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State produces benefits guide for military activation

Idaho employees who face the prospects of being called to active military duty should include a trip to their respective agency’s human resources office as part of their pre-deployment planning.

The Idaho Department of Administration’s Office of Group Health Insurance has prepared a two-page overview of options available for military personnel to continue or reinstate their state-supported benefits. The report is available as a PDF (click here).

The publication outlines options for self-paying medical, vision and dental coverage for employees and their spouse/dependents and for continuing coverage through COBRA beyond the first six months.

Employees participating in the Flexible Spending Account program will need to ensure that qualifying expenses are reimbursed before Sept. 30, 2004. The reimbursement can only be for qualifying expenses that were incurred before beginning active duty. Qualifying expenses include medical costs (excluding insurance premiums) under the medical reimbursement option and dependent care expenses under the dependent care option. Any unused funds in the flexible spending account at Sept. 30 will be forfeited.

Dependent life coverage can be maintained through the Basic Life Insurance plan for up to six months by self-paying the premiums. Basic Life, Supplemental Life and State Police Optional Life cannot be extended beyond six months. Coverage can be converted to an individual policy, however, benefits are not payable for a loss related to participation in a military operation or an act of war.

State employees and family members are eligible at no cost for five counseling sessions through the Employee Assistance Program. Full-time state employees who are called to active duty are eligible for an additional five sessions for that employee or his/her family members at no cost on an annual basis.

The Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho (PERSI) has developed a helpful information guide, “Military Service and your PERSI Benefits.” It is available by calling 208-334-3365 or visiting on the web.

The Idaho Transportation Department recommends that military personnel facing deployment overseas or outside of Idaho to make sure their drivers’ license and car registrations don’t expire while they are gone.

The expiration date is printed on the front of the Idaho driver’s license. Military personnel who are nearing deployment and whose driver’s license will expire within the next 12 months can renew their license at any county driver licensing office.

A driver’s license can be renewed any time within 12 months of its expiration date.

If the expiration date is more than 12 months away, and active duty and out-of-state service appears imminent, military personnel can download an Idaho driver’s license extension form located at

The completed form should be submitted to the Idaho DMV office within six months – and preferably no later than two months – before the license expires.

Active members of the military can extend their Idaho driver’s license in four year increments while on active duty but must get a new license within 60 days of discharge from active duty.

Anyone with questions about the driver’s license renewal process can call (208) 334-8735 or send an e-mail message to

Military personnel should check their vehicle license plates to ensure the registration does not expire during active duty.

Passenger car and motorcycle registrations generally can be renewed up to 12 months before the official expiration date. They can be renewed for one or two years. Idaho law has no provisions that allow vehicle registrations to be extended for military personnel.

Idaho vehicles can be registered from overseas or out-of-state by submitting the appropriate fee to the assessor’s office in the county that issued the vehicle registration. Military personnel may also renew their vehicles online at if the issuing county participates in the Internet registration renewal process.

Questions about vehicle registration can be directed to or (208) 334-8649.