Rock Beats

New benefits available to employees starting in January

Starting Jan. 1, the City will begin offering two new employee benefits: Pet Plan insurance for pets and Aetna’s Resources for Living, an employee assistance program (EAP).

Pet insurance
PetPlan pet insurance is offered through Capital Blue Cross and employees can enroll in the plan at any time and cancel at any time after Jan. 1.

“The idea for pet insurance came out of the City’s Workplace Evolution Team, which looked at employee benefits,” says Jay Light, benefits manager. “The team found that many employees were interested in a pet insurance plan.”

Employees can choose from three different levels of coverage through PetPlan and can select their deductible. The plan is only for cats and dogs and employees can use any veterinarian they wish.

The cost is between $20 and $25 a month depending on the coverage and the pet’s age, breed and sex. The City will not make any paycheck deductions for the plan. Employees can purchase it at a discount from Capital Blue Cross directly and can cancel at any time.

“The plan covers the pet for life and has no age limit,” says Jay. “Most plans don’t cover pets over 8 years old. It also covers cancer treatments. Cancer is becoming more prevalent among older pets. It is a neat program. A pet’s illness can be expensive and this program will be important in helping cover expenses.”

Employee Assistance Program
The City’s new employee assistance program will be Aetna’s Resources For Living starting Jan. 1. This new EAP program will provide resources to employees and to the City.

“We haven’t really had a true EAP program before at the City,” says Jay. “The Aetna program will not only provide counseling and other services to employees, it will provide the necessary certification the Department of Transportation requires for an employee to return to work after an incident involving substance abuse or other issues.”

Previously, the City was handling such incidents on a case by case basis and had to pay an outside vendor for the certification every time.

“We needed a comprehensive program like Aetna’s to handle these issues and meet all the regulation requirements,” says Jay. “It is especially important for employees needing a commercial driver’s license.”

Aetna’s Resources for Living also offers up to five counseling sessions a year for City employees on topics ranging from financial guidance to education planning. The services are confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The program also offers training seminars on a variety of topics from adoption to eldercare.

“The new program has everything the City’s old EAP program offered and more,” says Jay. “It’s an entire realm of assistance.”

Human Resources will provide more information about Resources for Living in the next few weeks. Employees will be able to access the program starting Jan. 1.

Aetna Resources for Living
1-866-611-2826 or
username: round rock | password: eap