receive an email within 5 minutes, please contact HR Training at 328-2091 or email: hrtraining@washoecounty.us.



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How do I register for a class?

1.  On the Flipside/Intranet http://eww/, enter your User ID and password.

2.  Mouse over the Training Tab, Learning Center and click on Upcoming Classes.

3.  Click on a class from the list, click on the "Register Me" button.

4.  You will receive an auto generated email confirming you have successfully registered for the class.



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How do I get a copy of my Learning Center transcript?

1. On the Flipside/Intranet http://eww/, enter your User ID and password.

2. Click on the "View your student information" link.

3. Click on the "View Transcript".  You may print directly from this page.

4. To create an electronic copy of your transcript, highlight the page and save it in Word. 

5. You may open each class and have the full class description show on your transcript.