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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Find answers to frequently asked questions about continuation coverage benefits.

On April 2, 2020, the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEB Board) held a special telephonic meeting to approve policy resolutions that extend continuation coverage eligibility and enrollment timelines during the Governor’s state of emergency due to COVID-19. Learn more about the approved emergency resolutions.

What continuation coverage options are available?

The PEBB Program offers several options for eligible members to continue PEBB coverage including:

PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA)

A temporary extension of PEBB health plan coverage available to PEBB members defined as qualified beneficiaries under federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) rules and for state-registered domestic partners and their children.  RCW 26.60.015 and a PEBB policy resolution extends PEBB coverage for dependents not otherwise eligible for COBRA. This means an employee’s state-registered domestic partner’s and the state-registered domestic partner's children may continue PEBB insurance coverage on the same terms and conditions as spouses and other eligible dependents under COBRA.  Coverage may be temporarily extended only if the PEBB member experiences a qualifying event.

PEBB Continuation Coverage (Unpaid Leave)

A temporary extension of PEBB insurance coverage for employees who lose eligibility for the employer contribution toward insurance coverage due to specific types of leave. See the PEBB Continuation Coverage Election Notice.

PEBB retiree insurance coverage

A continuation of PEBB coverage available to employees and survivors who meet retiree eligibility and enrollment requirements. See Retiree eligibility and enrollment.

Visit continuation coverage eligibility and enrollment for more information.

Eligibility

Who is entitled to PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA)?

You, your spouse (or former spouse), your dependent children, and current or former state-registered domestic partners and their dependent children (not considered qualified beneficiaries under federal COBRA rules) are entitled to elect PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA) if they lost PEBB health plan coverage due to a qualifying event

Visit how to determine eligibility for a list of qualifying events for PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA).

Who is entitled to PEBB Continuation Coverage (Unpaid Leave)?

An employee who lost their PEBB employer-based group health plan due to a specific qualifying event may elect continuation coverage for themselves and eligible dependents. Employees may continue medical, dental, life insurance and in some cases long-term disability insurance.

Visit how to determine eligibility for a list of qualifying events for PEBB Continuation Coverage (Unpaid Leave).

Enrollment

How do I elect continuation coverage?

To elect continuation coverage, send either the completed PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA) Election/Change form or the PEBB Continuation Coverage (Unpaid Leave) Election/Change form to the PEBB Program.

Note: The PEBB Program must receive the form no later than 60 days from the date your employer-sponsored coverage ends or after the postmark on the PEBB Continuation Coverage Election Notice sent to you, whichever is later.

Visit how to enroll for more enrollment information.

How long does continuation coverage last?

PEBB Continuation Coverage provides temporary health plan coverage, and in some instances, life and long-term disability insurance. Maximum coverage periods vary and can last anywhere from 12 to 36 months and are based on the qualifying event that caused you or your covered dependent to lose PEBB health plan coverage. A table listing the maximum coverage periods based on the qualifying events is available in the Initial Notice of  COBRA and continuation coverage Rights.

When can PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA) be extended?

If you or your qualified beneficiaries are enrolled in PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA) for 18 months due to the employee’s termination of employment or reduction of hours, there are two ways in which this 18-month period of continuation coverage can be extended

You or your qualified beneficiaries may be entitled to receive up to 11 months of additional continuation coverage (for a total of 29 months) if the Social Security Administration determines you or your qualified beneficiary are disabled. Also, if you or your qualified beneficiary experiences a second qualifying event while receiving 18 months of continuation coverage (or 29 months, if the second event occurs during a disability extension) you may be entitled to receive an additional 18 months of continuation coverage, for a maximum of 36 months of continuation coverage. For more details, please refer to the PEBB Continuation Coverage Election Notice.

What forms do I need to enroll?

The PEBB Program must receive your completed forms no later than 60 days after the date PEBB health plan coverage ended or from the postmark date on the election notice, whichever is later. Submit the 

Additional forms you may need are located on the forms and publications page.

Medical plan options

What medical plans are available to me?

For a list and benefit comparison of the medical plans available through the PEBB Program, visit Medical plans and benefits.

Address changes

How do I change my address?

Use the PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA) Election/Change form or the PEBB Continuation Coverage (Unpaid Leave) Election/Change form or call the PEBB Program at 1-800-200-1004.

Plan costs

Where can I find the premiums for continuation coverage?

How do I pay the PEBB Continuation Coverage premiums?

After we receive your first premium payment, including applicable premium surcharges, there are two payment options for future payments:

  • Automatic bank account withdrawals (EDS).
  • Monthly invoice paid by personal check or money order.

For information pertaining to paying for PEBB Continuation Coverage, please visit Plan costs.

Life insurance for PEBB Continuation Coverage (Unpaid Leave) subscribers

Visit the Life insurance webpage