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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.
On this page
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.
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).
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 packet 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 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?
To enroll in PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA), 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. Complete and return the PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA) Election/Change form.
To enroll in PEBB Continuation Coverage (Unpaid Leave), 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. Complete and return the PEBB Continuation Coverage (Unpaid Leave) Election/Change form.
Additional forms you may need are located on the forms and publications page.
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.
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 and select menu option 5.
Where can I find the premiums for continuation coverage?
- For Non-Medicare continuation coverage premiums visit continuation coverage premiums (non-Medicare).
- For Medicare continuation coverage premiums, visit continuation coverage premiums (Medicare).
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.
May I name a minor child as my beneficiary?
Yes. However, due to insurance laws MetLife cannot give insurance proceeds directly to the minor child because minors are considered incompetent by law.
If an adult has been appointed as the guardian of the minor’s property, MetLife will give the insurance money to the guardian. If the minor does not have a guardian, MetLife will put the money into an interest bearing account that cannot be accessed until the minor turns 18 or until such time that a guardian is appointed (whichever comes first).
A parent is not automatically considered the guardian of a minor’s property. Parents are “custodial guardians,” meaning they care for the minor. However, a court must appoint them guardians of the minor’s property before the parent(s) can receive any life insurance money intended for that minor. This extra step ensures the money is used to benefit the minor, like the insured person wanted. The parent(s) must provide a copy of a valid court document before the money is disbursed.
I’m divorced. How do I remove my ex-spouse from my coverage?
To remove your ex-spouse from your coverage, you must complete a MetLife cancellation of optional life insurance form - employee and mail it to MetLife. You can submit it to the address on the bottom of the form.
I named a beneficiary—what if that individual is no longer alive at the time of my death?
You have the opportunity to name a contingent beneficiary for your basic and optional life insurance. If you do not, or if no beneficiary you name is living, MetLife will determine the beneficiary based on the following guidelines:
- Your spouse or state-registered domestic partner.
- Your child(ren).
- Your natural or adopted parent(s).
- Your sibling(s).
- Instead of making payment to any of the above, MetLife may pay your estate. Any payment made in good faith will discharge their liability to the extent of such payment. If a beneficiary or a payee is a minor or incompetent to receive payment, they will pay that person's guardian.
How can I check my life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance amounts?
You can find your current life and AD&D insurance amounts at MetLife’s online portal. You are the only one who has access to this password-protected portal. The PEBB Program’s My Account online portal and your employer will no longer have information about your selected optional coverage amounts.
I am currently enrolled in PEBB Continuation Coverage (Unpaid Leave), but didn’t continue my employee supplemental life insurance while on continuation coverage. Will I have an opportunity to reenroll in optional life insurance (or increase my optional life insurance) through MetLife if I return to work?
Yes, you will have an opportunity to reenroll in the employee optional life insurance through MetLife when you return to work and regain eligibility for the employer contribution. However, you will have to answer health questions and/or have a medical exam and be approved by MetLife to receive that coverage.
How can I cancel my life and/or accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance through MetLife?
To cancel your life and/or AD&D insurance through MetLife:
Complete MetLife cancellation of optional life insurance form - employee and send it to:
MetLife Recordkeeping Center
PO Box 14406
Lexington, KY 40512-4406