Policies & Procedures

Employee Handbook

Health Insurance


The SDP offers health insurance through Independence Blue Cross. Coverage options are dependent on your position and whether or not you participate in a union.  A breakdown of eligible benefits by employee type is available on our Programs and Services section.  Also, visit the Medical Coverage section for more information, including summary of benefits.

SPAP, CASA, and Non-Represented employees receive dental, vision, and prescription coverage from the SDP and should contact the Benefits Office with inquiries.

PFT, 1201 and Local 634 employees receive dental, vision and prescription coverage through their union Health and Welfare Fund.  Contact Information is below:

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Health & Welfare Fund
1816 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone 215-561-2722
website: www.pfthw.org
Local 634 Health & Welfare Fund
Phone: 215-483-6000

Local 1201 employees receive medical insurance through Building Service 32BJ Health fund. Local 1201 employees receive dental, vision and prescription coverage through their unions Health and Welfare program.  Contact the 32BJ Health Fund and 1201 main office for more information about these programs.

District 1201 Health & Welfare Fund
455 N 5th St Philadelphia PA 19123
Phone: 215-627-9220

Please see below for information on dependent eligibility.

Open Enrollment Period


During the month of May, the SDP Benefits Office offers an open enrollment period for those employees who wish to change aspects of their health insurance. Addition or removal of a spouse or dependent and switching insurance plans (if employee is eligible for such a switch) are options during open enrollment. Addition of a spouse or dependent requires official documentation (i.e. marriage certificate or birth certificate). Without these, the staff cannot process the change. Originals will be photocopied and returned to the employee. All open enrollment changes are effective July 1. 

Note: Employees can add or remove a dependent at any time during the year as long as the documentation of the life event (marriage, birth, death) arrives within 30 days of the event.  After that time, the employee must wait for open enrollment. 

Call the Benefits Office at (215)400-4630 for inquiries concerning eligibility to switch insurance plans. 

Change of Name Procedure


Employees who would like to change their name or date of birth should contact Retirement Office at 215-400-4680 to receive more instructions.


Dependent Eligibility

This summary is intended to serve as a guide for employees of the School District of Philadelphia's (SDP) eligibility policies and is not binding on SDP.  Questions regarding acceptable documentation for eligible individuals not covered by the summary will be evaluated by SDP's Office of Employee Benefits on a case-by-case basis.

Be advised that no person may be covered by more than one medical plan paid for by the SDP.  Only benefits-eligible SDP employees may cover other eligible individuals.  The following is the definition of an "eligible dependent:"

  • Employee's spouse, domestic partner (of the same gender) or common law spouse (partner of the opposite gender as defined by Pennsylvania state law and entered into prior to January 1, 2002);
  • Employee's child up to age 26 (including natural children, adopted children, stepchildren or children for whom the employee is the legal guardian);

NOTE:  Federal CHIP regulations state that a child may not be eligible for health benefits coverage under a state health benefits plan on the basis of a family member's employment with a public agency, even if the family declines to accept the coverage. A public agency is defined as a state, county, city or other type of municipal agency, including a public school district, transportation district, irrigation district, or any other type of public entity. Visit CHIP's site for more information.

REMINDER: You have 30 days to notify SDP of a qualifying life event such as marriage, birth, adoption or loss of other coverage, if you wish to ADD a dependent to your coverage. Otherwise, you must wait for the annual open enrollment in May, with coverage becoming effective in July.

If your dependent's eligibility changes, you must give notice of that qualifying event to the Benefits Department within 30 days after the qualifying event occurs.  Events that change eligibility include but are not limited to the following:

Your spouse or domestic partner will lose coverage under your plan when any of the following qualifying events occurs:

  • Your spouse dies;
  • You become divorced or legally separated from your spouse;
  • You end your domestic partnership.

Your dependent children will lose coverage under your Plan when any of the following qualifying events occurs:

  • You become divorced or legally separated from a step child's parent;
  • There is a loss of legal guardianship.

Dependents who lose SDP-paid coverage may be eligible to purchase coverage under COBRA.

It is every employee's responsibility to adhere to these procedures. Please note that failure to do so could result in an employee being billed by the SDP for the full cost of coverage provided by to an ineligible dependent.

To cover a:

  You must provide:

Marriage Certificate AND ONE of the following

  • Current mortgage statement, home equity loan, or lease agreement
  • Current Property Tax documents
  • Automobile registration that is currently in effect
  • Current credit card or account statement
  • Current utility bill in spouse's name
  • Current designation as the primary beneficiary for life insurance(not SDP sponsored life insurance) or retirement benefits, or primary beneficiary designation under an employee's will
  • Assignment of a durable property power of attorney or health care power of attorney
  • Valid government-issued ID with address matching employee address of record
  • Page 1 and signature page of employee's 2014 or 2015 Federal Income Tax Return (1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) as filed with the IRS listing the spouse
  • Page 1 and certificate of filing or email confirmation of electronic submission of employee's  Federal Income tax Return (within two years)(1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) as filed with the IRS listing the spouse

 Common Law Spouse
 Common Law Marriage Statement AND THREE of the documents listed above in the "SPOUSE" section. NOTE: Two of the documents must be dated prior to January 1, 2002
 Same Gender Domestic Partner Commission on Human Relations letter from the City of Philadelphia or comparable official document AND ONE of the documents listed above in the "SPOUSE" section.
 Child under the age of 26
Birth Certificate and social security number. Proof of dependency may be required. Acceptable proofs of dependency for children differ depending on the relationship between the child and the employee (and in some cases, the employee's marital status).
 Disabled child, age 26 or older
Birth Certificate, social security number and Certification as an individual with a disability.
Stepchild under the  age of 26
Marriage certificate indicating stepchild's biological parent is married to the employee, birth certificate listing spouse as parent and divorce decree indicating spouse is primary care giver or a signed statement attesting to financial responsibility.