WSR 12-16-074

PROPOSED RULES

HEALTH CARE AUTHORITY


(Public Employees Benefits Board)

[ PEBB Admin. # 2012-01 -- Filed July 31, 2012, 11:36 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 12-09-064.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Rules related to enrollment in chapter 182-08 WAC; eligibility in chapter 182-12 WAC; and appeals in chapter 182-16 WAC.

Hearing Location(s): Health Care Authority (HCA), Cherry Street Plaza Building, Conference Room, 626 8th Avenue, Olympia, WA 98504 (metered public parking is available street side around building. A map is available at http://maa.dshs.wa.gov/pdf/CherryStreetDirectionsNMap.pdf or directions can be obtained by calling (360) 725-1000), on September 4, 2012, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not sooner than September 5, 2012.

Submit Written Comments to: HCA Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45504, Olympia, WA 98504-5504, delivery 626 8th Avenue, Olympia, WA 98504, e-mail arc@hca.wa.gov, fax (360) 586-9727, by September 4, 2012.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Kelly Richters by August 28, 2012, TTY (800) 848-5429 or (360) 725-1307 or e-mail kelly.richters@hca.wa.gov.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Amends existing rules and adds new rules in TITLE 182 WAC specific to the public employees benefits board (PEBB) program with the following effect:

1. Makes a technical amendment to domestic partner eligibility to comply with reciprocity requirements in state statute and clarify continuation coverage upon dissolution of a domestic partnership or same-sex marriage.

2. Amends employer group rules to implement E2SHB 2319 authorizing the health benefit exchange to participate in PEBB benefits. Adds new rules detailing the employer group application process, evaluation criteria and participation requirements.

3. Amends special open enrollment rules to include certain residence changes, allow a change in enrollment consistent with an annual open enrollment change under another employer's plan and update the conditions that may create a continuity of care issue.

4. Adds a new rule to comply with federal and state laws regarding National Medical Support notices and court orders.

5. Makes technical amendments to retiree eligibility to remove an old provision, provide clarity and correct technical errors.

6. Amends appeal rules to allow for indexing of significant administrative decisions, make a technical correction and allow for an extension to the deadline for the PEBB appeals committee to issue a written decision.

7. In addition to these specific changes, HCA conducted a full review of these chapters and made some changes for readability.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Compliance with federal regulation, state law and administrative hearing decision.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 41.05.160.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 3, Laws of 2012 (ESSB 6239); chapter 87, Laws of 2012 (E2SHB 2319).

Rule is necessary because of federal law, Notice - 45 C.R.F. [C.F.R.] 303.32.

Name of Proponent: HCA, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Barbara Scott, Cherry Street Plaza, 626 8th Avenue S.E., Olympia, WA, (360) 725-0830; and Enforcement: Mary Fliss, Cherry Street Plaza, 626 8th Avenue S.E., Olympia, WA, (360) 725-0822.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. 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 31, 2012

Kevin M. Sullivan

Rules Coordinator

OTS-4883.2


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-08-015   Definitions.   The following definitions apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly indicates other meaning:

(("Agency")) "Authority" or "HCA" means the health care authority.

"Benefits eligible position" means any position held by an employee who is eligible for benefits under WAC 182-12-114, with the exception of employees who establish eligibility under WAC 182-12-114 (2) or (3)(a)(ii).

"Board" means the public employees benefits board established under provisions of RCW 41.05.055.

"Comprehensive employer-sponsored medical" includes insurance coverage continued by the employee or their dependent under COBRA. It does not include an employer's retiree coverage, with the exception of a federal retiree plan.

"Creditable coverage" means coverage that meets the definition of "creditable coverage" under RCW 48.66.020 (13)(a) and includes payment of medical and hospital benefits.

"Defer" means to postpone enrollment or interrupt enrollment in a PEBB medical insurance by a retiree or eligible survivor.

"Dependent" means a person who meets eligibility requirements in WAC 182-12-260.

"Dependent care assistance program" or "DCAP" means a benefit plan whereby state and public employees may pay for certain employment related dependent care with pretax dollars as provided in the salary reduction plan authorized in chapter 41.05 RCW.

"Director" means the director of the ((health care)) authority (((HCA) or designee)).

"Effective date of enrollment" means the first date when an enrollee is entitled to receive covered benefits.

"Employer group" means those employee organizations representing state civil service employees, counties, municipalities, political subdivisions, the Washington health benefit exchange, tribal governments, school districts, and educational service districts participating in PEBB insurance coverage under contractual agreement as described in WAC ((182-08-230)) 182-08-245.

"Employing agency" means a division, department, or separate agency of state government, including an institution of higher education; a county, municipality, school district, educational service district, or other political subdivision; or a tribal government covered by chapter 41.05 RCW.

"Enrollee" means a person who meets all eligibility requirements defined in chapter 182-12 WAC, who is enrolled in PEBB benefits, and for whom applicable premium payments have been made.

"Faculty" means an academic employee of an institution of higher education whose workload is not defined by work hours but whose appointment, workload, and duties directly serve the institution's academic mission; as determined under the authority of its enabling statutes, its governing body, and any applicable collective bargaining agreement.

"Health plan" or "plan" means a medical or dental plan developed by the public employees benefits board and provided by a contracted vendor or self-insured plans administered by the HCA.

"Institutions of higher education" means the state public research universities, the public regional universities, The Evergreen State College, the community and technical colleges, and includes the higher education personnel board and the state board for community and technical colleges.

"Insurance coverage" means any health plan, life insurance, long-term care insurance, ((long-term disability)) LTD insurance, or property and casualty insurance administered as a PEBB benefit.

"Layoff," for purposes of this chapter, means a change in employment status due to an employer's lack of funds or an employer's organizational change.

"LTD insurance" includes basic long-term disability insurance paid for by the employing agency and long-term disability insurance offered to employees on an optional basis.

"Life insurance" includes basic life insurance paid for by the employing agency, life insurance offered to employees on an optional basis, and retiree life insurance.

"Medical flexible spending arrangement" or "medical FSA" means a benefit plan whereby state and public employees may reduce their salary before taxes to pay for medical expenses not reimbursed by insurance as provided in the salary reduction plan authorized in chapter 41.05 RCW.

"Open enrollment" means a time period when: Subscribers may apply to transfer their enrollment from one health plan to another; a dependent may be enrolled; a dependent may be removed from coverage; or an employee who previously waived medical may enroll in medical. Open enrollment is also the time when employees may enroll in or change their election under the DCAP, the medical FSA, or the premium payment plan. An "annual" open enrollment, designated by the director, is an open enrollment when all PEBB subscribers may make enrollment changes for the upcoming year. A "special" open enrollment is triggered by a specific life event. For special open enrollment events as they relate to specific PEBB benefits, see WAC 182-08-198, 182-08-199, 182-12-128, 182-12-262.

"PEBB" means the public employees benefits board.

"PEBB appeals committee" means the committee that considers appeals relating to the administration of PEBB benefits by the PEBB program. The director has delegated the authority to hear appeals at the level below an administrative hearing to the PEBB appeals committee.

"PEBB benefits" means one or more insurance coverages or other employee benefits administered by the PEBB program within the ((HCA)) health care authority.

"PEBB program" means the program within the HCA which administers insurance and other benefits for eligible employees ((of the state)) (as defined in WAC 182-12-114), eligible retired and disabled employees ((of the state)) (as defined in WAC 182-12-171), eligible dependents (as defined in WAC 182-12-250 and 182-12-260) and others as defined in RCW 41.05.011.

"Premium payment plan" means a benefit plan whereby state and public employees may pay their share of group health plan premiums with pretax dollars as provided in the salary reduction plan.

"Salary reduction plan" means a benefit plan whereby state and public employees may agree to a reduction of salary on a pretax basis to participate in the DCAP, medical FSA, or premium payment plan as authorized in chapter 41.05 RCW.

"Seasonal employee" means an employee hired to work during a recurring, annual season with a duration of three months or more, and anticipated to return each season to perform similar work.

"State agency" means an office, department, board, commission, institution, or other separate unit or division, however designated, of the state government and all personnel thereof. It includes the legislature, executive branch, and agencies or courts within the judicial branch, as well as institutions of higher education and any unit of state government established by law.

"Subscriber" means the employee, retiree, COBRA beneficiary or eligible survivor who has been designated by the HCA as the individual to whom the HCA and contracted vendors will issue all notices, information, requests and premium bills on behalf of enrollees.

"Termination of the employment relationship" means that an employee resigns or an employee is terminated and the employing agency has no anticipation that the employee will be rehired.

"Tribal government" means an Indian tribal government as defined in Section 3(32) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), as amended, or an agency or instrumentality of the tribal government, that has government offices principally located in this state.

"Waive" means to interrupt an eligible employee's enrollment in a PEBB health plan because the employee is enrolled in other comprehensive group medical coverage as required under WAC 182-12-128, or is on approved educational leave (((see WAC 182-12-128 and)) and obtains comprehensive group health plan coverage as allowed under WAC 182-12-136(())).

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-08-015, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-08-015, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-08-015, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-08-015, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-08-015, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.068. 06-23-165 (Order 06-09), 182-08-015, filed 11/22/06, effective 12/23/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 04-18-039, 182-08-015, filed 8/26/04, effective 1/1/05; 03-17-031 (Order 02-07), 182-08-015, filed 8/14/03, effective 9/14/03. Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.05 RCW. 96-08-042, 182-08-015, filed 3/29/96, effective 4/29/96.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 09-02, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10)

WAC 182-08-120   Employer contribution.   The employers' contribution must be used to provide insurance coverage for the basic life insurance benefit, the basic long-term disability insurance benefit, medical, and dental, and to establish a reserve for any remaining balance. There is no employer contribution available for any other insurance coverage for employees employed by state agencies.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-08-120, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-08-120, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 03-17-031 (Order 02-07), 182-08-120, filed 8/14/03, effective 9/14/03. Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.05 RCW. 96-08-042, 182-08-120, filed 3/29/96, effective 4/29/96; 86-16-061 (Resolution No. 86-3), 182-08-120, filed 8/5/86; 83-22-042 (Resolution No. 6-83), 182-08-120, filed 10/28/83; Order 3-77, 182-08-120, filed 11/17/77; Order 7228, 182-08-120, filed 12/8/76.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-08-180   Premium payments and premium refunds.  

Premium payments. Public employees benefits board (PEBB) premiums begin to accrue the first of the month in which PEBB insurance coverage is effective.

Premium is due for the entire month of insurance coverage and will not be prorated during any month.

(1) A newly eligible employee must complete the appropriate enrollment forms to enroll or waive coverage within thirty-one days after becoming eligible as described in WAC 182-08-197.

(a) If an employing agency does not notify an employee of his or her eligibility for benefits, as required in WAC 182-12-113, until after the thirty-one-day period has expired, the employing agency must:

(i) Notify the employee of his or her eligibility for PEBB benefits as described in WAC 182-08-197(3); and

(ii) Remit both the employer contribution and the employee contribution for medical premiums from the date benefits begin as described in WAC 182-12-114 to the health care authority (HCA). A state agency may not collect from the employee any portion of the medical premium for months prior to the state agency's notification to the employee.

(b) If an employing agency fails to enroll an employee as required in WAC 182-08-197, the employing agency must:

(i) Correct the enrollment error; and

(ii) Remit both the employer contribution and the employee contribution for medical premiums due for insurance coverage from the date PEBB benefits begin as described in WAC 182-12-114 to the HCA. A state agency may only collect the employee contribution for medical premiums for the three months prior to the month the state agency corrects the error.

(c) If an employee elects optional coverage described in WAC 182-08-197 (2)(a) or (b), the employee is responsible for premiums from the month that the optional coverage begins.

Premium refunds. PEBB premiums will be refunded using the following method:

(2) When a subscriber submits an enrollment change affecting subscriber or dependent eligibility, HCA may allow up to three months of accounting adjustments. HCA will refund to the individual or the employing agency any excess premium paid during the three month adjustment period, except as indicated in WAC 182-12-148(4).

(3) If a PEBB subscriber, dependent, or beneficiary submits a written appeal as described in WAC 182-16-025, the PEBB assistant director or the PEBB appeals committee may approve a refund which does not exceed twelve months of premium. The written appeal must provide proof of the following:

Extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the subscriber, dependent or beneficiary made it virtually impossible to submit the necessary information to accomplish an enrollment change within sixty days after the event that created a change of premium.

(4) If a federal government entity ((retroactively)) determines that an enrollee is retroactively enrolled in coverage (for example medicare) the subscriber or beneficiary may be eligible for a refund of all premiums paid during the time he or she was enrolled under the federal program if approved by the PEBB assistant director or designee.

(5) Accounts reflecting an underpayment to HCA must be paid, and are due from the employing agency, subscriber or beneficiary to the HCA. Upon request, the HCA may develop a repayment plan designed to reduce hardship.

(6) HCA errors will be corrected by returning all excess premiums paid by the employing agency, subscriber, or beneficiary.

(7) Employing agency errors will be corrected by returning all excess premiums paid by the employee or beneficiary.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-08-180, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-08-180, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-08-180, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-08-180, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-08-180, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 04-18-039, 182-08-180, filed 8/26/04, effective 1/1/05; 03-17-031 (Order 02-07), 182-08-180, filed 8/14/03, effective 9/14/03. Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.05 RCW. 96-08-042, 182-08-180, filed 3/29/96, effective 4/29/96; Order 01-77, 182-08-180, filed 8/26/77.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-08-197   When must newly eligible employees, or employees who regain eligibility for the employer contribution, select public employees benefits board (PEBB) benefits and complete enrollment forms?   (1) Employees who are newly eligible for PEBB benefits must complete the appropriate forms indicating enrollment and their health plan choice, or their decision to waive medical under WAC 182-12-128. Employees must return the forms to their employing agency no later than thirty-one days (sixty days for life insurance) after they become eligible for PEBB benefits under WAC 182-12-114. Newly eligible employees who do not return ((an)) enrollment forms to their employing agency indicating their medical ((and)), dental and LTD choice within thirty-one days and life insurance choice within sixty days will be enrolled ((in a health plan)) as follows:

(a) Medical enrollment will be Uniform Medical Plan Classic;

(b) Dental enrollment (if the employer group participates in PEBB dental) will be Uniform Dental Plan; ((and))

(c) Basic life insurance (unless the employing agency does not participate in this PEBB insurance coverage);

(d) Basic long-term disability insurance (unless the employing agency does not participate in this PEBB insurance coverage); and

(e) Dependents will not be enrolled.

(2) Employees who are newly eligible may enroll in optional insurance coverage (except for employees of employer groups that do not participate in life insurance or long-term disability insurance).

(a) To enroll in the amounts of optional life insurance available without health underwriting, employees must return a completed life insurance enrollment form to their employing agency no later than sixty days after becoming eligible for PEBB benefits.

(b) To enroll in optional long-term disability insurance without health underwriting, employees must return a completed long-term disability enrollment form to their employing agency no later than thirty-one days after becoming eligible for PEBB benefits.

(c) Employees may apply for optional life and optional long-term disability insurance at any time by providing evidence of insurability and receiving approval from the contracted vendor.

(3) If an employing agency does not notify a newly eligible employee of his or her eligibility for PEBB benefits, as required in WAC 182-12-113, until after the thirty-one-day period described in subsection (1) of this section has expired, then the following must occur:

(a) The employing agency must notify the employee of his or her eligibility for PEBB benefits and his or her requirement to complete and return enrollment forms.

(b) The employee must complete and return the appropriate forms as follows:

(i) An enrollment form indicating enrollment and health plan choice (if applicable indicating a decision to waive medical) no later than thirty-one days from the date of the employing agency's notice to the employee;

(ii) To enroll in optional coverage, a life insurance enrollment form no later than sixty days from the date of the employing agency's notice to the employee and a long-term disability insurance enrollment form no later than thirty-one days from the date of the employing agency's notice to the employee.

(c) Employees who do not return the appropriate forms to their employing agency indicating their medical and dental choice will be enrolled in a health plan according to subsection (1)(a), (b), and (c) of this section.

(d) Employees who do not return the appropriate forms to their employing agency indicating optional coverage elections, are not eligible to enroll in optional coverage, except as described in subsection (2)(c) of this section.

(4) Employees who are eligible to participate in the state's salary reduction plan (see WAC 182-12-116) will automatically enroll in the premium payment plan upon enrollment in medical so employee medical premiums are taken on a pretax basis. To opt out of the premium payment plan, new employees must complete the appropriate form and return it to their state agency no later than thirty-one days after they become eligible for PEBB benefits.

(5) Employees who are eligible to participate in the state's salary reduction plan may enroll in the state's medical flexible spending arrangement (FSA) or dependent care assistance program (DCAP) or both. To enroll in these optional PEBB benefits, employees must return the appropriate enrollment forms to their state agency or PEBB designee no later than thirty-one days after becoming eligible for PEBB benefits.

(6) The employer contribution toward insurance coverage ends according to WAC 182-12-131. Employees who become newly eligible for the employer contribution enroll as described in subsections (1) and (2) of this section, with the following exceptions in which insurance coverage elections stay the same:

(a) When an employee transfers from one employing agency to another employing agency without a break in state service. This includes movement of employees between any entities described in WAC 182-12-111 and participating in PEBB benefits.

(b) When employees have a break in state service that does not interrupt their employer contribution toward PEBB insurance coverage.

(c) When employees continue insurance coverage by self-paying the full premium under WAC 182-12-133(1) or 182-12-142 and ((become newly eligible)) regain eligibility for the employer contribution before the end of the maximum number of months allowed for continuing PEBB health plan enrollment under those rules. Employees who are eligible to continue optional life or optional long-term disability under continuation coverage but discontinue that insurance coverage are subject to the insurance underwriting requirements if they apply for the insurance when they return to work or ((become eligible again)) regain eligibility for the employer contribution.

(7) When an employee's employment ends, participation in the state's salary reduction plan ends. If the employee is hired into a new position that is eligible for PEBB benefits in the same year, the employee may not resume participation in DCAP or medical FSA until the beginning of the next plan year, unless the time between employments is less than thirty days and the employee notifies the new state agency and the DCAP or FSA administrator of his or her employment transfer within the current plan year.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-08-197, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-08-197, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-08-197, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-08-197, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-08-197, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07; 06-11-156 (Order 06-02), 182-08-197, filed 5/24/06, effective 6/24/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160, 41.05.350, and 41.05.165. 05-16-046 (Order 05-01), 182-08-197, filed 7/27/05, effective 8/27/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-08-198   When may a subscriber change health plans?   Subscribers may change health plans at the following times:

(1) During annual open enrollment: Subscribers may change health plans during the annual open enrollment. The subscriber must submit the appropriate enrollment forms to change health plan no later than the end of the annual open enrollment. Enrollment in the new health plan will begin January 1st of the following year.

(2) During a special open enrollment: Subscribers may change health plans outside of the annual open enrollment if a special open enrollment event occurs. The change in enrollment must be allowable under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and correspond to the event that creates the special open enrollment for either the subscriber ((or)), the subscriber's dependent((s)) or both. To make a health plan change, the subscriber must submit the appropriate enrollment forms (and a completed disenrollment form, if required) no later than sixty days after the event occurs. Employees submit the enrollment forms to their employing agency. All other subscribers submit the enrollment forms to the public employees benefits board (PEBB) program. Insurance coverage in the new health plan will begin the first day of the month following the later of the event date or the date the form is received. If the special open enrollment is due to the birth, adoption, or assumption of legal obligation for total or partial support in anticipation of adoption of a child, insurance coverage will begin the month in which the birth, adoption, or assumption of legal obligation for total or partial support in anticipation of adoption occurs. Any one of the following events may create a special open enrollment:

(a) Subscriber acquires a new dependent due to:

(i) Marriage or registering a domestic partnership ((with Washington's secretary of state));

(ii) Birth, adoption or when the subscriber has assumed a legal obligation for total or partial support in anticipation of adoption;

(iii) A child becoming eligible as an extended dependent through legal custody or legal guardianship; or

(iv) A child becoming eligible as a dependent with a disability;

(b) Subscriber or a subscriber's dependent loses other coverage under a group health plan or through health insurance coverage, as defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA);

(c) Subscriber or a subscriber's dependent has a change in employment status that affects the subscriber's or the subscriber's dependent's eligibility for the employer contribution toward group health coverage;

(d) Subscriber or a subscriber's dependent has a change in residence that affects health plan availability. If the subscriber moves and the subscriber's current health plan is not available in the new location the subscriber must select a new health plan. If the subscriber does not select a new health plan, the PEBB program may change the subscriber's health plan as described in WAC 182-08-196;

(e) ((Subscriber receives)) A court order or national medical support ((order requiring the subscriber, the subscriber's spouse, or the subscriber's Washington state registered domestic partner)) notice (see also WAC 182-12-263) requires the subscriber or any other individual to provide insurance coverage for an eligible dependent of the subscriber (a former spouse or former registered domestic partner is not an eligible dependent);

(f) Subscriber or a subscriber's dependent becomes eligible for state premium assistance through medicaid or a state children's health insurance program (CHIP), or the subscriber or a subscriber's dependent loses eligibility for coverage under medicaid or CHIP;

(g) Subscriber or a subscriber's dependent becomes entitled to medicare, enrolls in or disenrolls from a medicare Part D plan. If the subscriber's current health plan becomes unavailable due to the subscriber's or a subscriber's dependent's entitlement to medicare, the subscriber must select a new health plan as described in WAC 182-08-196;

(h) Subscriber or a subscriber's dependent's current health plan becomes unavailable because the subscriber or enrolled dependent is no longer eligible for a health savings account (HSA). The health care authority (HCA) may require evidence that the subscriber or subscriber's dependent is no longer eligible for an HSA;

(i) Subscriber or subscriber's dependent experiences a disruption of care that could function as a reduction in benefits for the subscriber or the subscriber's dependent(((s) due to)) for a specific condition or ongoing course of treatment. ((A)) The subscriber may not change their health plan election if the subscriber's or ((an enrolled)) dependent's physician stops participation with the subscriber's health plan unless the PEBB program determines that a continuity of care issue exists. The PEBB program ((criteria used will include, but is not limited to, the following in determining if a continuity of care issue exists)) will consider but not limit its consideration to the following:

(i) Active cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy for up to ninety days or until medically stable; or

(ii) ((Recent)) Transplant ((())within the last twelve months(())); or

(iii) Scheduled surgery within the next sixty days (elective procedures within the next sixty days do not qualify for continuity of care); or

(iv) Recent major surgery still within the ((previous sixty days)) postoperative period of up to eight weeks; or

(v) Third trimester of pregnancy((; or

(vi) Language barrier)).

If the employee is having premiums taken from payroll on a pretax basis, a plan change will not be approved if it would conflict with provisions of the salary reduction plan authorized under RCW 41.05.300.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-08-198, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-08-198, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-08-198, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-08-198, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 08-09-027 (Order 08-01), 182-08-198, filed 4/8/08, effective 4/9/08; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-08-198, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.068. 06-23-165 (Order 06-09), 182-08-198, filed 11/22/06, effective 12/23/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160, 41.05.350, and 41.05.165. 05-16-046 (Order 05-01), 182-08-198, filed 7/27/05, effective 8/27/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-08-199   When may an employee enroll in or change his or her election under the premium payment plan, medical flexible spending arrangement (FSA) or dependent care assistance program (DCAP)?   An eligible employee (as described in WAC 182-12-116) may enroll in or change his or her election under the premium payment plan, medical flexible spending arrangement (FSA), or dependent care assistance program (DCAP) at the following times:

(1) When they are newly eligible under WAC 182-12-114, as described in WAC 182-08-197.

(2) During annual open enrollment: An eligible employee (as described in WAC 182-12-116) may enroll in or change their election under the state's premium payment plan, medical FSA or DCAP during the annual open enrollment. Employees must submit, in paper or on-line, the appropriate enrollment form to enroll or reenroll no later than the last day of the annual open enrollment. The enrollment or new election will be effective January 1st of the following year.

(3) During a special open enrollment: Employees may enroll or change their election under the state's premium payment plan, medical FSA or DCAP outside of the annual open enrollment if a special open enrollment event occurs. The enrollment or change in enrollment must be allowable under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and correspond to and be consistent with the event that creates the special open enrollment. To make a change or enroll, the employee must submit the appropriate forms as instructed on the forms no later than sixty days after the event occurs.

For purposes of this section, an eligible dependent includes any person who qualifies as a dependent of the employee for tax purposes under IRC Section 152 without regard to the income limitations of that section. It does not include a ((Washington)) state registered domestic partner unless the domestic partner otherwise qualifies as a dependent for tax purposes under IRC Section 152.

(a) Premium payment plan. An employee may enroll or change his or her election under the premium payment plan when any of the following special open enrollment events occur, if the requested change corresponds to and is consistent with the event. Enrollment will be effective the first day of the month following the later of the event date or the date the form is received.

(i) Employee acquires a new dependent due to:

Marriage;

Registering a domestic partnership when the dependent is a tax dependent of the subscriber;

Birth, adoption, or when the subscriber has assumed a legal obligation for total or partial support in anticipation of adoption;

A child becoming eligible as an extended dependent through legal custody or legal guardianship; or

A child becoming eligible as a dependent with a disability;

(ii) Employee's dependent no longer meets public employees benefits board (PEBB) eligibility criteria because:

Employee has a change in marital status;

Employee's domestic partnership with a domestic partner who is a tax dependent is dissolved or terminated;

An eligible dependent child turns age twenty-six or otherwise does not meet dependent child eligibility criteria;

An eligible dependent ceases to be eligible as an extended dependent or as a dependent with a disability; or

An eligible dependent dies.

(iii) Employee or an employee's dependent loses other coverage under a group health plan or through health insurance coverage, as defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA);

(((iii))) (iv) Employee or an employee's dependent has a change in employment status that affects the employee's or a dependent's eligibility for the employer contribution toward group health coverage;

(((iv) Employee receives)) (v) Employee or an employee's dependent has a change in enrollment under another employer plan during its annual open enrollment that does not align with the PEBB program's annual open enrollment;

(vi) Employee or an employee's dependent has a change in residence that affects health plan availability;

(vii) Employee's dependent has a change in residence from outside of the United States to within the United States;

(viii) A court order or national medical support ((order requiring)) notice (see also WAC 182-12-263) requires the employee or ((the employee's spouse)) any other individual to provide insurance coverage for an eligible dependent of the subscriber (a former spouse or former registered domestic partner is not an eligible dependent);

(((v))) (ix) Employee or employee's dependent becomes eligible for state premium assistance through medicaid or a state children's health insurance program (CHIP), or the employee or employee's dependent loses eligibility for coverage under medicaid or CHIP;

(((vi))) (x) Employee or employee's dependent gains or loses eligibility for medicare;

(((vii))) (xi) Employee or employee's dependent's current health plan becomes unavailable because the employee or enrolled dependent is no longer eligible for a health savings account (HSA). The health care authority (HCA) may require evidence that the employee or employee's dependent is no longer eligible for an HSA;

(((viii))) (xii) Employee or employee's dependent experiences a disruption of care that could function as a reduction in benefits for the employee or the employee's dependent(((s) due to)) for a specific condition or ongoing course of treatment. ((An)) The employee may not change their health plan election if the employee's or ((an enrolled)) dependent's physician stops participation with the employee's health plan unless the PEBB program determines that a continuity of care issue exists. The PEBB program ((criteria used will include, but is not limited to, the following in determining if a continuity of care issue exists)) will consider but not limit its consideration to the following:

(A) Active cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy for up to ninety days or until medically stable; or

(B) ((Recent)) Transplant ((())within the last twelve months(())); or

(C) Scheduled surgery within the next sixty days (elective procedures within the next sixty days do not qualify for continuity of care); or

(D) Recent major surgery still within the ((previous sixty days)) postoperative period of up to eight weeks; or

(E) Third trimester of pregnancy((; or

(F) Language barrier)).

If the employee is having premiums taken from payroll on a pretax basis, a plan change will not be approved if it would conflict with provisions of the salary reduction plan authorized under RCW 41.05.300.

(b) Flexible spending account (FSA). An employee may enroll or change his or her election under the medical FSA when any one of the following special open enrollment events occur, if the requested change corresponds to and is consistent with the event. Enrollment will be effective the first day of the month following approval by the FSA administrator.

(i) Employee acquires a new dependent due to:

Marriage;

Registering a domestic partnership if the domestic partner qualifies as a tax dependent of the subscriber;

Birth, adoption, or when the subscriber has assumed a legal obligation for total or partial support in anticipation of adoption;

A child becoming eligible as an extended dependent through legal custody or legal guardianship; or

A child becoming eligible as a dependent with a disability((;)).

(ii) Employee's dependent no longer meets PEBB eligibility criteria because:

Employee has a change in marital status;

Employee's domestic partnership with a domestic partner who qualifies as a tax dependent is dissolved or terminated;

An eligible dependent child turns age twenty-six or otherwise does not meet dependent child eligibility criteria;

An eligible dependent ceases to be eligible as an extended dependent or as a dependent with a disability; or

An eligible dependent dies.

(iii) Employee or an employee's dependent has a change in employment status that affects the employee's or a dependent's eligibility for the FSA;

(((iii) Employee receives)) (iv) A court order or national medical support ((order requiring)) notice requires the employee or ((the employee's spouse)) any other individual to provide insurance coverage for an eligible dependent of the subscriber (a former spouse or former registered domestic partner is not an eligible dependent);

(((iv))) (v) Employee or an employee's dependent loses eligibility for coverage under medicaid or a state children's health insurance program (CHIP);

(((v))) (vi) Employee or an employee's dependent gains or loses eligibility for medicare((;)).

(c) Dependent care assistance program (DCAP). An employee may enroll or change his or her election under the DCAP when any one of the following special open enrollment events occur, if the requested change corresponds to and is consistent with the event. Enrollment will be effective the first day of the month following approval by the DCAP administrator.

(i) Employee acquires a new dependent due to:

Marriage;

Registering a domestic partnership if the domestic partner qualifies as a tax dependent of the subscriber;

Birth, adoption, or when the subscriber has assumed a legal obligation for total or partial support in anticipation of adoption;

A child becoming eligible as an extended dependent through legal custody or legal guardianship; or

A child becoming eligible as a dependent with a disability((;)).

(ii) Employee or an employee's dependent has a change in employment status that affects the employee's or a dependent's eligibility for DCAP;

(iii) Employee or an employee's dependent has a change in enrollment under another employer plan during its annual open enrollment that does not align with the PEBB program's annual open enrollment;

(iv) Employee changes dependent care provider; the change to DCAP can reflect the cost of the new provider;

(((iv))) (v) Employee or the employee's spouse experiences a change in the number of qualifying individuals as defined in IRC Section 21 (b)(1);

(((v))) (vi) Employee's dependent care provider imposes a change in the cost of dependent care; employee may make a change in the DCAP to reflect the new cost if the dependent care provider is not a relative as defined in Section 152 (a)(1) through (8), incorporating the rules of Section 152 (b)(1) and (2) of the IRC.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-08-199, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-08-199, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-08-199, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-08-199, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 182-08-235   Employer group application process.   This section applies to employer groups as defined in WAC 182-08-015. An employer group may apply to obtain insurance coverage through a contract with the health care authority (HCA). The authority will approve or deny the application through the evaluation criteria described in WAC 182-08-240. To apply, the employer group must submit the documents and information described in this rule to the public employees benefits board (PEBB) program at least sixty days before the requested coverage effective date.

(1) A letter of application that includes the information described in (a) through (d) of this subsection:

(a) A reference to the employer group's authorizing statute;

(b) A description of the organizational structure of the employer group and a description of the employee bargaining unit(s) or group of nonrepresented employees for which the employer group is applying;

(c) Employer tax ID number (TIN); and

(d) A statement of whether the employer group is requesting only medical insurance or medical, dental, life and LTD insurance.

(2) A resolution from the employer group's governing body authorizing the purchase of PEBB benefits.

(3) A signed governmental function attestation document that attests to the fact that employees for whom the employer group is applying are governmental employees whose services are substantially all in the performance of essential governmental functions.

(4) A member level census file for all of the employees for whom the employer group is applying. The file must be provided in the format required by the authority and contain the following demographic data, by member, with each member classified as employee, spouse or state registered domestic partner, or child:

(a) Employee ID (any identifier which uniquely identifies the employee; for dependents the employee's unique identifier must be used);

(b) Age;

(c) Gender;

(d) First three digits of the member's zip code based on residence;

(e) Indicator of whether the employee is active or retired, if the employer group is requesting to include retirees; and

(f) Indicator of whether the member is enrolled in coverage.

(5) If the application is for a subset of the employer group's employees (e.g., bargaining unit), the employer group must provide a member level census file of all employees eligible under their current health plan who are not included on the member level census file in subsection (4) of this section. The file must include the same demographic data by member.

(6) In addition to the requirements of subsections (1) through (5) of this section, additional information is required based upon the total number of employees that the employer group employs who are eligible under their current health plan:

(a) Employer groups with fewer than eleven eligible employees must provide proof of current coverage or proof of prior coverage within the last twelve months.

(b) Employer groups with greater than three hundred but less than twenty-five hundred eligible employees must provide the following:

(i) Large claims history for twenty-four months, by quarter that excludes the most recent three months; and

(ii) Ongoing large claims management report for the most recent quarter provided in the large claims history.

(c) Employer groups with greater than twenty-five hundred eligible employees must submit to an actuarial evaluation of the group. The employer group must pay for the cost of the evaluation. This cost is nonrefundable. An employer group that is approved will not have to pay for an additional actuarial evaluation if it applies to add another bargaining unit within two years of the evaluation. Employer groups of this size must provide the following:

(i) Large claims history for twenty-four months, by quarter that excludes the most recent three months;

(ii) Ongoing large claims management report for the most recent quarter provided in the large claims history;

(iii) Executive summary of benefits;

(iv) Summary of benefits and certificate of coverage; and

(v) Summary of historical plan costs.

(d) The following definitions apply for purposes of this section:

(i) "Large claim" is defined as a member that received more than twenty-five thousand dollars in allowed cost for services in a quarter; and

(ii) An "ongoing large claim" is a claim where the patient is expected to need ongoing case management into the next quarter for which the expected allowed cost is greater than twenty-five thousand dollars in the quarter.

(e) If the current health plan does not have a case management program then the primary diagnosis code designated by the authority must be reported for each large claimant and if the code indicates a condition which is expected to continue into the next quarter, the claim is counted as an ongoing large claim.

[]


NEW SECTION
WAC 182-08-237   May a local government entity or tribal government entity applying for participation in public employees benefits board (PEBB) insurance coverage include their retirees?   A local government or tribal government that applies for participation in public employees benefits board (PEBB) insurance coverage under WAC 182-08-235 may request inclusion of retired employees who are covered under its retiree health plan at the time of application.

(1) The authority will use the following criteria to approve or deny a request to include retirees:

(a) The local government or tribal government retiree health plan must have existed at least three years before the date of the employer group application;

(b) Eligibility for coverage under the local government's or tribal government's retiree health plan must have required immediate enrollment in retiree health plan coverage upon termination of employee coverage; and

(c) The retirees must have maintained continuous enrollment in the local government or tribal government retiree health plan.

(2) Retirees and dependents included in the transfer unit are subject to the enrollment and eligibility rules outlined in chapters 182-08, 182-12 and 182-16 WAC.

(3) Employees eligible for retirement subsequent to the local government or tribal government transferring to PEBB health plan coverage must meet retiree eligibility as outlined in chapter 182-12 WAC.

(4) To protect the integrity of the risk pool, if total local government or tribal government retiree enrollment exceeds ten percent of the total PEBB retiree population, the PEBB program may:

(a) Stop approving inclusion of retirees with local government or tribal government unit transfers; or

(b) Adopt a new rating methodology reflective of the cost of covering local government or tribal government retirees.

[]


NEW SECTION
WAC 182-08-240   How will the health care authority (HCA) decide to approve or deny an employer group application?   Employer group applications for participation in insurance coverage provided through the public employees benefits board (PEBB) program are approved or denied by the health care authority (HCA) based upon the information and documents submitted by the employer group and the employer group evaluation (EGE) criteria described in this rule. The authority may automatically deny an employer group application if the employer group fails to provide the required information and documents described in WAC 182-08-235.

(1) Employer groups are evaluated as a single unit. To support this requirement the employer group must provide census data for all employees eligible to participate under the employer group's current health plan.

(2) An employer group must pass the EGE criteria or the actuarial evaluation required in subsection (3) of this section as a single unit before the group can be approved for participation. For purposes of this section a single unit includes all employees eligible under the employer group's current health plan. If the application is only for a bargaining unit, then each bargaining unit of the employer group must be evaluated using the EGE criteria in addition to all eligible employees of employer group as a single unit. If the employer group passes the EGE criteria as a single unit, but an individual bargaining unit does not, the employer group may only participate if all eligible employees of the entity participate.

(3) The authority will determine which of the criteria in (a) though (d) of this subsection is used to evaluate the employer group based upon the total number of eligible employees in the single unit.

(a) Micro groups (a single unit of one to ten employees) must meet the following criteria in order to pass the EGE evaluation:

(i) Provide proof of current coverage or proof of prior coverage within the last twelve months; and

(ii) The member level census file demographic data must indicate a relative underwriting factor that is equal to or better than the relative underwriting factor for the nonmedicare PEBB risk pool as determined by the authority.

(b) Small and medium groups (a single unit of eleven to three hundred employees) must meet the following criterion in order to pass the EGE evaluation: The member level census file demographic data must indicate a relative underwriting factor that is equal to or better than the relative underwriting factor for the nonmedicare PEBB risk pool as determined by the authority.

(c) Large groups (a single unit of three hundred one to two thousand five hundred employees) must meet the following criteria in order to pass the EGE evaluation:

(i) The member level census file demographic data must indicate a relative underwriting factor that is equal to or better than the relative underwriting factor for the nonmedicare PEBB risk pool as determined by the authority;

(ii) One of the following two conditions must be met:

The frequency of large claims must be less than or equal to the historical benchmark frequency for the PEBB nonmedicare population; and

The ongoing large claims management report must demonstrate that the frequency of ongoing large claims is less than or equal to the recurring benchmark frequency for the PEBB nonmedicare population.

(d) Jumbo groups (a single unit of two thousand five hundred one or more employees) must meet the following criteria in order to pass the actuarial evaluation:

(i) The member level census file demographic data must indicate a relative underwriting factor that is equal to or better than the relative underwriting factor for the nonmedicare PEBB risk pool as determined by the authority;

(ii) One of the following two conditions must be met:

The frequency of large claims must be less than or equal to the PEBB historical benchmark frequency for the PEBB nonmedicare population;

The ongoing large claims management report must demonstrate that the frequency of ongoing large claims is less than or equal to the recurring benchmark frequency for the PEBB nonmedicare population;

(iii) Provide an executive summary of benefits;

(iv) Provide a summary of benefits and certificate of coverage;

(v) Provide a summary of historical plan costs; and

(vi) The evaluation of criteria in (d)(iii), (iv) and (v) of this subsection must indicate that the historical cost of benefits for the employer group is equal to or less than the historical cost of the PEBB nonmedicare population for a comparable plan design.

(4) The group evaluation for a jumbo group is valid for two years after approval by the authority. If an employer group applies to add additional bargaining units after two years the group must be reevaluated.

(5) An entity whose employer group application is denied may appeal the authority's decision to the PEBB appeals committee through the process described in WAC 182-16-038.

(6) An entity whose employer group application is approved may purchase insurance for its employees under the participation requirements described in WAC 182-08-245.

[]


NEW SECTION
WAC 182-08-245   Employer group participation requirements.   This section applies to an employer group as defined in WAC 182-08-015 that is approved to purchase insurance for its employees through a contract with the health care authority (HCA).

(1) Prior to enrollment of employees in public employees benefits board (PEBB) insurance coverage, the employer group must:

(a) Remit to the authority the required start-up fee in the amount publicized by the PEBB program;

(b) Sign a contract with the authority;

(c) Determine employee and dependent eligibility and terms of enrollment for PEBB insurance coverage in accordance with the criteria outlined in the employer group's contract with the authority;

(d) Determine eligibility in order to ensure the PEBB program's continued status as a governmental plan under Section 3(32) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) as amended. This means that only employees whose services are substantially all in the performance of essential governmental functions but not in the performance of commercial activities, whether or not those activities qualify as essential governmental functions may be considered eligible by the employer group; and

(e) Ensure PEBB health plans are the only employer-sponsored health plans available to groups of employees eligible for PEBB insurance coverage under the contract.

(2) Pay premiums in accordance with its contract with the authority based on the following premium structure:

(a) The premium rate structure for K-12 school districts and educational service districts will be a composite rate equal to the rate charged to state agencies plus an amount equal to the employee premium based on health plan choice and family enrollment.


Exception: The authority will allow districts that enrolled prior to September 1, 2002, to continue participation based on a tiered rate structure. The authority may require the district to change to a composite rate structure with ninety days advance written notice.


(b) The premium rate structure for employer groups other than districts described in (a) of this subsection will be a tiered rate based on health plan choice and family enrollment.


Exception: The authority will allow employer groups that enrolled prior to January 1, 1996, to continue to participate based on a composite rate structure. The authority may require the employer group to change to a tiered rate structure with ninety days advance written notice.

(3) If an employer group wants to make subsequent changes to the contract, the changes must be submitted to the authority for approval.

(4) The employer group must maintain participation in PEBB insurance coverage for at least one full year. An employer group may only end participation at the end of a plan year unless the authority approves a mid-year termination. To end participation, an employer group must provide written notice to the PEBB program at least sixty days before the requested termination date.

(5) Upon approval to purchase insurance through a contract with the authority, the employer group must provide a list of employees and dependents that are enrolled in COBRA benefits and the remaining number of months available to them based on their qualifying event. These employees and dependents may enroll in PEBB medical and dental as COBRA enrollees for the remainder of the months available to them based on their qualifying event.

(6) Enrollees in PEBB insurance coverage under one of the continuation of coverage provisions allowed under chapter 182-12 WAC or retirees included in the transfer unit as allowed under WAC 182-08-237 cease to be eligible as of the last day of the contract and may not continue enrollment beyond the end of the month in which the contract is terminated.


Exception: If an employer group, other than a school district or educational service district, ends participation, retired and disabled employees who began participation before September 15, 1991, are eligible to continue enrollment in PEBB insurance coverage if the employee continues to meet the procedural and eligibility requirements of WAC 182-12-171. Employees who enrolled after September 15, 1991, who are enrolled in PEBB retiree insurance cease to be eligible under WAC 182-12-171, but may continue health plan enrollment under COBRA (see WAC 182-12-146).

[]


REPEALER

     The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
WAC 182-08-230 Participation in PEBB benefits by employer groups, including K-12 school districts and educational service districts.

OTS-4884.2


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-12-109   Definitions.   The following definitions apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly indicates another meaning:

(("Agency" means the health care authority.)) "Authority" or "HCA" means the health care authority.

"Benefits eligible position" means any position held by an employee who is eligible for benefits under WAC 182-12-114, with the exception of employees who establish eligibility under WAC 182-12-114 (2) or (3)(a)(ii).

"Board" means the public employees benefits board established under provisions of RCW 41.05.055.

"Comprehensive employer-sponsored medical" includes insurance coverage continued by the employee or their dependent under COBRA. It does not include an employer's retiree coverage, with the exception of a federal retiree plan.

"Creditable coverage" means coverage that meets the definition of "creditable coverage" under RCW 48.66.020 (13)(a) and includes payment of medical and hospital benefits.

"Defer" means to postpone enrollment or interrupt enrollment in a PEBB medical insurance by a retiree or eligible survivor.

"Dependent" means a person who meets eligibility requirements in WAC 182-12-260.

"Dependent care assistance program" or "DCAP" means a benefit plan whereby state and public employees may pay for certain employment related dependent care with pretax dollars as provided in the salary reduction plan authorized in chapter 41.05 RCW.

"Director" means the director of the ((HCA or designee)) authority.

"Effective date of enrollment" means the first date when an enrollee is entitled to receive covered benefits.

"Employer group" means those employee organizations representing state civil service employees, counties, municipalities, political subdivisions, the Washington health benefit exchange, tribal governments, school districts, and educational service districts participating in PEBB insurance coverage under ((contract)) contractual agreement as described in WAC ((182-08-230)) 182-08-245.

"Employing agency" means a division, department, or separate agency of state government, including an institution of higher education; a county, municipality, school district, educational service district, or other political subdivision; or a tribal government covered by chapter 41.05 RCW.

"Enrollee" means a person who meets all eligibility requirements defined in chapter 182-12 WAC, who is enrolled in PEBB benefits, and for whom applicable premium payments have been made.

"Faculty" means an academic employee of an institution of higher education whose workload is not defined by work hours but whose appointment, workload, and duties directly serve the institution's academic mission, as determined under the authority of its enabling statutes, its governing body, and any applicable collective bargaining agreement.

"Health plan" or "plan" means a medical or dental plan developed by the public employees benefits board and provided by a contracted vendor or self-insured plans administered by the HCA.

"Institutions of higher education" means the state public research universities, the public regional universities, The Evergreen State College, the community and technical colleges, and includes the higher education personnel board and the state board for community and technical colleges.

"Insurance coverage" means any health plan, life insurance, long-term care insurance, ((long-term disability)) LTD insurance, or property and casualty insurance administered as a PEBB benefit.

"Layoff," for purposes of this chapter, means a change in employment status due to an employer's lack of funds or an employer's organizational change.

"LTD insurance" includes basic long-term disability insurance paid for by the employing agency and long-term disability insurance offered to employees on an optional basis.

"Life insurance" includes basic life insurance paid for by the employing agency, life insurance offered to employees on an optional basis, and retiree life insurance.

"Medical flexible spending arrangement" or "medical FSA" means a benefit plan whereby state and public employees may reduce their salary before taxes to pay for medical expenses not reimbursed by insurance as provided in the salary reduction plan authorized in chapter 41.05 RCW.

"Open enrollment" means a time period when: Subscribers may apply to transfer their enrollment from one health plan to another; a dependent may be enrolled; a dependent may be removed from coverage; or an employee who previously waived medical may enroll in medical. Open enrollment is also the time when employees may enroll in or change their election under the DCAP, the medical FSA, or the premium payment plan. An "annual" open enrollment, designated by the director, is an open enrollment when all PEBB subscribers may make enrollment changes for the upcoming year. A "special" open enrollment is triggered by a specific life event. For special open enrollment events as they relate to specific PEBB benefits, see WAC 182-08-198, 182-08-199, 182-12-128, 182-12-262.

"PEBB" means the public employees benefits board.

"PEBB appeals committee" means the committee that considers appeals relating to the administration of PEBB benefits by the PEBB program. The director has delegated the authority to hear appeals at the level below an administrative hearing to the PEBB appeals committee.

"PEBB benefits" means one or more insurance coverages or other employee benefits administered by the PEBB program within ((HCA)) the health care authority.

"PEBB program" means the program within the HCA which administers insurance and other benefits for eligible employees ((of the state)) (as defined in WAC 182-12-114), eligible retired and disabled employees (as defined in WAC 182-12-171), eligible dependents (as defined in WAC 182-12-250 and 182-12-260) and others as defined in RCW 41.05.011.

"Premium payment plan" means a benefit plan whereby state and public employees may pay their share of group health plan premiums with pretax dollars as provided in the salary reduction plan.

"Salary reduction plan" means a benefit plan whereby state and public employees may agree to a reduction of salary on a pretax basis to participate in the DCAP, medical FSA, or premium payment plan as authorized in chapter 41.05 RCW.

"Seasonal employee" means an employee hired to work during a recurring, annual season with a duration of three months or more, and anticipated to return each season to perform similar work.

"State agency" means an office, department, board, commission, institution, or other separate unit or division, however designated, of the state government and all personnel thereof. It includes the legislature, executive branch, and agencies or courts within the judicial branch, as well as institutions of higher education and any unit of state government established by law.

"Subscriber" means the employee, retiree, COBRA beneficiary or eligible survivor who has been designated by the HCA as the individual to whom the HCA and contracted vendors will issue all notices, information, requests and premium bills on behalf of enrollees.

"Termination of the employment relationship" means that an employee resigns or an employee is terminated and the employing agency has no anticipation that the employee will be rehired.

"Tribal government" means an Indian tribal government as defined in Section 3(32) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), as amended, or an agency or instrumentality of the tribal government, that has government offices principally located in this state.

"Waive" means to interrupt an eligible employee's enrollment in a PEBB health plan because the employee is enrolled in other comprehensive group medical coverage as required under WAC 182-12-128, or is on approved educational leave (((see WAC 182-12-128 and 182-12-136))) and obtains comprehensive group health plan coverage as allowed under WAC 182-12-136.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-12-109, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-12-109, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-12-109, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-12-109, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-12-109, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.068. 06-23-165 (Order 06-09), 182-12-109, filed 11/22/06, effective 12/23/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 04-18-039, 182-12-109, filed 8/26/04, effective 1/1/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 10-02, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11)

WAC 182-12-111   Eligible entities and individuals.   The following entities and individuals shall be eligible for public employees benefits board (PEBB) insurance coverage subject to the terms and conditions set forth below:

(1) State agencies. State agencies, as defined in WAC 182-12-109, are required to participate in all PEBB benefits. Insurance and health care contributions for ferry employees shall be governed by RCW 47.64.270.

(((a) Employees of technical colleges previously enrolled in a benefits trust may end PEBB benefits by January 1, 1996, or the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreements, whichever is later. Employees electing to end PEBB benefits have a one-time reenrollment option after a five year wait. Employees of a bargaining unit may end PEBB benefit participation only as an entire bargaining unit. All administrative or managerial employees may end PEBB participation only as an entire unit.

(b) Community and technical colleges with employees enrolled in a benefits trust shall remit to the HCA a retiree remittance as specified in the omnibus appropriations act, for each full-time employee equivalent. The remittance may be prorated for employees receiving a prorated portion of benefits.))

(2) Employer groups((:)). Employer groups may apply to participate in PEBB insurance coverage((s)) for groups of employees described in subsection (a) of this section at the option of each employer group ((provided all of the following requirements are met)):

(a) All eligible employees of the entity must transfer ((to PEBB insurance coverage)) as a unit with the following exceptions:

Bargaining units may elect to participate separately from the whole group; ((and))

Nonrepresented employees may elect to participate separately from the whole group provided all nonrepresented employees join as a group((.

(b) PEBB health plans must be the only employer sponsored health plans available to eligible employees.

(c))); and

Members of the employer group's governing authority may participate as defined in the employer group's governing statutes and RCW 41.04.205.

(b) The employer group must ((submit to the HCA an application when it first applies, the contents of which will be specified by HCA. The application for employer groups, with the exception of school districts and educational service districts, is subject to review and approval by the HCA, and the decision to approve or deny the application shall be provided to the applying employer group by the HCA.

(d) Each employer group purchasing PEBB insurance coverage must sign a contract with the HCA. The employer group must abide by the eligibility, enrollment, and payment terms specified in the contract. Any subsequent changes to the contract must be submitted for approval in advance of the change.

(e) The employer group must maintain its PEBB insurance coverage participation at least one full year, and may end participation only at the end of a plan year.

(f) The employer group must give the HCA written notice of its intent to end PEBB insurance coverage participation at least sixty days before the effective date of termination. With the exception of retired and disabled employees of school districts or educational service districts, if the employer group ends PEBB insurance coverage, retired and disabled employees who began participating after September 15, 1991, are not eligible for PEBB insurance coverage beyond the mandatory extension requirements specified in WAC 182-12-146.

(g) Employees eligible for PEBB participation include only those employees whose services are substantially all in the performance of essential governmental functions but not in the performance of commercial activities, whether or not those activities qualify as essential governmental functions. Employer groups shall determine eligibility in order to ensure PEBB's continued status as a governmental plan under Section 3(32) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) as amended.)) apply through the process described in WAC 182-08-235. K-12 school district and educational service district applications do not have to include the census information required in WAC 182-08-235 (4) or (5). Employer group applications are subject to review and approval by the health care authority (HCA). With the exception of K-12 school districts and educational service districts, the authority will approve or deny an employer group's application based on the employer group eligibility criteria described in WAC 182-08-240.

(c) Employer groups participate through a contract with the authority as described in WAC 182-08-245.

(3) School districts and educational service districts((:)). In addition to subsection (2) of this section, the following applies to school districts and educational service districts:

(a) The HCA will collect an amount equal to the composite rate charged to state agencies plus an amount equal to the employee premium by health plan and family size as would be charged to state employees for each participating school district or educational service district.

(b) The HCA may collect these amounts in accordance with the district fiscal year, as described in RCW 28A.505.030.

(4) The Washington health benefit exchange. In addition to subsection (2) of this section, the following provisions apply:

(a) The Washington health benefit exchange is subject to the same rules as an employing agency in chapters 182-08, 182-12 and 182-16 WAC.

(b) An employee of the Washington health benefit exchange is subject to the same rules as an employee of an employing agency in chapters 182-08, 182-12 and 182-16 WAC.

(5) Eligible nonemployees.

(a) Blind vendors means a "licensee" as defined in RCW 74.18.200: Vendors actively operating a business enterprise program facility in the state of Washington and deemed eligible by the department of services for the blind may voluntarily participate in PEBB insurance coverage.

(((a))) (i) Vendors that do not enroll when first eligible may enroll only during the annual open enrollment period offered by the HCA or the first day of the month following loss of other insurance coverage.

(((b))) (ii) Department of services for the blind will notify eligible vendors of their eligibility in advance of the date that they are eligible to apply for enrollment in PEBB insurance coverage.

(((c))) (iii) The eligibility requirements for dependents of blind vendors shall be the same as the requirements for dependents of the state employees ((and retirees)) in WAC 182-12-260.

(((5) Eligible nonemployees:

(a))) (b) Dislocated forest products workers enrolled in the employment and career orientation program pursuant to chapter 50.70 RCW shall be eligible for PEBB health plans while enrolled in that program.

(((b))) (c) School board members or students eligible to participate under RCW 28A.400.350 may participate in PEBB insurance coverage as long as they remain eligible under that section.

(6) Individuals that are not eligible include:

(a) Adult family home providers as defined in RCW 70.128.010;

(b) Unpaid volunteers;

(c) Patients of state hospitals;

(d) Inmates;

(e) Employees of the Washington state convention and trade center as provided in RCW 41.05.110;

(f) Students of institutions of higher education as determined by their institutions; and

(g) Any others not expressly defined as employees under RCW 41.05.011.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-12-111, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-12-111, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-12-111, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-12-111, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 04-18-039, 182-12-111, filed 8/26/04, effective 1/1/05; 03-17-031 (Order 02-07), 182-12-111, filed 8/14/03, effective 9/14/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 02-18-087 (Order 02-02), 182-12-111, filed 9/3/02, effective 10/4/02; 99-19-028 (Order 99-04), 182-12-111, filed 9/8/99, effective 10/9/99; 97-21-127, 182-12-111, filed 10/21/97, effective 11/21/97. Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.05 RCW. 96-08-043, 182-12-111, filed 3/29/96, effective 4/29/96. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.04.205, 41.05.065, 41.05.011, 41.05.080 and chapter 41.05 RCW. 92-03-040, 182-12-111, filed 1/10/92, effective 1/10/92. Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.05 RCW. 78-02-015 (Order 2-78), 182-12-111, filed 1/10/78.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 09-02, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10)

WAC 182-12-113   What are the obligations of a state agency in the application of employee eligibility?   (1) All state agencies must carry out all actions, policies, and guidance issued by the public employees benefits board (PEBB) program necessary for the operation of benefit plans, education of employees, claims administration, and appeals process including ((that)) those described in chapters 182-08, 182-12, and 182-16 WAC. State agencies must:

(a) Use the methods provided by the PEBB program to determine eligibility and enrollment in benefits, unless otherwise approved in writing;

(b) Provide eligibility determination reports with content and in a format designed and communicated by the PEBB program or otherwise as approved in writing by the PEBB program; and

(c) Carry out corrective action and pay any penalties imposed by the authority and established by the board when the state agency's eligibility determinations fail to comply with the criteria under these rules.

(2) All state agencies must determine employee eligibility for PEBB benefits and employer contribution according to the criteria in WAC 182-12-114 and 182-12-131. State agencies must:

(a) Notify newly hired employees of PEBB rules and guidance for eligibility and appeal rights;

(b) Provide written notice to faculty who are potentially eligible for benefits and employer contribution of their potential eligibility under WAC 182-12-114(3) and 182-12-131;

(c) Inform an employee in writing whether or not he or she is eligible for benefits upon employment. The written communication must include a description of any hours that are excluded in determining eligibility and information about the employee's right to appeal eligibility and enrollment decisions;

(d) Routinely monitor all employees' eligible work hours to establish eligibility and maintain the employer contribution toward insurance coverage;

(e) Make eligibility determinations based on the criteria of the eligibility category that most closely describes the employee's work circumstances per the PEBB program's direction;

(f) Identify when a previously ineligible employee becomes eligible or a previously eligible employee loses eligibility; and

(g) Inform an employee in writing whether or not he or she is eligible for benefits and the employer contribution whenever there is a change in work patterns such that the employee's eligibility status changes. At the same time, state agencies must inform employees of the right to appeal eligibility and enrollment decisions.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-12-113, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 10-02, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11)

WAC 182-12-123   Dual enrollment is prohibited.   Public employees benefits board (PEBB) health plan coverage is limited to a single enrollment per individual.

(1) Effective January 1, 2002, individuals who have more than one source of eligibility for enrollment in PEBB health plan coverage (called "dual eligibility") are limited to one enrollment.

(2) An eligible employee may waive medical and enroll as a dependent on the coverage of his or her eligible spouse, eligible ((Washington)) state registered domestic partner, or eligible parent as stated in WAC 182-12-128.

(3) Children eligible for medical and dental under two subscribers may be enrolled as a dependent under the health plan of only one subscriber.

(4) An employee who is eligible for the employer contribution to PEBB benefits due to employment in more than one PEBB-participating employing agency ((may)) must choose to enroll under only ((under)) one employing agency. ((The employee must choose to enroll in PEBB benefits under only one employing agency.))


Exception: Faculty who stack to establish or maintain eligibility under WAC 182-12-114(3) with two or more state institutions of higher education will be enrolled under the employing agency responsible to pay the employer contribution according to WAC 182-08-200(2).

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-12-123, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-12-123, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-12-123, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 04-18-039, 182-12-123, filed 8/26/04, effective 1/1/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-12-128   May an employee waive health plan enrollment?   Employees must enroll in dental, basic life and basic long-term disability insurance (unless the employing agency does not participate in these public employees benefits board (PEBB) insurance coverages). However, employees may waive PEBB medical if they have other comprehensive group medical coverage.

(1) Employees may waive enrollment in PEBB medical by submitting the appropriate enrollment form to their employing agency during the following times:

(a) When the employee becomes eligible: Employees may waive medical when they become eligible for PEBB benefits. Employees must indicate they are waiving medical on the appropriate enrollment form they submit to their employing agency no later than thirty-one days after the date they become eligible (see WAC 182-08-197). Medical will be waived as of the date the employee becomes eligible for PEBB benefits.

(b) During the annual open enrollment: Employees may waive medical during the annual open enrollment if they submit the appropriate enrollment form to their employing agency before the end of the annual open enrollment. Medical will be waived beginning January 1st of the following year.

(c) During a special open enrollment: Employees may waive medical during a special open enrollment as described in subsection (4) of this section.

(2) If an employee waives medical, the employee's eligible dependents may not be enrolled in medical.

(3) Once medical is waived, enrollment is only allowed during the following times:

(a) During the annual open enrollment;

(b) During a special open enrollment created by an event that allows for enrollment outside of the annual open enrollment as described in subsection (4) of this section. In addition to the appropriate forms, the PEBB program may require the employee to provide evidence of eligibility and evidence of the event that creates a special open enrollment.

(4) Special open enrollment: Employees may waive enrollment in medical or enroll in medical if a special open enrollment event((s)) occurs. The change in enrollment must be allowable under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and correspond to the event that creates the special open enrollment for either the employee, the employee's dependent, or both. Any one of the following events may create a special open enrollment:

(a) Employee acquires a new dependent due to:

(i) Marriage or registering a domestic partnership ((with Washington state));

(ii) Birth, adoption or when the subscriber has assumed a legal obligation for total or partial support in anticipation of adoption;

(iii) A child becoming eligible as an extended dependent through legal custody or legal guardianship; or

(iv) A child becoming eligible as a dependent with a disability;

(b) Employee or a dependent loses other coverage under a group health plan or through health insurance coverage, as defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA);

(c) Employee or an employee's dependent has a change in employment status that affects the employee's or employee's dependent's eligibility for the employer contribution toward group health coverage;

(d) Employee ((receives)) or an employee's dependent has a change in enrollment under another employer plan during its annual open enrollment that does not align with the PEBB program's annual open enrollment;

(e) Employee's dependent has a change in residence from outside of the United States to within the United States;

(f) A court order or national medical support ((order requiring)) notice (see also WAC 182-12-263) requires the employee((, spouse, or Washington state registered domestic partner)) or any other individual to provide insurance coverage for an eligible dependent of the subscriber (a former spouse or former registered domestic partner is not an eligible dependent);

(((e))) (g) Employee or dependent becomes eligible for state premium assistance through medicaid or a state children's health insurance program (CHIP), or the employee or dependent loses eligibility for coverage under medicaid or CHIP.

To waive or enroll during a special open enrollment, the employee must submit the appropriate forms to their employing agency no later than sixty days after the event that creates the special open enrollment.

Medical will be waived the end of the month following the later of the event date or the date the form is received. If the special open enrollment is due to the birth, adoption or assumption of legal obligation for total or partial support in anticipation of adoption of a child, medical will be waived the first of the month in which the event occurs.

Enrollment in medical will begin the first day of the month following the later of the event date or the date the form is received. If the special open enrollment is due to the birth, adoption or assumption of legal obligation for total or partial support in anticipation of adoption of a child, enrollment in medical will begin the first of the month in which the event occurs.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-12-128, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-12-128, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-12-128, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-12-128, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 08-09-027 (Order 08-01), 182-12-128, filed 4/8/08, effective 4/9/08; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-12-128, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 04-18-039, 182-12-128, filed 8/26/04, effective 1/1/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-12-131   How do eligible employees maintain the employer contribution toward insurance coverage?   The employer contribution toward insurance coverage begins on the day that public employees benefits board (PEBB) benefits begin under WAC 182-12-114. This section describes under what circumstances an employee maintains eligibility for the employer contribution toward PEBB benefits.

(1) Maintaining the employer contribution. Except as described in subsections (2), (3), and (4) of this section, an employee who has established eligibility for benefits under WAC 182-12-114 is eligible for the employer contribution each month in which he or she is in pay status eight or more hours per month.

(2) Maintaining the employer contribution - Benefits-eligible seasonal employees.

(a) A benefits-eligible seasonal employee (eligible under WAC 182-12-114(2)) who works a season of less than nine months is eligible for the employer contribution in any month of his or her season in which he or she is in pay status eight or more hours during that month. The employer contribution toward PEBB benefits for seasonal employees returning after their off season begins on the first day of the first month of the season in which they are in pay status eight hours or more.

(b) A benefits-eligible seasonal employee (eligible under WAC 182-12-114(2)) who works a season of nine months or more is eligible for the employer contribution:

(i) In any month of his or her season in which he or she is in pay status eight or more hours during that month; and

(ii) Through the off season following each season worked.

(3) Maintaining the employer contribution - Eligible faculty.

(a) Benefits-eligible faculty anticipated to work the entire instructional year or equivalent nine-month period (eligible under WAC 182-12-114 (3)(a)(i)) are eligible for the employer contribution each month of the instructional year, except as described in subsection (7) of this section.

(b) Benefits-eligible faculty who are hired on a quarter/semester to quarter/semester basis (eligible under WAC 182-12-114 (3)(a)(ii)) are eligible for the employer contribution each quarter or semester in which the employee works half-time or more.

(c) Summer or off-quarter/semester coverage: All benefits-eligible faculty (eligible under WAC 182-12-114(3)) who work an average of half-time or more throughout the entire instructional year or equivalent nine-month period and work each quarter/semester of the instructional year or equivalent nine-month period are eligible for the employer contribution toward summer or off-quarter/semester insurance coverage.


Exception: Eligibility for the employer contribution toward summer or off-quarter/semester insurance coverage ends on the end date specified in an employing agency's termination notice or an employee's resignation letter, whichever is earlier, if the employing agency has no anticipation that the employee will be returning as faculty at any institution of higher education where the employee has employment. If the employing agency deducted the employee's premium for insurance coverage after the employee was no longer eligible for the employer contribution, insurance coverage ends the last day of the month for which employee premiums were deducted.

(d) Two-year averaging: All benefits-eligible faculty (eligible under WAC 182-12-114(3)) who worked an average of half-time or more in each of the two preceding academic years are potentially eligible to receive uninterrupted employer contribution to PEBB benefits. "Academic year" means summer, fall, winter, and spring quarters or summer, fall, and spring semesters and begins with summer quarter/semester. In order to be eligible for the employer contribution through two-year averaging, the faculty must provide written notification of his or her potential eligibility to his or her employing agency or agencies within the deadlines established by the employing agency or agencies. Faculty continue to receive uninterrupted employer contribution for each academic year in which they:

(i) Are employed on a quarter/semester to quarter/semester basis and work at least two quarters or two semesters; and

(ii) Have an average workload of half-time or more for three quarters or two semesters.

Eligibility for the employer contribution under two-year averaging ceases immediately if the eligibility criteria is not met or if the eligibility criteria becomes impossible to meet.

(e) Faculty who lose eligibility for the employer contribution: All benefits-eligible faculty (eligible under WAC 182-12-114(3)) who lose eligibility for the employer contribution will regain it if they return to a faculty position where it is anticipated that they will work half-time or more for the quarter/semester no later than the twelfth month after the month in which they lost eligibility for the employer contribution. The employer contribution begins on the first day of the month in which the quarter/semester begins.

(4) Maintaining the employer contribution - Employees on leave and under the special circumstances listed below.

(a) Employees who are on approved leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) continue to receive the employer contribution as long as they are approved under the act.

(b) Unless otherwise indicated in this section, employees in the following circumstances receive the employer contribution only for the months they are in pay status eight hours or more:

(i) Employees on authorized leave without pay;

(ii) Employees on approved educational leave;

(iii) Employees receiving time-loss benefits under workers' compensation;

(iv) Employees called to active duty in the uniformed services as defined under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA); or

(v) Employees applying for disability retirement.

(5) Maintaining the employer contribution - Employees who move from an eligible to an otherwise ineligible position due to a layoff maintain the employer contribution toward insurance coverage under the criteria in WAC 182-12-129.

(6) Employees who are in pay status less than eight hours in a month. Unless otherwise indicated in this section, when there is a month in which an employee is not in pay status for at least eight hours, the employee:

(a) Loses eligibility for the employer contribution for that month; and

(b) Must reestablish eligibility for PEBB benefits under WAC 182-12-114 in order to be eligible for the employer contribution again.

(7) The employer contribution to PEBB insurance coverage ends in any one of these circumstances for all employees:

(a) When the employee fails to maintain eligibility for the employer contribution as indicated in the criteria in subsection (1) through (6) of this section.

(b) When the employment relationship is terminated. As long as the employing agency has no anticipation that the employee will be rehired, the employment relationship is terminated:

(i) On the date specified in an employee's letter of resignation; or

(ii) On the date specified in any contract or hire letter or on the effective date of an employer-initiated termination notice.

(c) When the employee moves to a position that is not anticipated to be eligible for benefits under WAC 182-12-114, not including changes in position due to a layoff.

The employer contribution toward PEBB medical, dental and life insurance for an employee, spouse, ((Washington)) state registered domestic partner, or child ceases at 12:00 midnight, the last day of the month in which the employee is eligible for the employer contribution under this section.


Exception: If the employing agency deducted the employee's premium for insurance coverage after the employee was no longer eligible for the employer contribution, insurance coverage ends the last day of the month for which employee premiums were deducted.

(8) Options for continuation coverage by self-paying. During temporary or permanent loss of the employer contribution toward insurance coverage, employees have options for providing continuation coverage for themselves and their dependents by self-paying the full premium set by the health care authority (HCA). These options are available according to WAC 182-12-133, 182-12-141, 182-12-142, 182-12-146, 182-12-148, and 182-12-270.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-12-131, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-12-131, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-12-131, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-12-131, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 04-18-039, 182-12-131, filed 8/26/04, effective 1/1/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 10-02, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11)

WAC 182-12-133   What options for continuation coverage are available to employees on certain types of leave or whose work ends due to a layoff?   Employees who have established eligibility for PEBB benefits under WAC 182-12-114 have options for providing continuation coverage for themselves and their dependents by self-paying the full premium set by the HCA during temporary or permanent loss of the employer contribution toward insurance coverage.

(1) When an employee is no longer eligible for the employer contribution toward PEBB benefits due to an event described in (a) through (f) of this subsection, insurance coverage may be continued by self-paying the full premium set by the HCA, with no contribution from the employer. Employees may self-pay for a maximum of twenty-nine months. The employee must pay the premium amounts for insurance coverage as premiums become due. If premiums are more than sixty days delinquent, insurance coverage will end as of the last day of the month for which a full premium was paid. Employees may continue any combination of medical, dental and life insurance; however, only employees on approved educational leave or called in to active duty in the uniformed services as defined under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) may continue either basic or both basic and optional long-term disability insurance. Employees in the following circumstances qualify to continue coverage under this subsection:

(a) The employee is on authorized leave without pay;

(b) The employee is on approved educational leave;

(c) The employee is receiving time-loss benefits under workers' compensation;

(d) The employee is called to active duty in the uniformed services as defined under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA);

(e) The employee's employment ends due to a layoff as defined in WAC 182-12-109; or

(f) The employee is applying for disability retirement.

(2) The number of months that an employee self-pays the premium while eligible under subsection (1) of this section will count toward the total months of continuation coverage allowed under the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). An employee who is no longer eligible for continuation coverage as described in subsection (1) of this section but who has not used the maximum number of months allowed under COBRA may continue medical and dental for the remaining difference in months by self-paying the premium under COBRA as described in WAC 182-12-146.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-12-133, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-12-133, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-12-133, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-12-133, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07; 06-11-156 (Order 06-02), 182-12-133, filed 5/24/06, effective 6/24/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 04-18-039, 182-12-133, filed 8/26/04, effective 1/1/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-12-138   What options are available if an employee is approved for the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?   (1) Employees on approved leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may continue to receive the employer contribution toward insurance coverage in accordance with the federal FMLA. These employees may also continue current optional life and optional long-term disability. The employee's employing agency is responsible for determining if the employee is eligible for leave under FMLA and the duration of such leave. If the employee's contribution toward premiums is more than sixty days delinquent, insurance coverage will end as of the last day of the month for which a full premium was paid.

(2) If an employee exhausts the period of leave approved under FMLA, insurance coverage may be continued by self-paying the full premium set by the HCA, with no contribution from the employer, under WAC 182-12-133(1) while on approved leave.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-12-138, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-12-138, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-12-138, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-12-138, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 04-18-039, 182-12-138, filed 8/26/04, effective 1/1/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 09-02, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10)

WAC 182-12-146   What options for continuation coverage are available to subscribers and dependents who become eligible under COBRA?   An enrollee can continue health plan coverage by self-paying the full premium set by the health care authority (HCA) in accordance with Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) regulations in the following circumstances:

(1) An employee((s and eligible)) or an employee's dependent((s)) who ((become ineligible)) loses eligibility for the employer contribution toward public employees benefits board (PEBB) insurance coverage and who ((qualify)) qualifies for continuation coverage under ((the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act ())COBRA(())) may continue ((their)) medical ((and)), dental ((by self-paying the full premium set by the HCA in accordance with COBRA statutes and regulations)), or both.

(2) An employee or an employee's dependent who ((is no longer eligible)) loses eligibility for continuation coverage ((as described)) in WAC 182-12-133, 182-12-138, 182-12-141, 182-12-142, or 182-12-148((,)) but who has not used the maximum number of months allowed under COBRA((,)) may continue medical ((and)), dental, or both for the remaining difference in months ((by self-paying the premium under COBRA as described in subsection (1) of this section)).

(3) A retired ((and)) or disabled employee((s)) who ((become ineligible)) loses eligibility for PEBB retiree insurance because an employer group, with the exception of school districts and educational service districts, ceases participation in PEBB insurance coverage may continue ((their)) medical ((and)), dental ((by self-paying the full premium set by the HCA, in accordance with COBRA statutes and regulations)), or both.

(4) A retired or disabled employee, or a dependent of a retired or disabled employee, who is no longer eligible to continue coverage under WAC 182-12-171 may continue medical, dental, or both.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-12-146, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-12-146, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 04-18-039, 182-12-146, filed 8/26/04, effective 1/1/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 09-02, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10)

WAC 182-12-148   What options for continuation coverage are available to employees during their appeal of dismissal?   (1) Employees awaiting hearing of a dismissal action before any of the following may continue their insurance coverage by self-paying the full premium set by the health care authority (HCA), with no contribution from the employer, on the same terms as an employee who is granted leave as described in WAC 182-12-133:

(a) The personnel resources board;

(b) An arbitrator; or

(c) A grievance or appeals committee established under a collective bargaining agreement for union represented employees.

(2) If the dismissal is upheld, all insurance coverage will end at the end of the month in which the decision is entered, or the date to which premiums have been paid, whichever is ((earlier)) later, with the exception described in subsection (3) of this section.

(3) If the dismissal is upheld and the employee is eligible under the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), the employee may continue medical and dental for the remaining months available under COBRA. See WAC 182-12-146 for information on COBRA. The number of months the employee self-paid premiums during the appeal will count toward the total number of months allowed under COBRA.

(4) If the board, arbitrator, committee, or court sustains the employee in the appeal and directs reinstatement of employer paid insurance coverage retroactively, the employing agency must forward to HCA the full employer contribution for the period directed by the board, arbitrator, committee, or court and collect from the employee the employee's share of premiums due, if any.

(a) HCA will refund to the employee any premiums the employee paid that may be provided for as a result of the reinstatement of the employer contribution only if the employee makes retroactive payment of any employee contribution amounts associated with the insurance coverage. In the alternative, at the request of the employee, HCA may deduct the employee's contribution from the refund of any premiums self-paid by the employee during the appeal period.

(b) All optional life and optional long-term disability insurance which was in force at the time of dismissal shall be reinstated retroactively only if the employee makes retroactive payment of premium for any such optional coverage which was not continued by self-payment during the appeal process. If the employee chooses not to pay the retroactive premium, evidence of insurability will be required to restore such optional coverage.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-12-148, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-12-148, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160, 41.05.350, and 41.05.165. 05-16-046 (Order 05-01), 182-12-148, filed 7/27/05, effective 8/27/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 04-18-039, 182-12-148, filed 8/26/04, effective 1/1/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-12-171   When are retiring employees eligible to enroll in retiree insurance?   (1) Procedural requirements. Retiring employees must meet these procedural requirements, as well as have substantive eligibility under subsection (2) or (3) of this section.

(a) The employee must submit the appropriate forms to enroll or defer insurance coverage within sixty days after the employee's employer paid or COBRA coverage ends. The effective date of health plan enrollment will be the first day of the month following the loss of other coverage.


Exception: The effective dates of health plan enrollment for retirees who defer enrollment in a PEBB health plan at or after retirement are identified in WAC 182-12-200 and 182-12-205.

Employees who do not enroll in a public employees benefits board (PEBB) health plan at retirement are only eligible to enroll at a later date if they have deferred enrollment as identified in WAC 182-12-200 or 182-12-205 and maintained comprehensive employer-sponsored medical as defined in WAC 182-12-109.

(b) The employee and enrolled dependents who are entitled to medicare must enroll and maintain enrollment in both medicare parts A and B if the employee retired after July 1, 1991. If the employee or an enrolled dependent becomes entitled to medicare after enrollment in PEBB retiree insurance, he or she must enroll and maintain enrollment in medicare.


Note: If an enrollee who is entitled to medicare does not meet this procedural requirement, the enrollee is no longer eligible for enrollment in PEBB retiree insurance. The enrollee may continue PEBB health plan enrollment under COBRA (see WAC 182-12-146).

(2) Eligibility requirements. Eligible employees (as defined in WAC 182-12-114 and 182-12-131) who end public employment after becoming vested in a Washington state-sponsored retirement plan (as defined in subsection (4) of this section) are eligible to continue PEBB insurance coverage as a retiree if they meet procedural and eligibility requirements. To be eligible to continue PEBB insurance coverage as a retiree, the employee must be eligible to retire under a Washington state-sponsored retirement plan when the employee's employer paid or COBRA coverage ends.

Employees who do not meet their Washington state-sponsored retirement plan's age requirement((s)) when their employer paid or COBRA coverage ends, but who meet the age requirement within sixty days of coverage ending, may request that their eligibility be reviewed by the PEBB appeals committee to determine eligibility (see WAC 182-16-032). Employees must meet retiree insurance election procedural requirements.

(()) Employees must immediately begin to receive a monthly retirement plan payment, with exceptions described below.

Employees who receive a lump-sum payment instead of a monthly retirement plan payment are only eligible if ((this is required by)) the department of retirement systems ((because their monthly retirement plan payment is below the minimum payment that can be paid)) offered the employee the choice between a lump sum actuarially equivalent payment and the ongoing monthly payment, as allowed by the plan.

Employees who are members of a Plan 3 retirement, also called separated employees (defined in RCW 41.05.011(((15))) (20)), are eligible if they meet their Plan 3 retirement plan's eligibility criteria when PEBB employee insurance coverage ends. They do not have to receive a retirement plan payment.

Employees who are members of a Washington higher education retirement plan are eligible if they immediately begin to receive a monthly retirement plan payment, or meet their plan's retirement eligibility criteria, or are at least age fifty-five with ten years of state service.

(( Employees who are permanently and totally disabled are eligible if they start receiving or defer a monthly disability retirement plan payment.))

Employees not retiring under a Washington state-sponsored retirement plan must meet the same age and years of service as if the person had been employed as a member of either public employees retirement system Plan 1 or Plan 2 for the same period of employment.

Employees who retire from a local government or tribal government that participates in PEBB insurance coverage for their employees are eligible to continue PEBB insurance coverage as retirees if the employees meet the procedural and eligibility requirements under this section.

(a) Local government employees. If the local government ends participation in PEBB insurance coverage, employees who enrolled after September 15, 1991, are no longer eligible for PEBB retiree insurance. These employees may continue PEBB health plan enrollment under COBRA (see WAC 182-12-146).

(b) Tribal government employees. If a tribal government ends participation in PEBB insurance coverage, its employees are no longer eligible for PEBB retiree insurance. These employees may continue PEBB health plan enrollment under COBRA (see WAC 182-12-146).

(c) Washington state K-12 school district and educational service district employees for districts that do not participate in PEBB benefits. Employees of Washington state K-12 school districts and educational service districts who separate from employment after becoming vested in a Washington state-sponsored retirement system are eligible to enroll in PEBB health plans when retired or permanently and totally disabled.

Except for employees who are members of a retirement Plan 3, employees who separate on or after October 1, 1993, must immediately begin to receive a monthly retirement plan payment from a Washington state-sponsored retirement system. Employees who receive a lump-sum payment instead of a monthly retirement plan payment are only eligible if the department of retirement systems ((requires this because their monthly retirement plan payment is below the minimum payment that can be paid)) offered the employee the choice between a lump sum actuarially equivalent payment and the ongoing monthly payment, as allowed by the plan or ((they)) the employee enrolled before 1995.

Employees who are members of a Plan 3 retirement, also called separated employees (defined in RCW 41.05.011(((15))) (20)), are eligible if they meet their Plan 3 retirement plan's eligibility criteria when employer paid or COBRA coverage ends.

((Employees who separate from employment due to total and permanent disability, and are eligible for a deferred retirement allowance under a Washington state-sponsored retirement system (as defined in chapter 41.32, 41.35 or 41.40 RCW) are eligible if they enrolled before 1995 or within sixty days following retirement.))

Employees who retired as of September 30, 1993, and began receiving a retirement allowance from a state-sponsored retirement system (as defined in chapter 41.32, 41.35 or 41.40 RCW) are eligible if they enrolled in a PEBB health plan not later than the HCA's annual open enrollment period for the year beginning January 1, 1995.

(3) Elected and full-time appointed officials of the legislative and executive branches. Employees who are elected and full-time appointed state officials (as defined under WAC 182-12-114(4)) who voluntarily or involuntarily leave public office are eligible to continue PEBB insurance coverage as a retiree if they meet the procedural ((and eligibility)) requirements in subsection (1) of this section. They do not have to meet the age and years of service requirements to receive a retirement plan payment from a state-sponsored retirement system.

(4) Washington state-sponsored retirement systems include:

Higher education retirement plans;

Law enforcement officers' and firefighters' retirement system;

Public employees' retirement system;

Public safety employees' retirement system;

School employees' retirement system;

State judges/judicial retirement system;

Teachers' retirement system; and

State patrol retirement system.

The two federal retirement systems, Civil Service Retirement System and Federal Employees' Retirement System, are considered a Washington state-sponsored retirement system for Washington State University Extension employees covered under the PEBB insurance coverage at the time of retirement or disability.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-12-171, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-12-171, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-12-171, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-12-171, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-12-171, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07; 06-11-156 (Order 06-02), 182-12-171, filed 5/24/06, effective 6/24/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160, 41.05.350, and 41.05.165. 05-16-046 (Order 05-01), 182-12-171, filed 7/27/05, effective 8/27/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 04-18-039, 182-12-171, filed 8/26/04, effective 1/1/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-12-205   May a retiree defer enrollment in a public employees benefits board (PEBB) health plan at or after retirement?   Except as stated in subsection (1)(c) of this section, if retirees defer enrollment in a PEBB health plan, they also defer enrollment for all eligible dependents. Retirees may not defer their retiree term life insurance, even if they have other life insurance, except as allowed in WAC 182-12-209(3).

(1) Retirees may defer enrollment in a PEBB health plan at or after retirement if continuously enrolled in other comprehensive employer-sponsored medical as identified below:

(a) Beginning January 1, 2001, retirees may defer enrollment if they are enrolled in comprehensive employer-sponsored medical as an employee or the dependent of an employee.

(b) Beginning January 1, 2001, retirees may defer enrollment if they are enrolled in medical as a retiree or the dependent of a retiree enrolled in a federal retiree plan.

(c) Beginning January 1, 2006, retirees may defer enrollment if they are enrolled in medicare Parts A and B and a medicaid program that provides creditable coverage as defined in this chapter. The retiree's dependents may continue their PEBB health plan enrollment if they meet PEBB eligibility criteria and are not eligible for creditable coverage under a medicaid program.

(2) To defer health plan enrollment, the retiree must submit the appropriate forms to the PEBB program requesting to defer. The PEBB program must receive the form before health plan enrollment is deferred or no later than sixty days after the date the retiree becomes eligible to apply for PEBB retiree insurance coverage.

(3) Retirees who defer may enroll in a PEBB health plan as follows:

(a) Retirees who defer while enrolled in comprehensive employer-sponsored medical may enroll in a PEBB health plan by submitting the appropriate forms and evidence of continuous enrollment in comprehensive employer-sponsored medical to the PEBB program:

(i) During annual open enrollment. ((())PEBB health plan ((will)) coverage begins January 1st ((after the annual open enrollment.))) of the following year; or

(ii) No later than sixty days after their comprehensive employer-sponsored medical ends. ((())PEBB health plan ((will)) coverage begins the first day of the month after the comprehensive employer-sponsored medical ends.(()))

(b) Retirees who defer enrollment while enrolled as a retiree or dependent of a retiree in a federal retiree medical plan will have a one-time opportunity to enroll in a PEBB health plan by submitting the appropriate forms and evidence of continuous enrollment in a federal retiree medical plan to the PEBB program:

(i) During annual open enrollment. ((())PEBB health plan ((will)) coverage begins January 1st ((after the annual open enrollment.))) of the following year; or

(ii) No later than sixty days after the federal retiree medical ends. (((Enrollment in the)) PEBB health plan ((will)) coverage begins the first day of the month after the federal retiree medical ends.(()))

(c) Retirees who defer enrollment while enrolled in medicare Parts A and B and a medicaid program that provides creditable coverage as defined in this chapter may enroll in a PEBB health plan by submitting the appropriate forms and evidence of continuous enrollment in creditable coverage to the PEBB program:

(i) During annual open enrollment. (((Enrollment in the)) PEBB health plan ((will)) coverage begins January 1st ((after the annual open enrollment.))) of the following year; or

(ii) No later than sixty days after their medicaid coverage ends (((Enrollment in the)). PEBB health plan ((will)) coverage begins the first day of the month after the medicaid coverage ends((.))); or

(iii) No later than the end of the calendar year when their medicaid coverage ends if the retiree was also determined eligible under 42 U.S.C. 1395w-114 and subsequently enrolled in a medicare Part D plan. ((())Enrollment in the PEBB health plan will begin January 1st following the end of the calendar year when the medicaid coverage ends.(()))

(d) Retirees who defer enrollment may enroll in a PEBB health plan if the retiree receives formal notice that the department of social and health services has determined it is more cost-effective to enroll the retiree or the retiree's eligible dependent(s) in PEBB medical than a medical assistance program.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-12-205, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-12-205, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-12-205, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-12-205, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 08-09-027 (Order 08-01), 182-12-205, filed 4/8/08, effective 4/9/08; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-12-205, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.068. 06-23-165 (Order 06-09), 182-12-205, filed 11/22/06, effective 12/23/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160, 41.05.350, and 41.05.165. 05-16-046 (Order 05-01), 182-12-205, filed 7/27/05, effective 8/27/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 04-18-039, 182-12-205, filed 8/26/04, effective 1/1/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-12-250   Insurance coverage eligibility for survivors of emergency service personnel killed in the line of duty.   Surviving spouses, ((Washington)) state registered domestic partners, and dependent children of emergency service personnel who are killed in the line of duty are eligible to enroll in health plans administered by the public employees benefits board (PEBB) program within health care authority (HCA).

(1) This section applies to the surviving spouse, the surviving ((Washington)) state registered domestic partner, and dependent children of emergency service personnel "killed in the line of duty" as determined by the Washington state department of labor and industries.

(2) "Emergency service personnel" means law enforcement officers and firefighters as defined in RCW 41.26.030, members of the Washington state patrol retirement fund as defined in RCW 43.43.120, and reserve officers and firefighters as defined in RCW 41.24.010.

(3) "Surviving spouse, ((Washington)) state registered domestic partner, and dependent children" means:

(a) A lawful spouse;

(b) An ex-spouse as defined in RCW 41.26.162;

(c) A ((Washington)) state registered domestic partner as defined in RCW 26.60.020(1); and

(d) Children. The term "children" includes children of the emergency service worker up to age twenty-six. Children with disabilities as defined in RCW 41.26.030(((7))) (6) are eligible at any age. "Children" is defined as:

(i) Biological children (including the emergency service worker's posthumous children);

(ii) Stepchildren or children of a ((Washington)) state registered domestic partner; and

(iii) Legally adopted children.

(4) Surviving spouses, ((Washington)) state registered domestic partners, and children who are entitled to medicare must enroll in both parts A and B of medicare.

(5) The survivor (or agent acting on their behalf) must submit the appropriate forms (to either enroll or defer enrollment in a PEBB health plan) to PEBB program no later than one hundred eighty days after the ((latter)) later of:

(a) The death of the emergency service worker;

(b) The date on the letter from the department of retirement systems or the board for volunteer firefighters and reserve officers that informs the survivor that he or she is determined to be an eligible survivor;

(c) The last day the surviving spouse, ((Washington)) state registered domestic partner, or child was covered under any health plan through the emergency service worker's employer; or

(d) The last day the surviving spouse, ((Washington)) state registered domestic partner, or child was covered under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) coverage from the emergency service worker's employer.

(6) Survivors who do not choose to defer enrollment in a PEBB health plan may choose among the following options for when their enrollment in a PEBB health plan will begin:

(a) June 1, 2006, for survivors whose appropriate forms are received by the PEBB program no later than September 1, 2006;

(b) The first of the month that is not earlier than sixty days before the date that the PEBB program receives the appropriate forms (for example, if the PEBB program receives the appropriate forms on August 29, the survivor may request health plan enrollment to begin on July 1); or

(c) The first of the month after the date that the PEBB program receives the appropriate forms.

For surviving spouses, ((Washington)) state registered domestic partners, and children who enroll, monthly health plan premiums must be paid by the survivor except as provided in RCW 41.26.510(5) and 43.43.285 (2)(b).

(7) Survivors must choose one of the following two options to maintain eligibility for PEBB insurance coverage:

(a) Enroll in a PEBB health plan:

(i) Enroll in medical; or

(ii) Enroll in medical and dental.

(iii) Survivors enrolling in dental must stay enrolled in dental for at least two years before dental can be dropped.

(iv) Dental only is not an option.

(b) Defer enrollment:

(i) Survivors may defer enrollment in a PEBB health plan if enrolled in comprehensive employer-sponsored medical.

(ii) Survivors may enroll in a PEBB health plan when they lose comprehensive employer-sponsored medical. Survivors will need to provide evidence that they were continuously enrolled in comprehensive employer-sponsored medical when applying for a PEBB health plan, and apply within sixty days after the date their other coverage ended.

(iii) PEBB health plan enrollment and premiums will begin the first day of the month following the day that the other coverage ended for eligible spouses and children who enroll.

(8) Survivors may change their health plan during annual open enrollment. In addition to annual open enrollment, survivors may change health plans as described in WAC 182-08-198.

(9) Survivors will lose their right to enroll in a PEBB health plan if they:

(a) Do not apply to enroll or defer PEBB health plan enrollment within the timelines stated in subsection (5) of this section; or

(b) Do not maintain continuous enrollment in comprehensive employer-sponsored medical through an employer during the deferral period, as provided in subsection (7)(b)(i) of this section.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-12-250, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-12-250, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-12-250, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-12-250, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-12-250, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.080. 06-20-099 (Order 06-08), 182-12-250, filed 10/3/06, effective 11/3/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 04-18-039, 182-12-250, filed 8/26/04, effective 1/1/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-12-260   Who are eligible dependents?   To be enrolled in a health plan, a dependent must be eligible under this section and the subscriber must comply with enrollment procedures outlined in WAC 182-12-262.

The public employees benefits board (PEBB) program verifies the eligibility of all dependents and reserves the right to request documents from subscribers that provide evidence of a dependent's eligibility. The PEBB program will remove a subscriber's enrolled dependents from health plan enrollment if the PEBB program is unable to verify a dependent's eligibility. The PEBB program will not enroll or reenroll dependents into a health plan if the PEBB program is unable to verify a dependent's eligibility.

The subscriber must notify the PEBB program, in writing, no later than sixty days after the date his or her dependent is no longer eligible under this section. See WAC 182-12-262 (2)(a) for the consequences of not removing an ineligible dependent from coverage.

The following are eligible as dependents ((under the PEBB eligibility rules)):

(1) Lawful spouse. Former spouses are not eligible dependents upon finalization of a divorce or annulment, even if a court order requires the subscriber to provide health insurance for the former spouse.

(2) Domestic partner.

(a) Effective January 1, 2010, ((Washington)) a state registered domestic partner((s)), as defined in RCW 26.60.020(1).

(b) A domestic partner who was qualified under PEBB eligibility criteria as a domestic partner before January 1, 2010, and was continuously enrolled under the subscriber in a PEBB health plan or life insurance.

(c) Former ((Washington)) state registered domestic partners are not eligible dependents upon dissolution or termination of a partnership, even if a court order requires the subscriber to provide health insurance for the former partner.

(3) Children. Children are defined as the subscriber's biological children, stepchildren, legally adopted children, children for whom the subscriber has assumed a legal obligation for total or partial support in anticipation of adoption of the child, children of the subscriber's ((Washington)) state registered domestic partner, or children specified in a court order or divorce decree. In addition, children include extended dependents in the legal custody or legal guardianship of the subscriber, the subscriber's spouse, or subscriber's ((Washington)) state registered domestic partner. The legal responsibility is demonstrated by a valid court order and the child's official residence with the custodian or guardian. "Children" does not include foster children for whom support payments are made to the subscriber through the state department of social and health services foster care program.

Eligible children include:

(a) Children up to age twenty-six.

(b) Effective January 1, 2011, children of any age with ((disabilities)) a disability, mental illness, or intellectual or other developmental ((disabilities)) disability who are incapable of self-support, provided such condition occurs before age twenty-six.

(i) The subscriber must provide evidence of the disability and evidence that the condition occurred before age twenty-six:

(ii) The subscriber must notify the PEBB program, in writing, no later than sixty days after the date that a child age twenty-six or older no longer qualifies under this subsection.

For example, children who become self-supporting are not eligible under this subsection as of the last day of the month in which they become capable of self-support.

(iii) Children age twenty-six and older who become capable of self-support do not regain eligibility under (b) of this subsection if they later become incapable of self-support.

(iv) The PEBB program will certify the eligibility of children with disabilities periodically.

(4) Parents.

(a) Parents covered under PEBB medical before July 1, 1990, may continue enrollment on a self-pay basis as long as:

(i) The parent maintains continuous enrollment in PEBB medical;

(ii) The parent qualifies under the Internal Revenue Code as a dependent of the subscriber;

(iii) The subscriber continues enrollment in PEBB insurance coverage; and

(iv) The parent is not covered by any other group medical plan.

(b) Parents eligible under this subsection may be enrolled with a different health plan than that selected by the subscriber. Parents may not add additional dependents to their insurance coverage.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-12-260, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-12-260, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-12-260, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-12-260, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-12-260, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160, 41.05.350, and 41.05.165. 05-16-046 (Order 05-01), 182-12-260, filed 7/27/05, effective 8/27/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 04-18-039, 182-12-260, filed 8/26/04, effective 1/1/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-12-262   When may subscribers enroll or remove eligible dependents?   (1) Enrolling dependents in health plan coverage. A dependent must be enrolled in the same health plan coverage as the subscriber, and the subscriber must be enrolled to enroll his or her dependent except as provided in WAC 182-12-205 (1)(c). Subscribers may enroll eligible dependents at the following times:

(a) When the subscriber becomes eligible and enrolls in public employees benefits board (PEBB) insurance coverage. If eligibility is verified and the dependent is enrolled, the dependent's effective date will be the same as the subscriber's effective date.

(b) During the annual open enrollment. PEBB health plan coverage begins January 1st of the following year.

(c) During special open enrollment. Subscribers may enroll dependents during a special open enrollment as described in subsection (3) of this section. The subscriber must satisfy the enrollment requirements as described in subsection (4) of this section.

(2) Removing dependents from a subscriber's health plan coverage.

(a) ((Subscribers are required to remove a dependent within sixty days of the date the dependent no longer)) A dependent's eligibility for enrollment in health plan coverage ends the last day of the month the dependent meets the eligibility criteria in WAC 182-12-250 or 182-12-260. Employees must notify their employing agency. All other subscribers must notify the PEBB program. ((The PEBB program will remove a subscriber's enrolled dependent the last day of the month in which the dependent ceases to meet the eligibility criteria.)) Consequences for not submitting notice within sixty days of any dependent ceasing to be eligible may include, but are not limited to:

(i) The dependent may lose eligibility to continue health plan coverage under one of the continuation coverage options described in WAC 182-12-270;

(ii) The subscriber may be billed for claims paid by the health plan for services that were rendered after the dependent lost eligibility;

(iii) The subscriber may not be able to recover subscriber-paid insurance premiums for dependents that lost their eligibility; and

(iv) The subscriber may be responsible for premiums paid by the state for the dependent's health plan coverage after the dependent lost eligibility.

(b) Employees have the opportunity to remove dependents:

(i) During the annual open enrollment. The dependent will be removed the last day of December; or

(ii) During a special open enrollment as described in subsections (3) and (4)(f) of this section.

(c) Retirees, survivors, and enrollees with PEBB continuation coverage under WAC 182-12-133, 182-12-141, 182-12-142, 182-12-146, or 182-12-148 may remove dependents from their coverage outside of the annual open enrollment or a special open enrollment by providing written notice to the PEBB program. Unless otherwise approved by the PEBB program, the dependent will be removed from the subscriber's coverage prospectively.

(3) Special open enrollment. Subscribers may enroll or remove their dependents outside of the annual open enrollment if a special open enrollment event occurs. The change in enrollment must correspond to the event that creates the special open enrollment for either the subscriber ((or)), the subscriber's dependents or both.

Health plan coverage will begin the first of the month following the later of the event date or the date the form is received.

Enrollment of extended dependents or dependents with a disability will be the first day of the month following eligibility certification.

Dependents will be removed from the subscriber's health plan coverage the last day of the month following the later of the event date or the date the form is received.

If the special open enrollment is due to the birth or adoption of a child, or when the subscriber has assumed a legal obligation for total or partial support in anticipation of adoption of a child, health plan coverage will begin or end the month in which the event occurs.

Any one of the following events may create a special open enrollment:

(a) Subscriber acquires a new dependent due to:

(i) Marriage or registering a domestic partnership ((with Washington's secretary of state));

(ii) Birth, adoption, or when a subscriber has assumed a legal obligation for total or partial support in anticipation of adoption;

(iii) A child becoming eligible as an extended dependent through legal custody or legal guardianship; or

(iv) A child becoming eligible as a dependent with a disability;

(b) Subscriber or a subscriber's dependent loses other coverage under a group health plan or through health insurance coverage, as defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA);

(c) Subscriber or a subscriber's dependent has a change in employment status that affects the subscriber's or the subscriber's dependent's eligibility for the employer contribution toward group health coverage;

(d) Subscriber ((receives)) or subscriber's dependent has a change in enrollment under another employer plan during its annual open enrollment that does not align with the PEBB program's annual open enrollment;

(e) Subscriber's dependent has a change in residence from outside of the United States to within the United States;

(f) A court order or national medical support ((order requiring)) notice (see also WAC 182-12-263) requires the subscriber((, the subscriber's spouse, or the subscriber's Washington state registered domestic partner)) or any other individual to provide insurance coverage for an eligible dependent of the subscriber (a former spouse or former registered domestic partner is not an eligible dependent);

(((e))) (g) Subscriber or a subscriber's dependent becomes eligible for state premium assistance through medicaid or a state children's health insurance program (CHIP), or the subscriber or dependent loses eligibility for coverage under medicaid or CHIP.

(4) Enrollment requirements. Subscribers must submit the appropriate forms within the time frames described in this subsection. Employees submit the appropriate forms to their employing agency. All other subscribers submit the appropriate forms to the PEBB program. In addition to the appropriate forms indicating dependent enrollment, the subscriber must provide the required documents as evidence of the dependent's eligibility; or as evidence of the event that created the special open enrollment.

(a) If a subscriber wants to enroll their eligible dependent(s) when the subscriber becomes eligible to enroll in PEBB benefits, the subscriber must include the dependent's enrollment information on the appropriate forms that the subscriber submits within the relevant time frame described in WAC 182-08-197, 182-12-171, or 182-12-250.

(b) If a subscriber wants to enroll eligible dependents during the annual open enrollment, the subscriber must submit the appropriate forms no later than the last day of the annual open enrollment.

(c) If a subscriber wants to enroll newly eligible dependents, the subscriber must submit the appropriate enrollment forms no later than sixty days after the dependent becomes eligible except as provided in (d) of this subsection.

(d) If a subscriber wants to enroll a newborn or child whom the subscriber has adopted or has assumed a legal obligation for total or partial support in anticipation of adoption, the subscriber should notify the PEBB program by submitting an enrollment form as soon as possible to ensure timely payment of claims. If adding the child increases the premium, the subscriber must submit the appropriate enrollment form no later than twelve months after the date of the birth, adoption, or the date the legal obligation is assumed for total or partial support in anticipation of adoption.

(e) If the subscriber wants to enroll a child age twenty-six or older as a child with ((disabilities)) a disability, the subscriber must submit the appropriate form(s) no later than sixty days after the last day of the month in which the child reaches age twenty-six or within the relevant time frame described in WAC 182-12-262 (4)(a), (b), and (f).

(f) If the subscriber wants to change a dependent's enrollment status during a special open enrollment, the subscriber must submit the appropriate forms no later than sixty days after the event that creates the special open enrollment.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-12-262, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-12-262, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-12-262, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-12-262, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 08-09-027 (Order 08-01), 182-12-262, filed 4/8/08, effective 4/9/08.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 182-12-263   National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) or court order.   When a National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) or court order requires a subscriber to provide health plan coverage for a dependent child the following provisions apply:

(1) The subscriber may enroll the dependent child and request changes to his or her health plan coverage as described under subsection (3) of this section. Employees submit the appropriate forms to their employing agency. All other subscribers submit the appropriate forms to the PEBB program.

(2) If the subscriber fails to request enrollment or health plan coverage changes as directed by the NMSN or court order, the employing agency or the PEBB program may make enrollment or health plan coverage changes according to subsection (3) of this section upon request of:

(a) The child's other parent; or

(b) Child support enforcement program.

(3) Changes to health plan coverage or enrollment are allowed as directed by the NMSN or court order:

(a) The dependent will be enrolled under the subscriber's health plan coverage as directed by the NMSN or court order;

(b) An employee who has waived medical under WAC 182-12-128 will be enrolled in medical coverage as directed by the NMSN or court order, in order to enroll the dependent;

(c) The subscriber's selected health plan will be changed if directed by the NMSN or court order;

(d) If the dependent is already enrolled under another PEBB subscriber, the dependent will be removed from the other health plan coverage and enrolled as directed by the NMSN or court order.

(4) Health plan enrollment will begin the first day of the month following receipt of the NMSN or court order. If the NMSN or court order requires a change from the subscriber's selected health plan, the change will begin the first day of the month following receipt of the NMSN or court order.

[]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-12-265   What options for continuing health plan enrollment are available to widows, widowers and dependent children if the employee or retiree dies?   The ((surviving)) dependent of an eligible employee or retiree who meets the eligibility criteria in subsection (1), (2), or (3) of this section is eligible to enroll ((in)) as a survivor under public employees benefits board (PEBB) retiree insurance coverage ((as a surviving dependent)). An eligible ((surviving spouse, Washington state registered domestic partner, or child must)) survivor must submit the appropriate forms to enroll ((in)) or defer enrollment in a PEBB medical plan no later than sixty days after the date of the employee's or retiree's death.

(1) ((Dependents)) An employee's spouse, state registered domestic partner or child who ((lose)) loses eligibility due to the death of an eligible employee may ((continue enrollment in a PEBB health plan)) enroll or defer enrollment as a survivor under retiree insurance coverage provided they immediately begin receiving a monthly retirement benefit from any state of Washington sponsored retirement system.

(a) The employee's spouse or ((Washington)) state registered domestic partner may continue health plan enrollment until death.

(b) The employee's children may continue health plan enrollment until they lose eligibility under ((PEBB rules)) WAC 182-12-260.

(((c) If a surviving spouse, Washington state registered domestic partner, or child of an eligible employee is not eligible for a monthly retirement benefit (or a lump-sum payment because the monthly pension payment would be less than the minimum amount established by the department of retirement systems) the dependent is not eligible for PEBB retiree insurance as a survivor. However, the dependent may continue health plan enrollment under provisions of the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) or WAC 182-12-270.

(d) The two federal retirement systems, Civil Service Retirement System and Federal Employees Retirement System, shall be considered a Washington sponsored retirement system for Washington State University extension service employees who were covered under PEBB insurance coverage at the time of death.))


Note: If a spouse, state registered domestic partner, or child of an eligible employee is not eligible for a monthly retirement benefit, the dependent is not eligible to enroll as a survivor under retiree insurance coverage. However, the dependent may continue health plan enrollment as described in WAC 182-12-146.

(2) ((Dependents)) A retiree's spouse, state registered domestic partner or child who ((lose)) loses eligibility due to the death of ((a PEBB)) an eligible retiree may ((continue health plan)) enroll or defer enrollment as a survivor under retiree insurance.

(a) The retiree's spouse or ((Washington)) state registered domestic partner may continue health plan enrollment until death.

(b) The retiree's children may continue health plan enrollment until they lose eligibility under ((PEBB rules)) WAC 182-12-260.

(c) ((Dependents, who are)) If a spouse, state registered domestic partner or child of an eligible retiree is not enrolled in a PEBB health plan at the time of the retiree's death, ((are)) the dependent is eligible to enroll or defer enrollment in a PEBB health plan as a survivor under retiree insurance. ((A)) The dependent must submit the appropriate form(s) to enroll or defer PEBB health plan enrollment ((must be hand-delivered or mailed to the PEBB program)) no later than sixty days after the retiree's death. To enroll in a PEBB health plan, the dependent must provide ((satisfactory)) evidence of continuous enrollment in ((other)) medical coverage from the most recent open enrollment for which ((enrollment)) the dependent was not enrolled in a PEBB ((was deferred)) medical plan prior to the retiree's death.

(3) ((Surviving)) The spouse((s)), ((Washington)) state registered domestic partner((s)), or ((eligible children)) child of a deceased school district or educational service district employee ((who were not enrolled)) is eligible to enroll or defer enrollment in a health plan as a survivor under PEBB retiree insurance coverage at the time of the ((subscriber's)) employee's death ((may enroll in a PEBB health plan)) provided the employee died on or after October 1, 1993((, and)). The dependent(((s))) must immediately ((began)) begin receiving a retirement benefit allowance under chapter 41.32, 41.35 or 41.40 RCW and submit the appropriate form to enroll or defer enrollment in a PEBB medical plan no later than sixty days after the date of the employee's death.

(a) The employee's spouse or ((Washington)) state registered domestic partner may continue health plan enrollment until death.

(b) The employee's children may continue health plan enrollment until they lose eligibility under ((PEBB rules)) WAC 182-12-260.

(4) ((Surviving dependents must notify the PEBB program of their decision to enroll or defer enrollment in a PEBB health plan no later than sixty days after the date of death of the employee or retiree.


Note:)) If a premium payment received by the authority is sufficient to maintain health plan enrollment ((continues)) after the employee's or retiree's death, the PEBB program will consider the payment as notice of the survivor's intent to continue enrollment.

If ((PEBB health plan)) the dependent's enrollment ended due to the death of the employee or retiree, the PEBB program will reinstate ((health plan)) the survivor's enrollment without a gap subject to payment of premium.

(5) In order to avoid duplication of group medical coverage, surviving dependents may defer enrollment in a PEBB health plan under WAC 182-12-200 and 182-12-205. ((To notify the PEBB program of their intent to enroll or defer enrollment in a PEBB health plan, the surviving dependent must submit the appropriate forms to the PEBB program no later than sixty days after the date of death of the employee or retiree.))

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-12-265, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-12-265, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-12-265, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-12-265, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.068. 06-23-165 (Order 06-09), 182-12-265, filed 11/22/06, effective 12/23/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160, 41.05.350, and 41.05.165. 05-16-046 (Order 05-01), 182-12-265, filed 7/27/05, effective 8/27/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 04-18-039, 182-12-265, filed 8/26/04, effective 1/1/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 09-02, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10)

WAC 182-12-270   What options for continuation coverage are available to dependents who cease to meet the eligibility criteria in WAC 182-12-260?   If eligible, dependents may continue health plan enrollment under one of the continuation coverage options in subsection (1) or (2) of this section by self-paying the full premiums set by the health care authority (HCA), with no contribution from the employer, following their loss of eligibility under the subscriber's health plan coverage. The public employees benefits board (PEBB) program must receive the appropriate forms as outlined in the PEBB Initial Notice of COBRA and Continuation Coverage Rights. Options for continuing health plan enrollment are based on the reason that eligibility was lost.

(1) Spouses, ((Washington)) state registered domestic partners, or children who lose eligibility due to the death of an employee or retiree may be eligible to continue health plan enrollment under provisions of WAC 182-12-250 or 182-12-265; or

(2) Dependents who lose eligibility because they no longer meet the eligibility criteria in WAC 182-12-260 are eligible to continue health plan enrollment under provisions of the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). See WAC 182-12-146 for more information on COBRA.


Exception: A ((qualified domestic partner)) dependent who loses eligibility because ((he or she no longer meets the eligibility criteria in WAC 182-12-260)) a domestic partnership or same-sex marriage is dissolved may continue health plan enrollment under an extension of PEBB insurance coverage for a maximum of thirty-six months.

No PEBB continuation coverage will be offered unless the PEBB program is notified through hand-delivery or United States Postal Service mail of the qualifying event as outlined in the PEBB Initial Notice of COBRA and Continuation Coverage Rights.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-12-270, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-12-270, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-12-270, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160, 41.05.350, and 41.05.165. 05-16-046 (Order 05-01), 182-12-270, filed 7/27/05, effective 8/27/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 41.05.165. 04-18-039, 182-12-270, filed 8/26/04, effective 1/1/05.]


REPEALER

     The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
WAC 182-12-175 May a local government entity or tribal government entity applying for participation in PEBB insurance coverage include their retirees in the transfer unit?

OTS-4882.2


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 08-03, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09)

WAC 182-16-010   Adoption of model rules of procedure.   The model rules of procedure adopted by the chief administrative law judge pursuant to RCW 34.05.250, as now or hereafter amended, are hereby adopted for use by ((this agency)) the authority in public employees benefits board (PEBB) benefits related proceedings. Those rules may be found in chapter 10-08 WAC. Other procedural rules adopted in this title are supplementary to the model rules of procedure. In the case of a conflict between the model rules of procedure and the procedural rules adopted in this title, the procedural rules adopted in this title shall govern.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-16-010, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.010 and 34.05.250. 91-14-025, 182-16-010, filed 6/25/91, effective 7/26/91.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-16-020   Definitions.   As used in this chapter the term:

(("Agency")) "Authority" or "HCA" means the health care authority((;)).

"Dependent care assistance program" or "DCAP" means a benefit plan whereby state and public employees may pay for certain employment related dependent care with pretax dollars as provided in the salary reduction plan authorized in chapter 41.05 RCW.

"Director" means the director of the ((health care)) authority (((HCA) or designee;)).

"Employer group" means those employee organizations representing state civil service employees, counties, municipalities, political subdivisions, the Washington health benefit exchange, tribal governments, school districts, and educational service districts participating in PEBB insurance coverage under contractual agreement as described in WAC ((182-08-230)) 182-08-245.

"Employing agency" means a division, department, or separate agency of state government, including an institution of higher education; a county, municipality, school district, educational service district, or other political subdivision; or a tribal government covered by chapter 41.05 RCW.

"Enrollee" means a person who meets all eligibility requirements defined in chapter 182-12 WAC, who is enrolled in PEBB benefits, and for whom applicable premium payments have been made.

"Health plan" or "plan" means a medical or dental plan developed by the public employees benefits board and provided by a contracted vendor or self-insured plans administered by the HCA.

"Institutions of higher education" means the state public research universities, the public regional universities, The Evergreen State College, the community and technical colleges, and includes the higher education personnel board and the state board for community and technical colleges.

"Insurance coverage" means any health plan, life insurance, long-term care insurance, ((long-term disability)) LTD insurance, or property and casualty insurance administered as a PEBB benefit.

"LTD insurance" includes basic long-term disability insurance paid for by the employing agency and long-term disability insurance offered to employees on an optional basis.

"Medical flexible spending arrangement" or "medical FSA" means a benefit plan whereby state and public employees may reduce their salary before taxes to pay for medical expenses not reimbursed by insurance as provided in the salary reduction plan authorized in chapter 41.05 RCW.

"PEBB" means the public employees benefits board.

"PEBB appeals committee" means the committee that considers appeals relating to the administration of PEBB benefits by the PEBB program. The director has delegated the authority to hear appeals at the level below an administrative hearing to the PEBB appeals committee.

"PEBB benefits" means one or more insurance coverages or other employee benefits administered by the PEBB program within the ((HCA)) health care authority.

"PEBB program" means the program within the HCA which administers insurance and other benefits for eligible employees (as defined in WAC 182-12-114), eligible retired and disabled employees ((of the state)) (as defined in WAC 182-12-171), eligible dependents (as defined in WAC 182-12-250 and 182-12-260), and others as defined in RCW 41.05.011.

"Premium payment plan" means a benefit plan whereby state and public employees may pay their share of group health plan premiums with pretax dollars as provided in the salary reduction plan.

"Salary reduction plan" means a benefit plan whereby state and public employees may agree to a reduction of salary on a pretax basis to participate in the DCAP, medical FSA, or premium payment plan as authorized in chapter 41.05 RCW.

"State agency" means an office, department, board, commission, institution, or other separate unit or division, however designated, of the state government and all personnel thereof. It includes the legislature, executive branch, and agencies or courts within the judicial branch, as well as institutions of higher education and any unit of state government established by law.

"Subscriber" means the employee, retiree, COBRA beneficiary or eligible survivor who has been designated by the HCA as the individual to whom the HCA and contracted vendors will issue all notices, information, requests and premium bills on behalf of enrollees.

"Tribal government" means an Indian tribal government as defined in Section 3(32) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), as amended, or an agency or instrumentality of the tribal government, that has government offices principally located in this state.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-16-020, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-16-020, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-16-020, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-16-020, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.010 and 34.05.250. 91-14-025, 182-16-020, filed 6/25/91, effective 7/26/91.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-16-025   Where do members appeal decisions regarding eligibility, enrollment, premium payments, or the administration of benefits?  


Note: Eligibility decisions address whether a subscriber or a subscriber's dependent is entitled to insurance coverage, as described in public employees benefits board (PEBB) rules and policies. Enrollment decisions address the application for PEBB benefits as described in PEBB rules and policies including, but not limited to, the submission of proper documentation and meeting enrollment deadlines.

(1) Any employee of a state agency or his or her dependent aggrieved by a decision made by the employing state agency with regard to public employee benefits eligibility or enrollment may appeal that decision to the employing state agency by the process outlined in WAC 182-16-030.

(2) Any employee of an employer group or his or her dependent who is aggrieved by a decision made by an employer group with regard to PEBB eligibility or enrollment may appeal that decision to the employer group through the process established by the employer group.


Exception: Appeals by an employee of an employer group or his or her dependent based on eligibility or enrollment decisions regarding life insurance or ((long-term disability)) LTD insurance must be made to the PEBB appeals committee by the process described in WAC 182-16-032.

(3) Any subscriber or dependent aggrieved by a decision made by the PEBB program with regard to public employee benefits eligibility, enrollment, or premium payments may appeal that decision to the PEBB appeals committee by the process described in WAC 182-16-032.

(4) Any PEBB enrollee aggrieved by a decision regarding the administration of a PEBB medical plan, self-insured dental plan, insured dental plan, life insurance((, long-term care insurance, long-term disability insurance, or property and casualty)) or LTD insurance may appeal that decision by following the appeal provisions of those plans, with the exception of eligibility, enrollment, and premium payment determinations.

(5) Any PEBB enrollee aggrieved by a decision regarding the administration of PEBB long-term care insurance or property and casualty insurance may appeal that decision by following the appeal provisions of those plans.

(6) Any PEBB enrollee aggrieved by a decision regarding the medical flexible spending arrangement (FSA) or dependent care assistance program (DCAP) offered under the state's salary reduction plan may appeal that decision by the process described in WAC 182-16-036.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-16-025, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-16-025, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 10-02, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11)

WAC 182-16-030   How can an employee or an employee's dependent appeal a decision made by a state agency about eligibility or enrollment in benefits?   (1) An eligibility or enrollment decision made by an employing state agency may be appealed by submitting a written request for review to the employing state agency. The employing state agency must receive the request for review within thirty days of the date of the initial denial notice. The contents of the request for review are to be provided in accordance with WAC 182-16-040.

(a) Upon receiving the request for review, the employing state agency shall make a complete review of the initial denial by one or more staff who did not take part in the initial denial. As part of the review, the employing state agency may hold a formal meeting or hearing, but is not required to do so.

(b) The employing state agency shall render a written decision within thirty days of receiving the request for review. The written decision shall be sent to the appellant.

(c) A copy of the employing state agency's written decision shall be sent to the employing state agency's administrator or designee and to the public employees benefits board (PEBB) appeals manager. The employing state agency's written decision shall become the employing state agency's final decision effective fifteen days after the date it is rendered.

(d) The employing state agency may reverse eligibility or enrollment decisions based only on circumstances that arose due to delays caused by the employing state agency or error(s) made by the employing state agency.

(2) Any employee or employee's dependent who disagrees with the employing state agency's decision in response to a request for review, as described in subsection (1) of this section, may appeal that decision by submitting a notice of appeal to the PEBB appeals committee. The PEBB appeals manager must receive the notice of appeal within thirty days of the date of the employing state agency's written decision on the request for review.

The contents of the notice of appeal are to be provided in accordance with WAC 182-16-040.

(a) The PEBB appeals manager shall notify the appellant in writing when the notice of appeal has been received.

(b) The PEBB appeals committee shall render a written decision to the appellant within thirty days of receiving the notice of appeal. The ((written decision shall be sent to the appellant)) committee may extend the thirty-day time requirement for rendering a decision upon issuing a written finding of good cause explaining the cause for the delay.

(c) Any appellant who disagrees with the decision of the PEBB appeals committee may request an administrative hearing, as described in WAC 182-16-050.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-16-030, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-16-030, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-16-030, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-16-030, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07; 97-21-128, 182-16-030, filed 10/21/97, effective 11/21/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.010 and 34.05.250. 91-14-025, 182-16-030, filed 6/25/91, effective 7/26/91.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-16-032   How can a decision made by the public employees benefits board (PEBB) program regarding eligibility, enrollment, or premium payments; or a decision made by an employer group regarding life insurance or ((long-term disability)) LTD insurance be appealed?   (1) An eligibility, enrollment, or premium payment decision made by the public employees benefits board (PEBB) program may be appealed by submitting a notice of appeal to the PEBB appeals committee.

(2) An eligibility or enrollment decision made by an employer group regarding life insurance or ((long-term disability)) LTD insurance may be appealed by submitting a notice of appeal to the PEBB appeals committee.

(3) The contents of the notice of appeal are to be provided in accordance with WAC 182-16-040.

(4) The notice of appeal from an employee or employee's dependent must be received by the PEBB appeals manager within thirty days of the date of the denial notice.

(5) The notice of appeal from a retiree, self-pay enrollee, or dependent of a retiree or self-pay enrollee must be received by the PEBB appeals manager within sixty days of the date of the denial notice.

(6) The PEBB appeals manager shall notify the appellant in writing when the notice of appeal has been received.

(7) The PEBB appeals committee shall render a written decision to the appellant within thirty days of receiving the notice of appeal. The ((written decision shall be sent to the appellant)) committee may extend the thirty-day time requirement for rendering a decision upon issuing a written finding of good cause explaining the cause for the delay.

(8) Any appellant who disagrees with the decisions of the PEBB appeals committee may request an administrative hearing, as described in WAC 182-16-050.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-16-032, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-16-032, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-16-032, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-16-032, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 09-02, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10)

WAC 182-16-036   How can an enrollee appeal a decision regarding the administration of benefits offered under the state's salary reduction plan?   (1) Any enrollee aggrieved by a decision regarding the medical FSA and DCAP offered under the state's salary reduction plan may appeal that decision to the third-party administrator contracted to administer the plan.

(2) Any enrollee who disagrees with a decision in response to an appeal filed with the third-party administrator that administers the medical FSA and DCAP under the state's salary reduction plan may appeal to the public employees benefits board (PEBB) appeals committee. The PEBB appeals manager must receive the notice of appeal within thirty days of the date of the appeal decision by the third-party administrator that administers the medical FSA and DCAP offered under the state's salary reduction plan. The contents of the notice of appeal are to be provided in accordance with WAC 182-16-040.

(a) The PEBB appeals manager shall notify the appellant in writing when the notice of appeal has been received.

(b) The PEBB appeals committee shall render a written decision to the appellant within thirty days of receiving the notice of appeal. The ((written decision shall be sent to the appellant)) committee may extend the thirty-day time requirement for rendering a decision upon issuing a written finding of good cause explaining the cause for the delay.

(c) Any appellant who disagrees with the decision of the PEBB appeals committee may request an administrative hearing, as described in WAC 182-16-050.

(3) Any enrollee aggrieved by a decision regarding the administration of the premium payment plan offered under the state's salary reduction plan may appeal that decision to the PEBB appeals committee. The PEBB appeals manager must receive the notice of appeal within thirty days of the date of the denial notice by the PEBB program. The contents of the notice of appeal are to be provided in accordance with WAC 182-16-040.

(a) The PEBB appeals manager shall notify the appellant in writing when the notice of appeal has been received.

(b) The PEBB appeals committee shall render a written decision to the appellant within thirty days of receiving the notice of appeal. The ((written decision shall be sent to the appellant)) committee may extend the thirty-day time requirement for rendering a decision upon issuing a written finding of good cause explaining the cause for the delay.

(c) Any appellant who disagrees with the decision of the PEBB appeals committee may request an administrative hearing, as described in WAC 182-16-050.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), 182-16-036, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-16-036, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 08-03, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09)

WAC 182-16-038   How can an entity or organization appeal a decision of the health care authority to deny ((its participation in PEBB)) an employer group application?   ((Any)) An entity or organization whose employer group application ((to participate in PEBB benefits has been)) is denied by the authority may appeal the decision to the public employees benefits board (PEBB) appeals committee. For rules regarding eligible entities, see WAC 182-12-111. The PEBB appeals manager must receive the notice of appeal within thirty days of the date of the denial notice. The contents of the notice of appeal are to be provided in accordance with WAC 182-16-040.

(1) The PEBB appeals manager shall notify the appealing party in writing when the notice of appeal has been received.

(2) The PEBB appeals committee shall render a written decision to the appellant on the notice of appeal within thirty days of receiving the notice of appeal. The ((written decision shall be sent to the appealing party)) committee may extend the thirty-day time requirement for rendering a decision upon issuing a written finding of good cause explaining the cause for the delay.

(3) Any appealing party aggrieved with the decision of the PEBB appeals committee may request an administrative hearing, as described in WAC 182-16-050.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-16-038, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 11-02, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12)

WAC 182-16-050   How can an enrollee or entity request a hearing if aggrieved by a decision made by the public employees benefits board (PEBB) appeals committee?   (1) Any party aggrieved by a decision of the public employees benefits board (PEBB) appeals committee, may request an administrative hearing.

(2) The request must be made in writing to the PEBB appeals manager. The PEBB appeals manager must receive the request for an administrative hearing within thirty days of the date of the written decision by the PEBB appeals committee.

(3) The ((agency)) authority shall set the time and place of the hearing and give not less than twenty days notice to all parties.

(4) The director, or his or her designee, shall preside at all hearings resulting from the filings of appeals under this chapter.

(5) All hearings must be conducted in compliance with these rules, chapter 34.05 RCW and chapter 10-08 WAC as applicable.

(6) Within ninety days after the hearing record is closed, the director or his or her designee shall render a decision which shall be the final decision of the ((agency)) authority. A copy of that decision shall be mailed to all parties.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160 and 2011 c 8. 11-22-036 (Order 11-02), 182-16-050, filed 10/26/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 10-20-147 (Order 10-02), 182-16-050, filed 10/6/10, effective 1/1/11; 08-20-128 (Order 08-03), 182-16-050, filed 10/1/08, effective 1/1/09; 07-20-129 (Order 07-01), 182-16-050, filed 10/3/07, effective 11/3/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160, 41.05.350, and 41.05.165. 05-16-046 (Order 05-01), 182-16-050, filed 7/27/05, effective 8/27/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160. 97-21-128, 182-16-050, filed 10/21/97, effective 11/21/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.010 and 34.05.250. 91-14-025, 182-16-050, filed 6/25/91, effective 7/26/91.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 182-16-060   Index of significant decisions.   (1) A final decision may be relied upon, used, or cited as precedent by a party if the final order has been indexed in the authority's index of significant decisions in accordance with RCW 34.05.473 (1)(b).

(2) The index of significant decisions is available to the public at the health care authority (HCA) internet page. As decisions are indexed they will be linked on this page. For additional information on how to obtain a copy of the index, contact the HCA hearing representative.

(3) A final decision published in the index of significant decisions may be removed from the index when:

(a) A precedential published decision entered by the court of appeals or the supreme court reverses an indexed final decision; or

(b) HCA determines that the indexed final decision is no longer precedential due to changes in statute, rule or policy.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office