WSR 05-14-151

PROPOSED RULES

HEALTH CARE AUTHORITY


(Public Employees' Benefits Board)

[ Order 04-04 -- Filed July 6, 2005, 9:14 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 04-11-011.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 182-12-115 Employee eligibility.

Hearing Location(s): Health Care Authority (HCA), 676 Woodland Square Loop S.E., The Center Conference Room, Olympia, WA, on August 16, 2005, at 1:00 p.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: August 16, 2005.

Submit Written Comments to: Katie Rogers, P.O. Box 42684, Olympia, WA 98504-2684, e-mail krog107@hca.wa.gov, fax (360) 923-2735, by 4:00 p.m. on August 8, 2005.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Nikki Johnson by August 10, 2005, TTY (888) 923-5622 or (360) 923-2805.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: HCA is proposing changes to WAC 182-12-115 to extend the content of the emergency rule filed on May 3, 2005, as HCA administrative order 05-02, through April 2006. The emergency rule was filed to address career seasonal/instructional year employee eligibility, as directed by the Mader v. HCA settlement agreement.

This proposed rule addresses summer insurance coverage for community and technical college employees. The purpose of extending the emergency rule is to allow the agency additional time to conduct a thorough and principled review of similarly situated employees of the state prior to drafting a permanent rule for adoption by the Public Employees' Benefits Board, which is responsible for establishment of eligibility criteria across all state agencies.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: These amendments are necessary to address career seasonal/instructional year employee eligibility, as directed by the Mader v. HCA settlement agreement.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 41.05.160.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 41.05.065.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Health Care Authority, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Katie Rogers, 676 Woodland Square Loop, Lacey, WA, (360) 923-2735; and Enforcement: Mary Fliss, 676 Woodland Square Loop, Lacey, WA, (360) 923-2640.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Not required. The Joint Administrative Rules Review Committee has not requested the filing of a small business economic impact statement, and there will be no costs to small businesses.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to HCA rules unless requested by the Joint Administrative Rules Review Committee or applied voluntarily.

July 6, 2005

Cyndi L. Presnell

Rules Coordinator

OTS-7996.3


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 02-07, filed 8/14/03, effective 9/14/03)

WAC 182-12-115   Eligible employees.   The following employees of state government, higher education, K-12 school districts, educational service districts, political subdivisions and employee organizations representing state civil service workers are eligible to apply for PEBB insurance coverage. For purposes of defining eligible employees of school districts and educational service districts, a collective bargaining agreement will supersede all definitions provided under this chapter 182-12 WAC only if approved by the HCA.

(1) "Permanent employees." Those who work at least half-time per month and are expected to be employed for more than six months. Coverage begins on the first day of the month following the date of employment. If the date of employment is the first working day of a month, coverage begins on the date of employment.

(2) "Nonpermanent employees." Those who work at least half-time and are expected to be employed for no more than six months. Coverage begins on the first day of the seventh month following the date of employment.

(3) "Seasonal employees." Those who work at least half-time per month during a designated season for a minimum of three months but less than nine months per year and who have an understanding of continued employment season after season. Coverage begins on the first day of the month following the date of employment. If the date of employment is the first working day of a month, coverage begins on the date of employment. However, seasonal employees are not eligible for the employer contribution during the break between seasons of employment but may be eligible to continue coverage by self-paying premiums.

(4) "Career seasonal/instructional year employees." Employees who work half-time or more on an instructional year (school year) or equivalent nine-month seasonal basis. Coverage begins on the first day of the month following the date of employment. If the date of employment is the first working day of the month, coverage begins on the date of employment. These employees are eligible to receive the employer contribution for insurance during the off-season following each period of seasonal employment.

(5)(a) "Part-time faculty" and "part-time academic employees." ((Faculty)) Employees who are employed on a quarter/semester to quarter/semester basis are eligible to apply for coverage beginning with the second consecutive quarter/semester of half-time or more employment at one or more state institutions of higher education including one or more college districts. Coverage begins on the first day of the month following the beginning of the second quarter/semester of half-time or more employment. If the first day of the second consecutive quarter/semester is the first working day of the month, coverage begins at the beginning of the second consecutive quarter/semester.

For the purpose of determining eligibility for part-time faculty and part-time academic employees, employers ((of part-time faculty)) must:

(((a))) (i) Consider spring and fall as consecutive quarters/semesters when determining eligibility; and

(((b))) (ii) Determine "half-time or more employment" based on each institution's definition of "full-time"; and

(((c))) (iii) At the beginning of each quarter/semester notify, in writing, all current and newly hired part-time faculty and part-time academic employees of their potential right to benefits under this section.

(((d))) (iv) Part-time faculty ((members)) and part-time academic employees employed at more than one institution are responsible for notifying each employer quarterly, in writing, of the employee's multiple employment. In no case will retroactive coverage be permitted or employer contribution paid to HCA if ((a part-time faculty member)) an employee fails to inform all of his/her employing institutions about employment at all institutions within the current quarter; and

(((e))) (v) Where concurrent employment at more than one state higher education institution is used to determine total ((part-time faculty)) employment of half-time or more, the employing institutions will arrange to prorate the cost of the employer insurance contribution based on the employment at each institution. However, if the ((part-time faculty member)) employee would be eligible by virtue of employment at one institution, that institution will pay the entire cost of the employer contribution regardless of other higher education employment. In cases where the cost of the contribution is prorated between institutions, one institution will forward the entire contribution monthly to HCA; and

(((f))) (vi) Once enrolled, if a part-time faculty ((member)) or part-time academic employee does not work at least a total of half-time in one or more state institutions of higher education, eligibility for the employer contribution ceases.

(b) Part-time academic employees of community and technical colleges -- eligibility for summer or off season benefits when the employee has a reasonable expectation of continued employment at a single college district or multiple college districts.

Effective May 1, 2005, through April 2006.

(i) Part-time academic employees who work half-time or more in each instructional year quarter or equivalent nine-month season for one or more academic years in a single college district or multiple college districts as determined from the payroll records of the employing community or technical college district(s), are eligible for the employer contribution for health benefits during the quarter or off season period immediately following the end of one academic year or equivalent nine-month season. Eligibility for summer or off season health benefits continues each summer quarter or off season thereafter following employment in an instructional year or equivalent nine-month period of employment in a single college district or multiple college districts.

(ii) For purposes of this section:

(A) "Academic employee" has the meaning set forth in RCW 28B.50.489(3).

(B) "Academic year" means fall, winter, and spring quarters in a community or technical college, as determined from the payroll records of the employing college district or college districts.

(C) "Equivalent nine-month seasonal basis" means a nine consecutive month period of employment at half-time or more by a single college district or multiple college districts, as determined from the payroll records of the employing college district(s).

(D) "Health benefits" means the particular medical and/or dental coverage in place at the end of the academic year or equivalent nine-month season. Changes to health benefits may be made only as set forth in chapter 182-08 WAC or during an annual open enrollment period.

(6) "Appointed and elected officials." Legislators are eligible to apply for coverage on the date their term begins. All other elected and full-time appointed officials of the legislative and executive branches of state government are eligible to apply for coverage on the date their term begins or they take the oath of office, whichever occurs first. Coverage for legislators begins on the first day of the month following the date their term begins. If the term begins on the first working day of the month, coverage begins on the first day of their term. Coverage begins for all other elected and full-time appointed officials of the legislative and executive branches of state government on the first day of the month following the date their term begins, or the first day of the month following the date they take the oath of office, whichever occurs first. If the term begins, or oath of office is taken, on the first working day of the month, coverage begins on the date the term begins, or the oath of office is taken.

(7) "Judges." Justices of the supreme court and judges of courts of appeals and the superior courts become eligible to apply for coverage on the date they take the oath of office. Coverage begins on the first day of the month following the date their term begins, or the first day of the month following the date they take oath of office, whichever occurs first. If the term begins, or oath of office is taken, on the first working day of a month, coverage begins on the date the term begins, or the oath of office is taken.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 03-17-031 (Order 02-07), 182-12-115, filed 8/14/03, effective 9/14/03. Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.05 RCW. 96-08-043, 182-12-115, filed 3/29/96, effective 4/29/96; 92-08-003, 182-12-115, filed 3/18/92, effective 3/18/92; 91-14-084, 182-12-115, filed 7/1/91, effective 7/1/91. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.065(3). 90-12-037, 182-12-115, filed 5/31/90, effective 7/1/90. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.065. 89-12-045 (Resolution No. 89-2), 182-12-115, filed 6/2/89; 89-01-053 (Resolution No. 88-6), 182-12-115, filed 12/15/88. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.010. 88-19-078 (Resolution No. 88-4), 182-12-115, filed 9/19/88; 88-12-034 (Resolution No. 88-1), 182-12-115, filed 5/26/88, effective 7/1/88. Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.05 RCW. 86-21-042 (Resolution No. 86-6), 182-12-115, filed 10/10/86; 83-12-007 (Order 2-83), 182-12-115, filed 5/20/83; 80-05-016 (Order 2-80), 182-12-115, filed 4/10/80; 78-08-071 (Order 5-78), 182-12-115, filed 7/26/78; Order 5646, 182-12-115, filed 2/9/76.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office