Loss of Insurance Eligibility
for Faculty & Staff - COBRA/Continuing Insurance

Your medical and dental coverage will end at midnithg on the last day of the month in which you end employment at Western Washington University provided you were paid for at least eight hours during the month.

If you lose eligibility to participate in a WWU sponsored medical or dental plan due to separation of employment or another qualifying event as described in the Conosolated Omnibus Budget Reconcilation Act of 1985 (COBRA), you mayh be able to continue participation in group coverage on a self-paid basis.

Qualifying Life Events

The qualifying life events and the length of coverage available are as follows:

  • 18 months of COBRA eligibility is available if:
    • your employment ends for any reason other than your gross misconduct, or
    • your hours of employment at Western Washington University are reduced to the extent that eligibility for WWU-sponsored medical and dental benefits would otherwise be lost.
  • 36 months of COBRA elgibility is available:
    • to the eligible dependnets of a WWU employee who dies while employed,
    • to a divorced spouse of a WWU employee, or
    • to a child of a WWU employee who loses eligibility for dependent coverage due to age or other loss of dependent status.
  • You are not eligible for COBRA if:
    • you are covered by another group health plan at the time of the qualifying event.
    • you, or a dependent, later become covered by another group health plan, unless that plan contains a pre-existing condition exclusion, or
    • you were dismissed for gross misconduct.

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What Coverage Can Be Continued?

You may continue medical and dental coverage together or either coverage separately. You and each of your enrolled family members are entitled to make a separate decision regarding continuation of coverage.

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Notice Requirement

COBRA requires you or your dependent(s) to provide notices within 60 days after a qualifying event occurs; you may do so via email to the Benefits Office. If you are self-paying your insurance premium when the qualifying event occurs, you or your dependent must notify the Health Care Authority.

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View medical and dental COBRA premiums.

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To Enroll in COBRA

  1. Download and print the COBRA enrollment packet from our Forms & Publications website.
  2. Or, if you prefer to receive a packet by mail, call the Health Care Authroity directly at 1-800-200-1004 to request one. Please be mindful of the fact that the 60 day deadline still applies.
  3. Send the completed form and your payment to the Health Care Authority:


    Washington State Health Care Authority

    PO Box 42684

    Olympia, WA 98504-2684



    Washington State Health Care Authority

    ATTN: Accounting

    PO Box 42691

    Olympia, WA 98504-2691


    Note: Premiums must be paid retroactively to the first day of the month following the qualifying event.

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The U.S. Department of Labor provides answers to frequently asked questions about COBRA.

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Page Updated 09.27.2013