getting to know benefits

Frequently Asked Questions about Benefits

When do my benefits become effective?

Benefits are effective on the first of the month following your date of hire.


How do I sign up for my benefits?

The San Diego Community College District's Employment Office will schedule your onboarding appointment prior to your start date.  You will need to have completed all necessary new hire processing paperwork prior to your in-person onboarding appointment. During your appointment you will meet with our team of professionals from Employment, Compensation, Benefits, and Retirement.


Who can I cover as an eligible dependent under the San Diego Community College District benefits plan?

Eligible dependents are:

  • Legal spouse or domestic partner
  • Dependent children under 26 years of age
  • Your unmarried children who are deemed disabled by their physician and approved by your insurance carrier. 
Eligible children include:
  • Your natural and adopted children
  • Stepchildren, if you are married to your stepchildren's parent. If you and your spouse divorce, your former dependent stepchildren are no longer eligible for coverage
  • Children of your domestic partner. If you and your domestic partner separate, the children of your former domestic partner are no longer eligible for coverage
  • Children for whom you have permanent legal guardianship issued by a court of law
  • Your children or stepchildren who must be covered under a Qualified Medical Child Support Order
Please note you will be required to provide documentation of your dependent's eligibility by submitting marriage and/or birth certificates, legal documents for custody or adoption, or the SSA's and medical provider's determination of disability for an adult child.


Once I sign up for benefits with San Diego Community College District, when can I expect my ID cards?
Please allow approximately 2 weeks for your ID cards to be mailed to your home address directly from the insurance carriers.


I have questions about my insurance benefits. Who should I contact for answers?
You can call the Human Resources Benefits Office at 619.388.6587 or email us at  Often times your inquiry may require research.  Email is often the preferred method so that we can document your questions and concerns.


Who and what is VEBA?

  • VEBA stands for the Voluntary Employees Benefits Association.
  • The California Schools VEBA began operations in October 1993 as a cooperative labor-management trust program committed to achieving the highest quality and most cost-effective benefits programs for every eligible public sector employee in Southern California.
  • VEBA administers the San Diego Community College District's various health insurance plans including medical, dental, and vision.
  • Total participation in the trust includes over 30 school districts and public agencies. The trust serves both employees and their dependents, totaling more than 86,000 members.

How can I find out what benefit plans I'm covered under and who I've covered as dependents?
You can go online to

  • Click on "Benefits"
  • Click on "My Benefit Coverage"
  • Click on "My Benefits" button
  • You will be taken to the login screen. Enter your PIN and password, click on the "Log In" button.
  • Your personalized information will show on the screen, including your current medical plan coverage. Scroll down to see the dependents covered under your plan.
  • No PIN or Password? Click the link next to "Not Registered." To retrieve your information, you will need to provide your:
    • Social Security Number
    • Date of Birth
    • Zip Code

When can I make changes to my benefits plans?
In general, you may only make changes to your benefits once a year during Open Enrollment period in November for an effective date of January 1 of the following year. However, the plan does allow for changes during the year if you experience a "family status change" as defined by the IRS. Examples of a family status change include:

  • Marriage or divorce
  • Birth, adoption, or death
  • Change in your spouse or domestic partner's employment that would affect coverage, such as gain or loss of coverage
  • Change in court order for custody or visitation, or requirement to provide health insurance coverage
If you have an eligible qualifying event, a request for change must be made within 30-days of the event; otherwise, you must wait until the next open enrollment period.

How do I get additional or replacement medical ID cards?
You can call the Benefits Office at 619.388.6587.


What is an HMO plan?
An HMO, Health Maintenance Organization, is a specific type of health care plan within a medical group. An HMO plan sets out guidelines under which doctors can operate. When one joins an HMO, one is usually asked to choose a primary care physician. This doctor then acts in part as the HMO's agent in determining what treatments the patient does and does not need. When the primary care physician determines that the patient needs care they cannot offer, they give a referral to a specialist within the same medical group that can address the patient's concerns.


What is a PPO plan?
With a PPO option, you are free to see any provider you wish – although the plan pays higher benefits when you choose to use an in-network doctor. You are not required to coordinate your care through a primary care physician and there are no referrals needed to see specialists. A PPO health insurance plan allows you to see any doctor of your choice, allowing you more control. Visits are most affordable if you stay within the network of physicians that work with your PPO medical plan. PPO health plans are unique because they allow patients to practice "self-referral". This means that you can see any specialist you want, without waiting for your primary care physician (PCP) to refer you.