Retiree Insurance


The medical, dental, and life insurances you had as an employee may be continued indefinitely if you apply for them at the time you retire from active WWU service under the rules of your retirement plan. You may choose from the plans that are available to employees, or you may instead elect a Medicare Supplement Plan at the time you become eligible for Medicare.


You and your eligible dependents may apply for the retiree insurances if:

  • you are retiring from active Western Washington University service under the rules of your retirement plan,
  • you enroll within 60 days of the termination of your WWU employee medical, and
  • you are receiving income from your retirement plan, if applicable.*

Medicare Part B Requirement: You must enroll in Medicare Part B at retirement if eligible, to continue to participate in the PEBB Retiree Medical plans. Part B enrollment can be deferred until retirement for those electing to work past the age of 65.

* PERS 1, PERS 2, and LEOFF 2 retirees must be receiving their retirement income to be eligible to enroll in the retiree health insurance. PERS 3 and URP retirees are not required to access their retirement funds to enroll in the retiree health insurance.

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Deferring Medical/Dental Coverage

If you are covered by other employer-provided medical/dental coverage, or you are covered as a dependent under your spouse's or qualified domestic partner's employer-provided coverage, you can temporarily defer your Public Employee Benefits Board (PEBB) coverage.

When your other employer-provided coverage terminates, you must apply within 60 days to enroll in your own WWU retiree medical/dental coverage - at which time you must provide proof of loss of other continuous health care coverage. This does not include retiree life insurance, which must begin upon your retirement. If you meet these conditions and want to defer your retiree coverage, you must complete the retiree medical/dental enrollment form, indicating your desire to defer medical coverage. This will ensure your opportunity to enroll in PEBB coverage at a later date.

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Choosing Your Plans

You may choose a medical and dental plan:

  • at the time you apply to retire,
  • if you move out of your current plan's service area,
  • at the annual medical/dental open enrollment, or
  • if there is a court order for dependent coverage.

You may choose one of the Premera Blue Cross Medicare supplement plans within six months of becoming eligible for Parts A & B of Medicare.

You must be in a medical plan to enroll in dental. Dental must be maintained for a minimum of 2 years.

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Complete the retiree medical/dental enrollment form at the time of your retirement. Even if you are deferring coverage at the time, this will ensure your opportunity to enroll in PEBB coverage at a later date.

View Retiree Medical and Dental premiums.

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Life Insurance

At the time you complete the retiree medical/dental enrollment form noted above, you can apply for a small amount of life insurance available to retirees:

Age at Time of Death Amount of Insurance in Force At Time of Death
under 65 $3,000
65 through 69 $2,100
70 and Over $1,800

You also have the following options:

  • Portability: As a retiring employee, you may continue group term life insurance upon approval of the life insurance company until age 70 provided that you apply within 31 days of the date you or your insured dependents' coverage ends due to retirement. Portability rates are listed in the Group Life Portability Application Form. To apply, complete the form and send it to the WWU Benefits Office where a representative will first verify the coverage amount and coverage effective date then return the form to you. You are responsible for returning the form to ReliaStar Life Insurance Company (a division of ING) by the deadline. If approved for continuation of life insurance, you will be billed directly by the carrier.
  • Conversion: You can convert employee life insurance to individual whole life insurance if you apply within 60 days of the end of your employment. To receive information regarding Conversion Rights, please check the Conversion Box on page two of the Group Life Portability Application Form. ReliaStar Life Insurance Company will send you a description of the conversion plan, premiums rates, and an application form.
  • Disabled retirees who qualify for the waiver of premium benefit under the employee life insurance plan are not eligible for this Retiree Term Life Insurance plan.

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For those classified and professional staff who accrue sick leave, a VEBA (for Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association) is an important part of your financial planning at retirement. VEBA is used in conjunction with your medical and dental plans. A VEBA is a tax-free medical expense account funded by the 25% sick leave cash-out at retirement. As a retiree, you and your eligible dependents can use this to pay medical expenses after retirement, according to rules established in the Internal Revenue Code. For more details see VEBA.

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Page Updated 12.04.2014