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COBRA

What is PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA)?

PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA) is a temporary extension of PEBB health plan coverage for qualified individuals and families, at the individual’s own expense, when the individual experiences a qualifying event.

When to apply for PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA)

When you notify your employer of your intent to retire or separate from employment, and your termination has been processed, the PEBB Program will send you a PEBB Continuation Coverage Election Notice, which begins a 60-day window in which you may apply for PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA). If you do not apply for PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA) during this timeframe, your health plan coverage will end. If you enroll in PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA) as a "bridge" to PEBB retiree insurance coverage, you must be eligible to retire when your PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA) ends. 

Exception: If you are leaving a school district, charter school, or educational service district with benefits under the School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) Program, enroll in SEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA). If you are a nonrepresented employee leaving an educational service district that does not provide PEBB insurance coverage while you are working, enroll in COBRA  through your educational service district.

Applying for PEBB retiree insurance coverage

If you wish to apply for PEBB retiree insurance coverage when your PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA) ends, you must meet the eligibility requirements of your retirement plan and meet the procedural requirements to be eligible to enroll in or defer PEBB retiree insurance coverage. 

Contact PEBB if you are unsure of the eligibility and procedural requirements for PEBB retiree insurance coverage.

Timeframe

Action to take if you are enrolling in coverage: Action to take if you are deferring coverage:
6 months prior to COBRA coverage ending Contact DRS to request a retirement estimate, if applicable. Contact DRS to request a retirement estimate, if applicable.

3 months prior to your 65th birthday or terminating employment at age 65 or older

Contact Social Security Administration (SSA) to enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B if you or any dependents you wish to cover are eligible for Medicare, due to either age or disability. Make sure you understand the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) and Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for Medicare and how these timelines affect the start date of Medicare.

Be sure to apply for Medicare prior to the month you turn age 65. The SSA does not allow you to defer Medicare when you are on PEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA) and you could incur a penalty.

 
3 months prior to COBRA  coverage ending Request a Retiree Enrollment Guide.
30-60 days prior to retirement
  • Submit your retirement application to DRS (if applicable) if you participate with DRS.
  • Send the PEBB Program:
    • Retiree Election form (form A) and any other required forms
    • A copy of your Medicare ID card showing enrollment in Medicare Part A and Part B (if eligible). Write your full name and the last four digits of your Social Security number on the copy of your card. If you wish to enroll dependents who are enrolled in Medicare, include a copy of their Medicare ID card.
    • Payment for your first month’s health plan premium and applicable premium surcharges (if not using pension deduction).

The PEBB Program must receive the form no later than 60 days after employer-paid coverage, COBRA coverage or continuation coverage ends. If enrolling in a Medicare plan, the PEBB Program should receive the forms prior to the month the retiree insurance coverage begins. You may want to keep a copy of your forms for your files.

  • Submit your retirement application to DRS (if applicable) if you participate with DRS..
  • Send your Retiree Election form (form A) to the PEBB Program. The form must be received by the PEBB Program no later than 60 days after your employer-paid coverage, COBRA coverage or continuation coverage ends.  You may want to keep a copy of your form for your files.
  • You must be enrolled in other qualified insurance to reenroll in the future.

Contact

The PEBB Program

Department of Retirement Systems (DRS)
Online
360-664-7000
Toll-free: 1-800-547-6657