Defer as a survivor

If you are a survivor of an eligible employee, retiree, or emergency service personnel killed in the line of duty, this page will help you understand what you need to do and by when to defer enrollment in PEBB retiree insurance coverage.

You will need to submit the Retiree Election Form (form A) to defer enrollment, along with any other forms and documents based on your situation. 

The PEBB Program must receive required forms and documentation before the end of your 60-day (or 180-day) election period. If you do not meet this deadline, you may not be eligible to defer enrollment in PEBB retiree insurance coverage.

 Looking for answers to eligibility questions? Visit Are my survivors eligible? Need to learn more about deferring? Visit What is deferring and why would I?

For survivors of eligible employees and retirees

When an employee or retiree passes away, their spouse, state-registered domestic partner, or child who loses eligibility due to the death may enroll or defer in PEBB retiree insurance coverage as a survivor. 

What do I do?

To defer PEBB retiree insurance coverage, you must:

To enroll in the future, you must be continuously enrolled in qualified medical coverage and submit the required forms by the deadline. Visit How do I enroll after deferring? for details.

By when?

The PEBB Program must receive your forms and documents within the following timelines. For eligible survivors of an:

Employee

No later than 60 days after the date of your loved one's death or the date your PEBB, SEBB, or educational service district insurance coverage ends, whichever is later.

Retiree

No later than 60 days after your loved one's death.

Elected or full-time appointed official

No later than 60 days after the date of your loved one's death or the date your PEBB insurance coverage ends, whichever is later.

For survivors of emergency service personnel

What do I do?

To defer enrollment in PEBB retiree insurance coverage, you must:

To enroll in the future, you must be continuously enrolled in qualified medical coverage and submit the required forms by the deadline. Visit How do I enroll after deferring? for details.

By when?

The PEBB Program must receive your forms no later than 180 days after the latest of these events:

  • The death of your loved one.
  • The date on the letter from the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) or the Board for Volunteer Firefighters and Reserve Officers that informs you that you are eligible.
  • The last day you are covered under any health plan (including COBRA coverage) through your loved one's employer.

I'm already enrolled. Can I defer?

Yes. If you are already enrolled in PEBB retiree insurance coverage, you may want to defer enrollment if you have other qualified medical coverage.

Real-world example

If you are still working and have medical coverage through your employer, your employer's coverage may be less expensive than PEBB retiree insurance coverage for you now that your loved one has passed away.

Coverage through your employer meets the criteria as qualified medical coverage, so you may defer your enrollment in PEBB retiree insurance coverage. When you are ready to retire or stop working and your employer coverage ends, you will be able to enroll in a PEBB retiree health plan.

As long as you defer when you first become eligible, and remain enrolled in qualified medical coverage, you will be eligible for PEBB retiree insurance coverage when you retire.

 For more on how to defer, see For enrolled members who want to defer. This will tell you what to do, by when.

Questions about deferring or deadlines?

Please call the PEBB Program at 1-800-200-1004 (TRS: 711) or send us a secure message through HCA Support, a secure website that allows you to log into your own account to communicate with us. You will need to set up a SecureAccess Washington (SAW) account to use this option.  

Supporting information

What is qualified medical coverage?

Qualified medical coverage is enrollment in other insurance, for example, through your spouse or state-registered domestic partner, or military affiliation. This may include:

  • Enrollment as a dependent in a Washington State educational service district-sponsored, PEBB-sponsored, or SEBB-sponsored health plan
  • Employer-based group medical
  • Federal retiree medical plan such as a TRICARE plan or Federal Employees Health Benefits Program
  • Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA)
  • Medicare Part A and Part B and a Medicaid program that provides creditable coverage
  • Enrollment in health benefit exchange coverage that is not Medicaid – for retirees not enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B
Forms and documents you may need to submit

Required forms

Supporting documents you may need

Related laws and rules

For retiring employees and retirees

WAC 182-12-200: May a retiring employee, a retiring school employee, or a retiree enrolled as a dependent in a health plan sponsored by public employees benefits board (PEBB), a Washington State educational service district, or school employees benefits board (SEBB) defer enrollment under PEBB retiree insurance coverage?

For retirees and survivors: defer or voluntarily terminate

WAC 182-12-205: May a retiree or a survivor defer enrollment or voluntarily terminate enrollment under public employees benefits board (PEBB) retiree insurance coverage?

For elected and full-time appointed officials and their survivors

WAC 182-12-180: When is an elected and full-time appointed official of the legislative and executive branch of state government, or their survivor eligible to continue enrollment in public employees benefits board (PEBB) retiree insurance coverage?

For survivors of emergency service personnel killed in the line of duty

WAC 182-12-250: Public employees benefits board (PEBB) insurance coverage eligibility for survivors of emergency service personnel killed in the line of duty.

Continuing enrollment when an employee or retiree dies

WAC 182-12-265: What options for continuing health plan enrollment are available to a surviving spouse, state registered domestic partner, or child, if an employee, a school employee, or a retiree dies?

Contact

The PEBB Program
Phone: 1-800-200-1004
TRS: 711
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

HCA Support (secure, login portal with your personal account)
Send us a secure message through HCA Support, a secure website that allows you to log into your own account to communicate with us. You will need to set up a SecureAccess Washington (SAW) account to use this option.