WSR 06-02-001

EMERGENCY RULES

HEALTH CARE AUTHORITY


(Public Employee Benefits Board)

[ Order 05-05 -- Filed December 21, 2005, 12:19 p.m. , effective January 1, 2006 ]


Effective Date of Rule: January 1, 2006.

Purpose: The purpose of this emergency rule is to amend WAC 182-12-116 to limit participation in the public employees' benefits board (PEBB) medical flexible spending account (FSA) plan to PEBB-eligible employees of the state board for community and technical colleges, the state four-year institutions of higher education, and the state community and technical colleges. The health care authority (HCA) is not able to expand the FSA plan eligibility to state agency employees or the higher education coordinating (HEC) board until after a new state payroll system has been implemented. This amendment also clarifies that the effective date for the rule's expansion of FSA plan coverage is January 1, 2006.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 182-12-116.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 41.05.160.

Other Authority: RCW 41.05.123.

Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.

Reasons for this Finding: The PEBB medical flexible spending account program cannot be implemented for state agency employees because of state payroll system limitations. Therefore, the rule needs to be amended by emergency rule so the HCA can administer the program in compliance with federal tax code requirements for administration of medical flexible spending accounts.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: December 21, 2005.

Pete Cutler

Rules Coordinator

OTS-8545.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 05-01, filed 7/27/05, effective 8/27/05)

WAC 182-12-116   Who is eligible to participate in the PEBB flexible spending account ((program)) plan?   ((State agency employees, including those employed by)) Beginning January 1, 2006, all ((state)) employees of public four-year institutions of higher education ((institutions)), of state community and technical colleges and of the ((higher education coordinating board, and the)) state board for community and technical colleges((,)) who are eligible for PEBB insurance benefits, as defined in WAC 182-12-115, are eligible to participate in the PEBB medical flexible spending account ((program)) plan.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160, 41.05.350, and 41.05.165. 05-16-046 (Order 05-01), 182-12-116, filed 7/27/05, effective 8/27/05.]