Self-Pay Insurance
for Faculty & Staff on Leave

You may elect to continue your medical, dental, and life insurances on a self-paid basis when you are on an approved unpaid leave or are laid off from Western Washington University. You choose which, if any, of the coverages you wish to continue. If you are on an approved educational leave, you may also elect to continue your long-term disability insurance on a self-paid basis (see below).

If you do not continue your life insurance on a self-paid basis, you may not be automatically reinstated when you return to work. Evidence of Insurability may be required before reinstatement. You may continue your medical, dental, and life insurance coverage on a self-paid basis provided that you are on an approved leave of absence from a PEBB insurance-eligible position and that the leave is no longer than 24 months, the maximum period allowed by WWU and most labor agreements.

If your leave is fully or partially covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), some of your coverages may not require that you self-pay for insurance coverage. Employees should contact Human Resources if you have questions about whether a leave may be covered by the FMLA. If you receive written notification that a leave of absence without pay is covered by FMLA, you should e-mail for information about benefits eligibility under FMLA.

Long-Term Disability

Long-Term Disability (LTD) insurance is typically not in force while an employee is on an unpaid leave of absence. An exception would be when an employee on approved educational leave without pay (LWO) self-pays for long-term disability insurance. If an educational leave is partially paid, deductions are taken from the partial salary, and you can elect to self-pay the difference in order to maintain full long-term disability insurance coverage. If the additional premium is not paid, then in the event of a claim, benefits would be based on the partial salary. You can arrange to pay the portion of the insurance premium not covered by your partial salary by contacting Employees on other types of unpaid leave may not self-pay to continue long-term disability insurance, but coverage can be reinstated if you apply within 10 days of returning from your leave without pay.

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Self-Pay Premiums

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Leave While on Active Military Duty

If you are called to active duty military service, special rules apply for continuation of your medical, dental, life and long-term disability insurance benefits. Learn more about eligibility while on active duty military leave.

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Deciding NOT to Self-Pay

If you choose not to continue your benefits on a self-paid basis:

  • Your medical and dental insurance will end as of the last day of the month in which you earned at least eight hours’ pay. Your medical and dental insurance will not be reinstated until the first day of the month in which you are in pay status.
  • Your life insurance will end as of the last day of the month in which the full monthly premium was paid. On return from leave or layoff, no optional coverage is reinstated unless applied for and approved by the insurance company;
  • Your long-term disability (LTD) insurance will end as of the last day in pay status and will be reinstated on return as long as the enrollment form is completed within ten (10) days of return from leave. Only those employees on an approved educational leave may continue LTD insurance on a self-pay basis.

If you allow your optional (employee-paid) life insurance to lapse and, if on approved education leave, your LTD insurance lapses, you must re-apply for coverage upon your return, providing evidence of insurability to the insurance company.

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Returning to Work

If you are returning from leave and were paying PEBB self-paid insurance premiums while on leave, you will receive employer contributions for coverage beginning the first of the month in which you return to work in a PEBB insurance-eligible position. If you have self-paid premiums for any month in which you are eligible for premium contribution by Western Washington University, you will be reimbursed for any self-pay premium payment. If your medical premiums were not self-paid, coverage will begin the first of the month in which you return to work at least 8 hours.

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Family and Medical Leave Act

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Page Updated 10.24.2013