How to enroll

Learn how to enroll in PEBB retiree insurance coverage.

Before you enroll

  1. Compare medical plans. You must enroll in medical to enroll in dental.
  2. Compare dental plans. If you enroll in retiree dental coverage for yourself, you and your enrolled dependents must keep dental coverage for at least two years, unless you defer or cancel enrollment as allowed under PEBB Program rules.
  3. See the monthly cost for non-Medicare or Medicare PEBB medical.
  4. Explore the additional benefits available to you as a PEBB subscriber.
  5. Find out if premium surcharges apply to you.

How do I enroll?

Limited time to enroll

You have 60 days after your employer-paid or continuation coverage ends to notify the PEBB Program that you want to enroll or defer enrollment in PEBB retiree insurance coverage. You may defer retiree coverage if you maintain enrollment in other employer-based group medical.

If you don't complete your application in time, you could lose rights to enroll in PEBB retiree insurance coverage unless you regain eligibility. To regain eligibility, you would have to return to work in a PEBB Program or Washington State school district or educational service district benefits-eligible position and, at the time of termination, meet the enrollment and eligibility requirements of WAC 182-12-171.

Can I enroll retroactively due to a disability?

An employee who is determined to be retroactively eligible for a disability retirement can enroll or defer enrollment in PEBB retiree insurance coverage if they meet the following requirements:

  • The PEBB Program receives the required form and copy of the formal determination letter sent by the Department of Retirement Systems or the appropriate higher education authority no later than 60 days after the date on the determination letter, and
  • The employee immediately begins to receive a monthly pension benefit or monthly supplemental retirement benefit under their higher education retirement plan. Some exceptions to the monthly benefit apply, as described in WAC 182-12-211

The effective date of the enrollment or deferral may be retroactive to the date of eligibility for retirement, or prospective from the date on the determination letter.

Three-step timeline to enroll

  1. Contact the Social Security Administration
    About 90 days before your employer-paid coverage or continuation coverage ends, contact the Social Security Administration to enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B if you or any dependents you wish to cover are entitled to Medicare.
  2. Request a retiree enrollment packet
    60 days before your employer-paid coverage or continuation coverage ends request a retiree enrollment packet. Call 1-800-200-1004. We will send you a Retiree Enrollment Guide, which includes applications and information.
  3. Return your completed retiree application
    Within 60 days after your employer-paid coverage or continuation coverage ends return your completed retiree application and any applicable forms to the PEBB Program.

What forms do I need?

Complete the Retiree Coverage Election Form (form A) and any other documents and mail or hand deliver it to us as instructed on the form. We must receive your form no later than 60 days after your employer-paid coverage or continuation coverage ends. You must submit Form A even if you decide to defer (postpone) your enrollment.

If you or any covered dependents are entitled to Medicare, you must enroll in Part A and Part B and remain enrolled to keep your PEBB coverage. Please include a copy of the Medicare card with your enrollment form(s). 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 entitled to Medicare, include a copy of their Medicare ID card.

For more help see Completing the retiree forms.

Need help completing the 2019 Retiree Coverage Election Form (form A)? Use the step-by-step tutorial.

How do I enroll my dependents?

If you enroll dependents on your PEBB coverage, you must provide proof of their eligibility within the enrollment timelines listed above or the dependents will not be enrolled. See Dependent verification. You will need these forms:

When do I send payment?

Your first premium payment and any applicable premium surcharge is due to the HCA no later than 45 days after your 60-day election period ends, unless you choose to have your premiums and any applicable premium surcharges deducted from your monthly Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) pension check.

If you select Electronic Debit Service (EDS) as your payment method, you still need to submit your first premium payment and any applicable premium surcharge(s) to begin your coverage.

Following the first premium payment, premiums and applicable premium surcharges must be paid as described in WAC 182-08-180. See paying for benefits for details.

What can I expect after I submit my election form?

If you are a retiring employee of a state agency or a higher-education institution, your PEBB retiree insurance coverage will begin on the first day of the month after your employer-paid coverage, COBRA coverage, or continuation coverage ends.

If you are an elected or full-time appointed official leaving public office, your PEBB retiree insurance coverage will begin on the first day of the month after you leave public office.

In most cases, your employer’s payroll office will cancel (terminate) your employee coverage when they process your final paycheck. We cannot enroll you in retiree insurance coverage until this occurs.

These are the steps that will occur:

  1. When the PEBB Program process your form, we will send you a letter confirming that we received it and notifying you of next steps.
  2. The health plan(s) that covered you as an employee will send you a cancellation letter after your payroll office cancels your employee coverage.
  3. Federal rules require us to send you a PEBB Continuation of Coverage Election Notice booklet. Keep it for future reference.
  4. If your election form is incomplete, or if you do not submit your first premium payment and any applicable premium surcharges within the time allowed, we will send you a letter requesting more information and/or payment.
  5. Once your payroll office terminates your employee coverage, we receive your completed election form including all other required documents, and first premium payment (with any applicable premium surcharges), and we determine you are eligible, we will enroll you in PEBB retiree insurance coverage. In most cases, your retiree coverage begins immediately after your current coverage ends.
  6. After your enrollment begins, your health plan(s) will send you a welcome packet.

If we determine you are not eligible, you will receive a denial letter that includes your rights to appeal and a refund of any premiums and applicable premium surcharges received.

If you are a Washington State school district, educational service district, or charter school retiree and meet PEBB eligibility and enrollment requirements, your coverage begins the first of the month after your employer-paid coverage or continuation coverage ends.

Can I enroll on two PEBB accounts?

An enrolled dependent may be enrolled in only one medical or dental plan. If you and your spouse or state-registered domestic partner are both independently eligible for PEBB insurance coverage, you need to decide which of you will cover yourselves and any eligible children on your medical or dental plans. For example, you could defer PEBB retiree medical for yourself and enroll as a dependent on your spouse’s or state-registered domestic partner’s medical coverage.