May 4, 2023
Circular Letter: 600-023-23
Topic: Health Benefits

To: All Health Benefits Officers and Assistant Health Benefits Officers


The purpose of this Circular Letter is to inform you of the release of a new health event reason code created specifically for employers to continue health benefits for employees and their dependents when employees participate in an authorized strike. This new myCalPERS health event reason code will be available for health benefits officers to continue active health enrollment for employees on leave who are participating in an authorized strike.


On October 9, 2021, the governor signed AB 237 (Government Code 3140), which enacted the Public Employee Health Protection Act (Act), prohibiting public employers from failing or refusing to maintain and pay for continued health benefits for employees and their dependents while the employees are participating in an authorized strike. The Act also requires employers to continue collecting the employee’s share of their health premium.

New Health Event Reason Code for Authorized Strikes

To allow employees and their dependents to remain on active health benefits while not receiving pay, we have developed a new reason code, “Chg to deduct – Auth Strike”. This reason code became available on March 4, 2023. The system will keep employees on active health and bill the employer for the full premiums. For state and California State University (CSU) employers, the system will bill these employers for their portion. State and CSU employers will need to set up accounts receivable with the State Controller’s Office for the employee share. For public agency employers, the system will continue to bill the full premium. Public agency employers will need to establish a process to collect the employee share directly from their employees.


We encourage you to review the following guides for updated information regarding the new reason code:


We are committed to assisting you in conducting business with the CalPERS Health Benefits Program. If you have any questions, call the CalPERS Customer Contact Center at 888 CalPERS (or 888-225-7377888-225-7377).


Yesenia Croft, Chief
Health Account Management Division