WSR 02-15-178

PROPOSED RULES

HEALTH CARE AUTHORITY


[ Order 02-03 -- Filed July 24, 2002, 11:10 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 02-11-034.

Title of Rule: Requirement for employers to provide payment toward employee benefits for eligible employees. Provision for self-payment of PEBB insurance during an employee's appeal of a dismissal.

Purpose: Amend WAC 182-08-190 to provide access to the employer contribution for employees placed on mandatory unpaid leave as directed by proviso in section 906, chapter 371, Laws of 2002. Amend WAC 182-12-220 to clarify the requirement for employees to pay their portion of premiums related to medical, optional life insurance and optional LTD.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 41.05.160.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 41.05.050.

Summary: Proposed changes to WAC 182-08-190 will provide access to the employer contribution for employees placed on mandatory unpaid leave as directed by proviso in the 2002 supplemental budget. Proposed changes to WAC 182-12-220 will clarify the requirement for employees to pay their portion of premiums related to medical, optional life insurance and optional LTD.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: These amendments will accomplish provisions enacted by the 2002 legislature and add clarity for employees regarding their responsibility for payment of employee premiums.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Barbara Scott, Health Care Authority, (360) 923-2642; and Enforcement: MaryAnne Lindeblad, Health Care Authority, (360) 923-2640.

Name of Proponent: Health Care Authority, governmental.

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

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The 2002 supplemental budget included a proviso giving access to the employer contribution for Public Employee Benefits Board sponsored benefits for employees that are placed on a mandatory unpaid leave without the requirement to be in pay status for a minimum of eight hours. Proposed changes to WAC 182-08-190 include language that is specific to this budget proviso. WAC 182-12-220 outlines the employee's right to retroactive reinstatement of employer paid benefits in the event that an appeal of dismissal is sustained. The proposed changes to language in WAC 182-12-220 will clarify payment responsibility for both the employer and the employee.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Proposed changes to WAC 182-08-190 will change the eligibility requirement for maintaining eight hours of pay status in order to be eligible for the employer contribution toward benefits for employees placed on mandatory unpaid leave during the 2001-2003 fiscal biennium.

Proposed amendment to WAC 182-12-220 does not change the existing rule it simply adds clarity to the rule.

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

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to the Health Care Authority (HCA) rules unless requested by the Joint Administrative Rules Review Committee or applied voluntarily by the HCA.

Hearing Location: Health Care Authority, West Wing, Conference Room W302, 676 Woodland Square Loop S.E., Olympia, WA, on August 27, 2002, at 3:00 p.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Nikki Johnson by August 23, 2002, TDD (888) 923-5622 or (360) 923-2805.

Submit Written Comments to: Barbara Scott, Health Care Authority, 676 Woodland Square Loop S.E., Olympia, WA 98504-2684, fax (360) 923-2602, by 5:00 p.m., August 27, 2002.

Date of Intended Adoption: September 1, 2002.

July 24, 2002

Melodie H. Bankers

Rules Coordinator

OTS-5865.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 96-08-042, filed 3/29/96, effective 4/29/96)

WAC 182-08-190   Employer contribution.   (1) Every department, division, or agency of state government, and such county, municipal or other political subdivisions as are covered under the PEBB plans, shall provide premium contributions to the HCA for insurance benefits for its employees and their dependents. State employer contributions shall be set by the HCA and are subject to the approval of the governor. Employer contributions shall include an amount determined by the HCA to pay administrative costs to administer the plans for employees of these groups. Each eligible state employee in pay status for eight or more hours during a calendar month or for each eligible employee on family and medical leave shall be eligible for the employer contribution.

(2) For the period of July 1, 2002, to June 30, 2003, eligible state employees placed on temporary unpaid leave in order to implement the 2002 supplemental appropriations act are not required to have eight hours of pay status in order to maintain eligibility for the employer contribution for each month that they are on mandatory leave.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.05 RCW. 96-08-042, 182-08-190, filed 3/29/96, effective 4/29/96; 93-23-065, 182-08-190, filed 11/16/93, effective 12/17/93; 78-02-015 (Order 2-78), 182-08-190, filed 1/10/78; Order 3-77, 182-08-190, filed 11/17/77.]

OTS-5869.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 96-08-043, filed 3/29/96, effective 4/29/96)

WAC 182-12-220   Eligibility during appeal of dismissal.   Employees awaiting hearing of a dismissal action before the personnel appeals board, higher education personnel board or court may continue their PEBB coverages by self-payment of premium on the same terms as an employee who is granted leave without pay. If the hearing board or court upholds the dismissal, coverages shall terminate at the end of the month in which the board or court's decision is made. If the hearing board or court sustains the employee in the appeal and directs reinstatement of employer paid coverages retroactively, the employer must forward to the HCA the full employer contribution for the period directed by the hearing board or court. PEBB will refund to the employee any premiums the employee paid that will be provided for ((coverages provided)) by the reinstatement of the employer contribution provided the employee makes retroactive payment of any employee contribution amounts associated with the coverage. All optional life and long term disability insurance which was in force at the time of dismissal shall be reinstated retroactively, provided 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 obtain such optional coverage.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.05 RCW. 96-08-043, 182-12-220, filed 3/29/96, effective 4/29/96; 86-16-061 (Resolution No. 86-3), 182-12-220, filed 8/5/86.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office