Benefits after layoff or separation

How to continue PEBB benefits after layoff, termination or separation from service, or transitioning out of elected office.

Continuing benefits after layoff

When you, the employee, are no longer eligible for the employer contribution toward benefits due to a layoff, PEBB insurance coverage may be continued under PEBB Continuation Coverage (Unpaid Leave) by self-paying the premiums and applicable premium surcharges to the Health Care Authority (HCA), with no contribution from the employer (WAC 182-12-133).

The PEBB Program will mail the Continuation Coverage Election Notice to you after coverage is terminated. The mailing can take up to 14 days.

In cases of a layoff, if you choose to continue PEBB insurance coverage by self-paying the premiums and applicable premium surcharges, you may complete and submit the PEBB Continuation Coverage (Unpaid Leave) election/change form. The PEBB Program must receive your form no later than 60 days from the date your employer-sponsored coverage ends or from the postmark date on the Continuation Coverage Election Notice packet sent to you, whichever is later. This allows you and your eligible dependents to continue medical, dental, and life insurance on a self-pay basis for up to 29 months. This provides 11 more months of coverage than if you elect PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA).

If you do not enroll in life insurance under PEBB Continuation Coverage (Unpaid Leave), basic life insurance will terminate the last day of the month in which you are eligible for the employer contribution. Optional life insurance will terminate the last day of the month in which employee premiums were withheld. Basic long-term disability (LTD) ends automatically on the last day of the month in which you are eligible for the employer contribution. Optional LTD ends automatically on the earliest of the date the last period ends for which a premium contribution was made.

Employment ending due to termination or separation

When you, the employee, and your covered dependents are no longer eligible for the employer contribution toward benefits due to termination or separation, PEBB insurance coverage may be continued by self-paying the premiums and applicable premium surcharges to the Health Care Authority (HCA) through PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA), with no contribution from the employer (WAC 182-12-131 and WAC 182-12-146).

The PEBB Program will mail the Continuation Coverage Election Notice to you after coverage is terminated. The mailing can take up to 14 days.

In cases of termination or separation, if you choose to continue PEBB insurance coverage by self paying the premiums and applicable premium surcharges, complete and submit the PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA) election/change form. The PEBB Program must receive your form no later than 60 days from the date your employer-sponsored coverage ends or from the postmark date on the Continuation  Coverage Election Notice booklet sent to you, whichever is later.

If you do not enroll in life insurance under PEBB Continuation Coverage (Unpaid Leave), basic life insurance will terminate the last day of the month in which you are eligible for the employer contribution. Optional life insurance will terminate the last day of the month in which employee premiums were withheld. Basic long-term disability (LTD) ends automatically on the last day of the month in which you are eligible for the employer contribution. Optional LTD ends automatically on the earliest of the date the last period ends for which a premium contribution was made.

Application deadlines

If applying for PEBB Continuation Coverage (Unpaid Leave) you must:

  • Complete and submit the PEBB Continuation Coverage (Unpaid Leave) election/change form. The PEBB Program must receive your election form no later than 60 days from the date your employer-sponsored coverage ends or from the postmark date on the Continuation Coverage Election Notice sent to you, whichever is later.
  • Choose whether to continue life insurance coverage that was in force as an employee. If you do not choose to continue your life insurance coverage, approval may be required to reinstate coverage upon return to work. See Life insurance.
  • In some circumstances choose whether to continue Long-Term Disability (LTD) insurance that was in force as an employee. If you do not choose to continue your LTD insurance, approval may be required to reinstate coverage upon return to work.
  • Submit the first premium and any applicable premium surcharges to HCA no later than 45 days after the date your election period ends as described above or you will lose the right to continue coverage.
  • If you were enrolled in a PEBB Program Medical Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) and you wish to continue it, apply through Navia Benefit Solutions no later than 60 days after the postmark date on the Continuation Coverage Election Notice sent to you. This allows you to extend the period of coverage to claim expenses incurred during your leave of absence.
  • If your spouse or Internal Revenue Code Section 152 qualified tax dependent is an employee of a state agency and enrolled in the PEBB Program, they may enroll in or increase their election under the Medical Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA). To enroll or increase their election under the Medical FSA, they must submit the enrollment form to their employing agency no later than 60 days after you no longer meet PEBB eligibility criteria.

If applying for PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA) you must:

  • Complete and submit the PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA) election/change form. The PEBB Program must receive your election form no later than 60 days from the date your employer-sponsored coverage ends or from the postmark date on the Continuation Coverage Election Notice sent to you, whichever is later.
  • Submit the first premium and applicable premium surcharges payment to HCA no later than 45 days after the date your election period ends, as described above or you will lose the right to continue coverage.
  • Apply for Group Life Portability Coverage or convert coverage to an individual term policy (if covered for five years or more). MetLife will send portability and conversion information to you, which will include instructions on how to continue coverage. See Life insurance.
  • If your spouse or state-registered domestic partner is also covered by PEBB benefits, transfer a portion of their optional life insurance to the spouse or state-registered domestic partner’s PEBB coverage, up to the eligible limits no later than 31 days after the date you lose eligibility for the employer contribution.
  • If you were enrolled in a PEBB Program Medical Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) and wish to continue it, apply through Navia Benefit Solutions no later than 60 days from the date your PEBB health plan coverage ended or from the postmark date on the election notice sent by Navia, whichever is later. This allows you to extend the period of coverage to claim expenses incurred after employment ends.
  • If your spouse or Internal Revenue Code Section 152 qualified tax dependent is an employee of a state agency and enrolled in a PEBB Program, they may enroll in or increase their election under the Medical Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA). To enroll in or increase their election under the Medical FSA, they must submit the enrollment form to their employing agency no later than 60 days after you no longer meet PEBB eligibility criteria.

Full-time appointed and elected officials transitioning out of office

As an elected or full-time appointed official of the legislative or executive branch of state government, you are eligible to continue insurance coverage as a retiree in PEBB retiree insurance coverage upon voluntarily or involuntarily leaving public office (WAC 182-12-180).

The PEBB Program offers retirees and eligible dependents of retirees medical and dental benefits, as well as retiree term life insurance for those who had previous PEBB life insurance as an employee and are not on a life insurance waiver of premium due to disability (WAC 182-12-209).

To enroll in or defer enrollment, complete and submit the Retiree Coverage Election Form (form A). The PEBB Program must receive your form no later than 60 days after the day you leave public office. See Retiree eligibility and enrollment.

PEBB medical, dental, and basic life insurance will end at midnight on the last day of the month in which you are eligible for the employer contribution for benefits (WAC 182-12-131).

Basic life insurance will terminate the last day of the month in which you are eligible for the employer contribution. Optional life insurance will terminate the last day of the month in which employee premiums were withheld. Basic long-term disability (LTD) ends automatically on the last day of the month in which you are eligible for the employer contribution. Optional LTD ends automatically on the earliest of the date the last period ends for which a premium contribution was made.

If eligible for retirement

As an alternative to electing PEBB Continuation Coverage, employees who are eligible to retire may choose to elect PEBB retiree insurance coverage (WAC 182-12-171). To enroll in or defer enrollment complete and submit the Retiree Coverage Election Form (form A). The PEBB Program must receive your form no later than 60 days after employer-paid, COBRA, or continuation coverage ends. See Retiree eligibility and enrollment.

Returning to work after layoff

When you return to another state agency position within 24 months of leaving the original position, you may be eligible for the employer contribution toward PEBB benefits for each month you are in pay status for at least eight hours per month (see WAC 182-12-129 and WAC 182-12-131). Upon hire, you must notify your employer that you may be eligible under WAC 182-12-129.

Layoff information sessions

The Department of Enterprise Services holds information sessions for employees experiencing or anticipating a layoff or other separation from state service. Check the presentation schedule.