WSR 07-09-034

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

HEALTH CARE AUTHORITY


(Public Employees Benefits Board)

[ Order 07-01 -- Filed April 10, 2007, 1:17 p.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: The public employees' benefits board (PEBB) rules related to enrollment in chapter 182-08 WAC; eligibility in chapter 182-12 WAC; and appeals in chapter 182-16 WAC.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 41.05.160.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The purpose of this rule making is to amend PEBB rules in TITLE 182 WAC and adopt new rules to:

1. Implement the PEBB's policy decision to expand eligibility to defined domestic partners who are legally barred to marry.

2. Make a number of necessary technical amendments to ensure that PEBB rules align with Internal Revenue Code standards for pretax contribution toward benefits; are compliant with other federal requirements; and better define administrative processes.

3. Clarify when an employee is new and thus may elect coverage.

4. Incorporate the term family member as a replacement for the term dependent.

5. Create a rule to govern the petitioning of PEBB for changes to policy.

6. Consider a rule that would allow retirees to rescind a request to terminate PEBB coverage based upon impaired decision making.

7. Update appeals rules to reflect current processes and standards.

8. Restructure and edit some rules to improve readability.

9. Implement legislation enacted by the 2006 legislature.

10. Make consistent among survivors the one hundred eighty day time period for notifying the HCA of enrollment decisions.

Process for Developing New Rule: Stakeholder mailing and public hearing.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Individuals wishing to receive PEBB rule-making notices are encouraged to join our LISTSERV, PEBB-RULE-MAKING-NOTICE, via this link http://listserv.wa.gov/archives/pebb-rule-making-notice.html or by logging on to listserv.wa.gov and selecting our LISTSERV from the public e-mail list.

The PEBB will discuss these issues at their May 23, 2007, board meeting and it is likely that they will make policy decisions at their June 27, 2007, board meeting. If you have questions about this rule making, contact Barbara Scott at (360) 923-2642 or at the Health Care Authority, P.O. Box 42684, Olympia, WA 98504-2684, Barbara.scott@hca.wa.gov.

April 10, 2007

Jason Siems

Rules Coordinator

Washington State Code Reviser's Office