News release

For immediate release
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

School employees set to enroll in new state health care program

OLYMPIA – An estimated 140,000 school employees are expected to enroll in School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) Program benefits during the new program’s first annual open enrollment, which starts Oct. 1.

The SEBB Program, administered by the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA), provides health insurance and other benefits to employees of Washington school districts and charter schools, and educational service district employees who are represented by a union.

The open enrollment period ends Nov. 15. Coverage begins Jan. 1, 2020.

Employees can select medical, dental, and vision plans for themselves and their eligible dependents, and will be automatically enrolled in basic life, basic accidental death and dismemberment, and basic long-term disability insurance. They can enroll through the online enrollment system, SEBB My Account, starting Oct. 1. School employees can visit SEBB’s virtual benefits fair or consult ALEX, the online benefits advisor, to learn more about their benefit options.

HCA is offering 20 in-person benefits fairs around the state, starting Sept. 30.

“SEBB is about helping ensure certificated and classified employees in our public schools have equal access to high-quality, affordable health care,” said HCA Director Susan Birch. “As the state’s largest health care purchaser, we have used our purchasing power to bring comprehensive coverage options to the school community.”

The School Employee Initial Enrollment Guide includes complete information on plans available by county and school district (for employees working in districts that cross county lines or are located in a county that border Oregon or Idaho). The 70-page guide was mailed to employees in mid-September, and also includes employee monthly premiums and comparison charts for medical, dental, and vision plans.

Subscribers enrolling only themselves will have medical plan options with premiums starting at $13 a month, depending on the plan service area. Subscribers enrolling themselves, a spouse or state-registered domestic partner, and children will have plan options starting at $39 a month. The most an employee will pay to cover themselves and their eligible dependents is $348 a month.

Employees in each county will have at least three plan choices; most employees will have many more:

  • 98.8 percent of employees will have four or more plan choices
  • 75 percent have nine or more plan choices
  • 70 percent have 11 or more plan choices
  • 65 percent have 12 or more plan choices
  • 54 percent have 13 or more plan choices

The Legislature created the SEBB Program in 2017, with the goal of using HCA’s experience in administering the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Program to offer affordable, high-quality health benefits to school employees.

More information about the SEBB Program is available at hca.wa.gov/sebb-employee.