WSR 97-17-110

PROPOSED RULES

HEALTH CARE AUTHORITY

[Filed August 20, 1997, 11:29 a.m.]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 96-22-016.

Title of Rule: Chapter 182-12 WAC, Eligible and noneligible employees.

Purpose: Establishes rules for determining benefits, eligibility, enrollment processes and for administering the Washington State Public Employee Benefits Board (PEBB).

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 41.05.160.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 41.05 RCW.

Summary: Updates required to clarify references to school districts. Include language for TRS III retirement, and correction of WAC reference.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Modifications need to be made for clarification of rules.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Mich'l Needham, Health Care Authority, 923-2735; Implementation and Enforcement: Sharon Thompson, Health Care Authority, 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: Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) eligibility rules. Updates required to clarify reference to school districts, correction of WAC reference and addition of TRS III retirement language.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: It clarifies reference to school districts in Washington state and adds the TRS III retirement language.

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

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to the Health Care Authority unless requested by the Joint Administrative Rules Review Committee or applied voluntarily.

Hearing Location: Attorney General Conference Center, RoweSix, Building One, 4224 6th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98504, on September 23, 1997, at 1:00 p.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Nikki Woehl by September 19, 1997, (360) 923-2805.

Submit Written Comments to: Elin Meyer, FAX (360) 923-2606, by September 30, 1997.

Date of Intended Adoption: October 18, 1997.

August 20, 1997

Elin Meyer

Rules Coordinator

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

WAC 182-12-111 Eligible entities and individuals. The following entities and individuals shall be eligible to participate in PEBB insurance plans subject to the terms and conditions set forth below(([.][:])):

(1) State agencies. Every department, division, or separate agency of state government, including all state higher education institutions, including the higher education coordinating board, and the state board for community and technical colleges is eligible and required to participate in all PEBB approved plans. Insurance and health care contributions for ferry employees shall be governed by RCW 47.64.270.

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

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) Employees of employee organizations representing state civil service employees, at the option of each employee organization, and, effective October 1, 1995, employees of employee organizations currently pooled with employees of school districts for the purpose of purchasing insurance benefits, at the option of such employee organization.

(3) Employees of a county, municipality or other political subdivision of the state may participate in PEBB insurance programs provided:

(a) All eligible employees of the entity transfer to PEBB plan coverage as a unit. Bargaining units with other group coverage mandated by their collective bargaining agreement will be permitted to waive PEBB coverage as an entire unit, with the approval of the HCA.

(b) The legislative authority or the board of directors obligates itself to participate in all PEBB insurance plans. The PEBB medical and dental plans must be the only employer sponsored medical and dental plans available to all eligible employees.

(c) The legislative authority of the entity or the board of directors submits an application together with employee census data and, if available, prior claims experience of the entity to the HCA.

(d) The legislative authority or the board of directors agrees to maintain its PEBB plan participation for a minimum of one full year, and then through the end of the plan year.

(e) The legislative authority or the board of directors shall provide the HCA written notice of its intent to terminate PEBB plan participation no later than thirty days prior to the effective date of termination. If a county, municipality, or political subdivision, or employees of employee organizations as defined in WAC 182-12-111(2) terminates coverage in PEBB insurance plans, retired and disabled employees who began participating after September 15, 1991, will no longer be eligible to participate in PEBB insurance plans beyond the mandatory extension requirements specified in WAC 182-12-215.

(f) The HCA administrator approves the entity's application.

(4) School districts and educational service districts. Bargaining units and nonrepresented employees of school districts and educational service districts of the state may participate in PEBB insurance programs provided:

(a) The PEBB plans must be the only medical and dental plans made available to the members of the bargaining unit through their employment by the school district or educational service district.

(b) All eligible employees of the bargaining unit transfer as a unit and all nonrepresented employees transfer as a unit.

(c) The terms and conditions for the payment of insurance premiums shall be set forth in the provisions of the bargaining agreement and shall comply with the employer contribution requirements specified in RCW 28A.400.280. These provisions of the collective bargaining agreement, including eligibility, shall be subject to review and approval by the PEBB at the time of application for participation.

(d) The application to participate in the PEBB plans is subject to the approval of the HCA.

(e) The eligibility requirements for dependents of school district and educational service district employees shall be the same as the requirements for dependents of the state employees and retirees as defined in WAC 182-12-115(10).

(f) The bargaining unit or unit of nonrepresented employees must agree to maintain its PEBB plan participation for a minimum of one full year, and then through the end of the school year.

(5) Eligible nonemployees: (a) Dislocated forest products workers enrolled in the employment and career orientation program pursuant to chapter 50.70 RCW shall be eligible for PEBB medical and dental plan coverage while enrolled in that program.

(b) School board members or students eligible to participate under RCW 28A.400.350.

[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.]

NOTES:

Reviser's note: RCW 34.05.395 requires the use of underlining and deletion marks to indicate amendments to existing rules, and deems ineffectual changes not filed by the agency in this manner. The bracketed material in the above section does not appear to conform to the statutory requirement.

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

WAC 182-12-117 Eligible retirees. (1) "Retirees and disabled employees." Eligible employees who terminate state service after becoming vested in a Washington state sponsored retirement system are eligible for retiree medical, dental and life coverages provided the person:

(a) Elects Medicare Parts A and B if the retiree, or covered dependents of a retiree, retired after July 1, 1991 and is eligible for Medicare; and

(b) Immediately begins receiving a monthly retirement income benefit from such retirement system; or

(c) If not retiring under the public employees retirement system (PERS), would have been eligible for a monthly retirement income benefit because of age and years of service had the person been employed under the provisions of PERS I or PERS II for the same period of employment; or

(d) Is an elected official as defined under 182-12-115(6) who has voluntarily or involuntarily left a public office, whether or not they receive a benefit from a state retirement system; or

(e) Must have taken a lump sum retirement benefit payment because their monthly benefit would have been under fifty dollars.

Employees who are permanently and totally disabled and eligible for a deferred monthly retirement income benefit are likewise eligible, provided they apply for retiree coverage before their PEBB active employee coverage ends. Persons retiring who do not have waiver of premium coverage from any PEBB life insurance plan are eligible for retiree life insurance, subject to the same qualifications as for retiree medical coverage. With the exception of the Washington State Patrol, retirees and disabled employees are not eligible for an employer premium contribution. The Federal Civil Service Retirement System shall be considered a Washington state sponsored retirement system for Washington State University cooperative extension service employees who hold a federal civil service appointment and who are covered under the PEBB program at the time of retirement or disability.

(2) Retired and disabled school district and educational service district employees. The following persons are eligible to participate in PEBB medical and dental plans only, provided they meet the enrollment criteria stated below and if eligible for Medicare, be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B:

(a) Persons receiving a retirement allowance under chapter 41.32 or 41.40 RCW as of September 30, 1993, and who enroll in PEBB plans not later than the end of the open enrollment period established by the authority for the plan year beginning January 1, 1995;

(b) Persons who separate from employment with a school district or educational service district on or after October 1, 1993, and immediately upon separation begin to receive a retirement allowance or have taken a lump-sum payment because their benefit would be less than fifty dollars under chapter 41.32 or 41.40 RCW. Individuals in teachers' retirement system, TRS III, not receiving a monthly retirement allowance (defined benefit) must be at least age fifty-five with at least ten years of service at the time of separation. Such persons who retire on or after October 1, 1993, must elect PEBB coverage not later than the end of the open enrollment period established by the authority for the plan year beginning January 1, 1995, or sixty days following retirement whichever is later;

(c) Persons who separate from employment with a school district or educational service district due to a total and permanent disability, and are eligible to receive a deferred retirement allowance under chapter 41.32 or 41.40 RCW. Such persons must enroll in PEBB plans not later than the end of the open enrollment period established by the authority for the plan year beginning January 1, 1995, or sixty days following retirement, whichever is later.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.05 RCW. 96-08-043, 182-12-117, filed 3/29/96, effective 4/29/96.]

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

WAC 182-12-119 Eligible dependents. "Eligible dependents." The following are eligible as dependents under the PEBB eligibility rules:

(1) Lawful spouse.

(2) Dependent children through age nineteen. The term "children" includes the subscriber's natural children, stepchildren, legally adopted children, children for whom the subscriber has assumed a legal obligation for total or partial support of a child in anticipation of adoption of the child, or children specified in a court order or divorce decree. Married children who qualify as dependents of the subscriber under the Internal Revenue Code, and foster children approved by the HCA are included. To qualify for HCA approval, a foster child must:

(a) Be living with the subscriber in a parent-child relationship;

(b) Be dependent upon the subscriber for financial support;

(c) Not be eligible for coverage under Medicare, Medicaid, or similar government entitlement programs; and

(d) Not be a foster child for whom support payments are made to the subscriber through the state department of social and health services (DSHS) foster care program.

(3) Dependent children age twenty through age twenty-three who are dependent upon the employee/retiree for maintenance and support, and who are registered students in full-time attendance at an accredited secondary school, college, university, vocational school, or school of nursing. Dependent student eligibility continues year-round for those who attend three of the four school quarters or two semesters and for the quarter following graduation provided the employee/retiree is covered at the same time; the dependent limiting age has not been exceeded; and the dependent meets all other eligibility requirements.

(4) Dependent children of any age who are incapable of self-support due to developmental or physical disability, provided such condition occurs prior to age twenty or during the time the dependent was covered under a PEBB plan as a full-time student. Proof of such disability and dependency must be furnished prior to the dependent's attainment of age twenty or loss of eligibility for student coverage, and as periodically requested thereafter.

(5) Dependent parents. Dependent parents covered under a PEBB medical plan before July 1, 1990, may continue enrollment on a self-pay basis as long as:

(a) The parent maintains continuous coverage in a PEBB-sponsored medical plan;

(b) The parent continues to qualify under the Internal Revenue Code as a dependent of an eligible subscriber;

(c) The subscriber who claimed the parent as a dependent continues enrollment in a PEBB program; and

(d) The parent is not covered by any other group medical insurance. Dependent parents may be enrolled in a different PEBB plan than that selected by the eligible subscriber; however, dependent parents may not add additional family members to their coverage.

(6) Surviving dependents.

(a) The following surviving dependents may continue their medical and dental coverages on a self-pay basis:

(i) If a dependent loses eligibility under a PEBB plan due to the death of the employee ((or retiree)), the dependent(s) may continue coverage under a retiree plan provided the dependent(s) will immediately begin receiving a monthly benefit from any state of Washington-sponsored retirement system (the Federal Civil Service Retirement System shall be considered a Washington sponsored retirement system for Washington State University cooperative extension service employees who held a federal civil service appointment and who were covered under the PEBB program at the time of death).

(ii) If a surviving dependent of a PEBB employee ((or retiree)) is not eligible for a monthly retirement income benefit, or lump-sum payment because the monthly pension payment would be less than $50, the dependent may be eligible for continued coverage under COBRA.

(iii) Dependents of retirees covered under a PEBB plan at the time of the retiree's death are eligible to continue PEBB retiree coverage.

(((iii))) (iv) Surviving spouses and/or eligible dependent children of a deceased school district or educational service district employee who were not enrolled in a PEBB plan at the time of death may continue coverage provided the employee died on or after October 1, 1993 and the dependent(s) immediately began receiving a retirement benefit allowance under chapter 41.32 or 41.40 RCW.

(b) Application for surviving dependent(s) coverage must be made in writing on the enrollment form approved by the health care authority within sixty days from the date of death of the employee or retiree. Coverage is retroactive to the date the employee or retiree coverage terminated subject to the payment of the premium. The employees or retirees spouse may continue coverage indefinitely; other dependents may continue coverage until they lose eligibility under PEBB rules.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.05 RCW. 96-08-043, 182-12-119, filed 3/29/96, effective 4/29/96.]

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

WAC 182-12-132 Retirees returning to state employment. If a retiree returns to work and is again eligible for employer contributions towards their PEBB or Washington state school district sponsored benefits the retiree may cancel their retirement deduction for health coverage as soon as eligibility is established and the retiree is enrolled as an active employee. The retiree must maintain retiree term life coverage during active employment in order to retain it at retirement. When the retiree again ceases active employment, the retiree must reenroll in a PEBB retiree plan within 60 days.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.05 RCW. 96-08-043, 182-12-132, filed 3/29/96, effective 4/29/96; 80-05-016 (Order 2-80), 182-12-132, filed 4/10/80.]

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

WAC 182-12-200 Retirees may change enrollment in approved PEBB health plans. A retiree, whose spouse is enrolled as an eligible employee in a PEBB or Washington state school district-sponsored health plan, may defer enrollment in PEBB retiree medical and dental plans and enroll in the spouse's PEBB or school district-sponsored health plan. If a retiree defers enrollment in a PEBB retiree medical plan, enrollment must also be deferred for dental coverage. The retiree and eligible dependents may subsequently enroll in a PEBB retiree medical, or medical and dental, plan(s) if the retiree was continuously enrolled under the spouse's PEBB or school district-sponsored health coverage from the date the retiree was initially eligible for retiree coverage:

(1) During any open enrollment period determined by the HCA; or

(2) Within 31 days of the date the spouse ceases to be enrolled in a PEBB or school district-sponsored health plan as an eligible employee; or

(3) Within 31 days of the date of the retiree's loss of eligibility as a dependent under the spouse's PEBB or school district-sponsored health plan.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.05 RCW. 96-08-043, 182-12-200, filed 3/29/96, effective 4/29/96; Order 4-77, 182-12-200, filed 11/17/77.]

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