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California Life Insurance: What you need to know

Employers have no obligation under California law to offer life insurance to their employees. However, if group life insurance is among the benefits offered to workers, certain minimum requirements must be satisfied (CA Ins. Code Sec. 10128, Sec. 10202).
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Group characteristics. The minimum number of employees required in the group is two. The group must include all employees belonging to the class or classes defined as eligible for coverage. Eligibility criteria must be based on conditions pertaining to employment. Employees may include the officers, managers, and employees of subsidiary or affiliated corporations under common control; the individual proprietors, partners, and employees of affiliated individuals and firms under common control and individual proprietors or partners who are actively engaged in the business whose employees are covered by the group insurance.
Beneficiary. The employee can name anyone except the employer as beneficiary.
Employer/employee contributions. Employers are no longer required to make a contribution toward the cost of group insurance. If the employer pays the entire cost, all employees in the eligible class must be covered by the policy.
Coverage of dependents. Insurance under a group life insurance policy may be extended to insure the dependents of each insured employee who so elects. Coverage of a dependent may not exceed 100 percent of the insurance on the life of the insured employee. “Dependent” includes the employees spouse and all children under 26 years of age, or with no age limit if the child is both incapable of self-sustaining employment by reason of mental retardation or physical handicap and chiefly dependent upon the employee for support and ...

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