Howard County offers a wide variety of benefit plans including medical and dental plans, life insurance coverage options, disability insurance, flexible spending accounts, 457(b) deferred compensation program, Employee Assistance program, and an array of voluntary benefit plans, with the objective of offering the most comprehensive plans possible while balancing costs to the County, employees, and retirees.
Please refer to the hyperlinks below, providing access to an on-demand presentation, explaining coverage available to benefited eligible active and retiree population. Additional information, including plan documents, are outlined in the applicable section below.
General Benefits Information & Rate Charts
Please select a link below for general information about the employee benefit programs.
Health Insurance For Active Employees & Retirees
Please click on a link below for more information on the medical and dental plan options for Active employees and Retirees.
Aetna Information for Active Employees and Pre-Medicare Retirees
CVS Caremark Advanced Control Specialty Formulary List - Effective October 1, 2023
Aetna creates and publishes the Machine-Readable Files on behalf of Howard County Government.
Kaiser HMO Information for Active Employees and pre-Medicare Retirees
Dental Plan Information for Active Employees and All Retirees
Information for Medicare-eligible Retirees
Medicare Initial Enrollment Period
Generally, your Initial Enrollment Period is when you turn age 65. It lasts for 7 months, starting 3 months before you turn 65, and ending 3 months after the month you turn 65. To learn more about Initial Enrollment Period for Medicare, visit www.medicare.gov.
All retirees and eligible dependents, are required to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, once Medicare eligible. Please refer to the details below for Medicare Advantage enrollment process, specific to retirees currently enrolled in health insurance prior to becoming Medicare eligible.
Medicare Advantage Enrollment Process
- If a retiree, or their dependent, is eligible to participate in the County's retiree health insurance plan, they will receive a notification within (60) days of the month they turn age 65 advising them of the Medicare Advantage Plans available through the County.
- All retirees, and their eligible dependents, are required to transition to a Medicare Advantage Plan once Medicare eligible, if they would like to maintain health insurance through the County.
- This notification will include a Medicare Advantage Enrollment Form (click here). Generally speaking, the enrollment form must be returned within (30) business days prior to the requested effective date.
- You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, AND have a physical copy of your Medicare card, to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan offered through Howard County.
Flexible Spending Accounts
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for out-of-pocket health care and/or dependent care expenses thereby allowing you to receive a tax break on these expenses. Please click on a link below for more information or contact Flexible Benefit Administrators at 1-800-437-3539.
Employee Assistance Program & Mental Health Resources
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
The Employee Assistance Program provides confidential counseling and referral services to employees and their family members. Please click on the link below for more details on this program.
Click here to access the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) website.
Mental Health Resources Guide
Please click on the link below to access the Howard County Mental Health Resource Guide. The guide provides an overview of mental health resources available to Howard County Government employees and the general Howard County community.
Life Insurance Benefits
All full time employees receive a base life insurance benefit equal to 2 times base annual salary at no cost. Full time and Part time employees may elect to purchase supplemental life insurance equal to 1 times, 2 times, or 3 times base annual salary as well as spousal/dependent life insurance. Please click on the links below for details.
Disability and Hospital Indemnity Insurance
Howard County provides Long Term Disability benefits at no cost to full time and part time benefitted employees. Employees have the option to purchase additional Supplemental Long Term Disability, Short Term Disability and Hospital Indemnity Insurance. Please click on the links below for more details about the Disability benefits.
Click here to submit a disability claim online. Policy Number 647388
Click here to submit a disability claim online. Policy Number 647388
Hospital Indemnity Claim Form: Policy Number 647388
Health Maintenance Screening Benefit Claim Form: Policy Number 647388
457(b) Deferred Compensation Program
The deferred compensation program, also known as a 457(b) plan, is a defined contribution plan that allows employees to set money aside through pre-tax payroll contributions for retirement. Because your contributions are taken on a pre-tax basis, you reduce your taxable income so you pay less income tax each pay period. You may elect to contribute to the plan with either flat dollar amount contributions or with percentage of your pay contributions. You decide how to invest your contributions from a wide array of investment choices. Your contributions and investments are not taxable until withdrawn. With the Roth deferred compensation feature, your contributions go into the plan on an after-tax basis but your funds may be withdrawn tax free. With a deferred compensation program your retirement benefit is dependent upon the amount of your contributions and the investment returns.
For additional information, please contact our deferred compensation plan representative at 410-274-9568 or visit the deferred compensation website.
Voluntary Benefits Program
Employees regularly working 20+ hours per week have the option to enroll in a variety of voluntary benefits listed below. Employee cost share for voluntary benefit elections will be captured via payroll deduction.
For additional information, please contact Select Benefits Communication Group at 410-825-3430 ext. 2.
Chubb LifeTime Benefit Term Insurance with Long Term Care (LTC).
Chubb LifeTime Benefit Term Insurance provides money to your family at death, and while you are living too. Life insurance premiums will never increase and are guaranteed to age 100. If you need LTC, you can access your death benefit while you are living for home health care, assisted living, adult day care and nursing home care. You get 4% of your death benefit per month while you are living for up to 25 months to help pay for LTC. To enroll please Select Benefits Communication Group at 410-825-3430 ext. 2.
Liberty Mutual Auto & Home Insurance Discount
Howard County employees are eligible to receive a discount on auto and homeowner's insurance through Liberty Mutual Insurance. To request a quote, contact Howard County's account representative, Raymond Byrne, at 301-692-4113. To obtain a quote online visit the Howard County Liberty Mutual website using the hyperlink provided below.
Nationwide Pet Insurance
Nationwide pet insurance helps you cover veterinary expenses so you can provide your pets with the best care possible without worrying about the cost. Simply pay for coverage through a convenient after-tax payroll deduction.
Prudential Accident Insurance
Prudential Accident pays cash benefits directly to you or anyone you choose regardless of any other coverage you have. Prudential Accident pays extra benefits for injuries resulting from participating in organized sports.
Prudential Critical Illness Insurance
Prudential Critical Illness pays you cash immediately. Upon diagnosis of a covered illness, Prudential will send you a lump sum check directly to you. You can use your cash benefit however you choose. Your benefit is paid in full regardless of any other insurance you have.
United Legal Benefits
United Legal Benefits provides pre-paid group legal services at no charge or at discounted attorney fees. Please click on a link below for more detailed information.