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Employee Benefits Special Enrollment 2021

Life and Disability Insurance Special Open Enrollment Period Has Ended

All enrollment changes for life and disability plans are effective February 1, 2021. 


PTO Cashout Ends February 12, 2021

A paper form is required.

PTO Cashout Eligibility

PTO Cashout Form


Submit PTO cashout documents to your timekeeper no later than Friday, February 12, 2021.

Find information below on:

  • One Time Voluntary Life & Disability Special Open Enrollment Opportunity (January 11-29, 2021)
  • Updates and Changes to Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) and other City Leave Policies for 2021

About this Special Open Enrollment

This is a special one-time enrollment opportunity which allows eligible employees to newly enroll in the voluntary employee-paid benefits listed below without having to complete and submit a medical history statement paper application to the insurance company for evaluation, known as underwriting, for the coverage levels shown.*


To elect any of the voluntary plans listed below during this special open enrollment period, log in to ESS from any computer connected to the City network.  If you do not know your password or need assistance with off-site access, you can contact the City's IT Service desk at (253) 591-2057. 


Helpful Information

Employee Self Service Special Enrollment Help Document

Special Open Enrollment Benefits Newsletter

Employee Benefits Guide

Voluntary Disability Plan Options

  • Short Term Disability
  • Long Term Disability Buy-up 90 day waiting period
  • Long Term Disability Buy-up 180 day waiting period

Voluntary Additional Life Insurance Plan Options

  • Employee supplemental life* - $50k (Guarantee Issue)
  • Spouse life* - $25k (Guarantee Issue)
  • Dependent life - $5k for spouse AND $2k for eligible children (combined)

*Life Insurance coverage levels beyond the amounts listed above (Guarantee Issue (GI)) require submission of a Medical History Statement paper application for evaluation (known as underwriting) by the insurance company. Levels beyond those listed may be applied for at any time during the year but this is a one time enrollment opportunity for the GI limits listed above. Please review the Summaries and the online Decision Support Tool below for information on the maximum limits and your costs.


Basic Life and AD&D Insurance Summary

Additional Life and AD&D Insurance Summary

Short Term Disability Insurance Summary

Basic Long Term Disability Insurance Summary

Buy-Up Long Term Disability Insurance Summary


Learn More

Click on The Standard's Decision Support Tool which is designed to help you learn how to better protect your loved ones and your income from an unexpected event. 

  • Review benefit summaries and rates for coverage you are eligible to purchase

  • Watch informative videos

  • Explore benefit claims stories

  • Access calculators that help you determine how much coverage you need 


What happens if you want supplemental life insurance above the GI levels? See the Employee Benefits Guide on the FAQs & Information page for more details on these voluntary plans as well as your cost.  You may also wish to review the Life Insurance and Disability information under Plan Information on the benefits page menu.


The insurance company may ask you to take a physical exam or provide a blood sample at no cost to you. Their contracted company, ExamOne, may contact you for this purpose.  Below are links that provide more information on this process.


Life Insurance Exam Preparation

Video Guide for the Life Insurance Process


Medical History Statement paper application for Supplemental Life Insurance above GI  

Complete and return to the Benefits Office


How to Review Your Benefits

To review your current benefit elections for 2021, log in to Employee Self Service (ESS) through Gnet or Unet, or by going to cityoftacoma.org/ESS from any computer connected to the City network. However, if you have VPN access you can log in to ESS outside a City work location.


Webinar Link 

Click the icon above to view the recorded 2021 Special Enrollment presentation


How to Submit Required Benefits Documentation

  • Scan and email to benefits@cityoftacoma.org
  • USPS Mail: Human Resources Benefits, 747 Market Street, Room 1420, Tacoma, WA 98402
  • Interoffice mail to Human Resources-Benefits TMB 1420


Updates and Changes to PFML and other City Leave Policies for 2021

Click HERE for more information on recent updates to City polices, to include the new Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML) policy that will go into effect on February 15, 2021. These are important updates, and we encourage all employees to take a moment to review the changes within these policies.