transforming risk into opportunity

TRISTAR is one of the country's largest and most comprehensive providers of third party administration for self-funded employee benefit plans. Together, we offer excellent programs and service that support our clients' ability to attract and retain talented employees while keeping cost control a top priority.

California Voluntary Plan Overview

California employers are allowed to implement self-insured alternatives to the statutory California State Disability Insurance (CA SDI) plan. These alternatives, known as California Voluntary Disability Insurance (CA VDI) plans, provide immediate benefit cost savings and allow for professionally managed and integrated total disability benefits. Self-insuring allows the employer to have a consistent nationwide Short Term Disability (STD) program for all employees and eliminates the duplicate costs for coverage under any concurrent or simultaneous program.

A voluntary plan is a private short-term disability coverage plan that an employer may offer to its California employees as a legal alternative to mandatory CA SDI. This alternate to the CA SDI plan (also referred to as the State plan) is provided for by the California Unemployment Insurance Code (CUIC). The Director of the State Employment Development Department (EDD) must approve a voluntary plan prior to its operation.

Effective January 1, 2004, Paid Family Leave (PFL) became a component of the CA SDI Program and must also be administered by any CA VDI plan an employer chooses to implement. Provisions for PFL are also contained in the California Unemployment Insurance Codes (CUIC). Requirements for PFL are consistent with CA SDI provisions, except where specific guidelines exist for PFL. Employers and employee groups may establish a CA VDI with mutual consent of the employer and a majority of the employees. An employee may choose the state plan (CA SDI) coverage even though a voluntary plan (CA VDI) is available where he/she works.

TRISTAR Benefit Administrators will conduct a feasibility study to determine how your organization would benefit from self-insuring this program. If self-insurance is desirable, TRISTAR Benefit Administrators will assist with implementation, including the preparation of employee communications, the creation of state application forms, and the regulatory reporting to the State of California.

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