Layoff Support Resources
Insurance Continuation


 

This information applies to employees who are laid off—either totally (100%) or partially (reduced percent time). If you are being laid off, contact the Benefits Office to learn about continuing your insurance coverage during the months in which you will not be working at Western Washington University.

If you are enrolled in the state Public Employees’ Benefits Board (PEBB) insurance plans and your position ends due to lack of work, lack of funding, or reorganization, you may have options for continuing some of your benefits for up to 24 months—we call this "Layoff Benefits Eligibility."


Medical and Dental Insurance

There are three ways to continue your medical/dental insurance eligibility following layoff:

  1. Self-pay for your insurances for any month that you do not work for the University for at least 8 hours. Complete the Leave Without Pay Continuation Election form and send it, along with your check, to the Washington State Health Care Authority in Olympia (address on form) for any month in which you are not eligible for the WWU-paid employer contribution. See medical and dental Self-Pay Insurance Premium Rates.
  2. Western Washington University will make the employer insurance contribution for any month in which you work a minimum of 8 hours at Western Washington University in a non-student position. However, there is no guarantee that temporary hourly work will be available for employees who have been laid off. Eight hours of work is required even if you were laid off from a part-time position. Email hr.benefits@wwu.edu to let us know if you work 8 hours or more in a month. This helps us keep your benefits current. If the employee-paid share of the medical premium is not taken or not made in full by payroll deduction, you must arrange payment with the Benefits Office.
  3. Work at least 8 hours per month at any Washington State agency. The employing State agency will make employer insurance contributions for any month in which you work a minimum of 8 hours up to a maximum 24-month period. You must provide written notice to the employing State agency of your eligibility for layoff insurance continuation including effective dates.

At the end of the 24-month layoff benefit eligibility period you may be eligible to purchase additional months of coverage under the federal COBRA law. Please contact the Washington State Health Care Authority at 1-800-200-1004 for more information.

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Life, Optional Life, and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance

Life Insurance

Your group term life insurance plan coverage terminates at the end of the month in which your paid Western Washington University employment ends. You can convert your life insurance coverage (not AD&D) to an individual whole life policy. As an alternative, you can self-pay your life insurance during the 24 months of layoff benefits eligibility or pay via payroll deduction if you work at least 8 hours of eligible Western employment in a month.

Life insurance ends if your premiums are not continued and kept current. You would have to reapply with Evidence of Insurability upon return to eligible Western employment. Life insurance employee premiums are paid at the same rate as while you were in WWU pay-status, with the addition that you must also pay the employer basic life insurance premium. Once layoff benefits eligibility ends, there is a conversion option which can allow you to retain the life insurance at individual whole life rates. AD&D cannot be converted.

Long Term Disability Insurance (LTD)

Basic and optional LTD isnurances end the last day of the month in which your paid WWU employment ends. LTD insurances can be reinstated on your return to either a temporary or permanent position at Western Washington University.

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Removal from Layoff Benefits Eligibility

Removal from layoff benefits eligibility occurs at the end of the 24-month eligibility period. Employees who accept permanent employment, then are released from that employment due to probationary period rejection or personal choice, continue to be eligible for insurance benefits until the end of the 24-month eligibility period.

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Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Your medical FSA ends at the end of the month in which you received your last paycheck (i.e. the 10th or 25th of the month). Claims for services up to the end of that month will be honored. After layoff, you may continue your FSA through the end of the calendar year by special arrangement directly with the vendor, ASI. Contact ASI at 1-800-659-3035. If you do not continue your FSA by arrangement with ASI, remember that only claims incurred prior to the end of the month in which you received your last paycheck can be submitted to the account for reimbursement.

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Benefits-Related Contacts

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Page Updated 11.08.2013