News release

For immediate release
Monday, August 5, 2019

Board approves medical premiums for school employees

School Employees Benefits Board Program begins coverage Jan. 1, 2020

OLYMPIA – The board overseeing the School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) Program last week approved final medical plans, employee premiums, and service areas, ensuring access to a variety of high-quality, affordable medical plan options to eligible school employees in 2020.

Depending on plan service area:

  • Employee-only subscribers will have medical plan options with monthly premiums as low as $13 and no higher than $116.
  • School employees enrolling their spouse or state registered-domestic partner and children will have medical plan options with monthly premiums as low as $39 and no higher than $348.

An estimated 150,000 school district, charter school and union-represented educational service district employees will select their medical plans during the first annual open enrollment (Oct. 1 through Nov. 15, 2019) for benefits beginning Jan. 1, 2020.

“This is a very significant moment in our ongoing efforts to build a healthier Washington,” Health Care Authority (HCA) Director Sue Birch said. “For years, we have heard stories of school employees who have been unable to afford health care for themselves and their families. Using our purchasing power, we are able to offer a variety of options for excellent, affordable coverage.”

The board approved plans, premiums, and service areas from Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Kaiser Permanente Washington, Kaiser Permanente Washington Options, Premera Blue Cross, and HCA’s self-insured Uniform Medical Plan (administered by Regence BlueShield and Washington State Rx Services).

School employees will be offered a selection of plans based on their county of residence. Some school employees—including those who live outside Washington—may have additional plan options if they work in a district that crosses county lines or is in a county that borders Idaho or Oregon.

Employees in each county will have at least three plan choices; most will have many more:

  • 98.8 percent of employees will have four or more plan choices
  • 75 percent have nine or more plan choices
  • 70 percent have 11 or more plan choices
  • 65 percent have 12 or more plan choices
  • 54 percent have 13 or more plan choices

The Legislature created the SEBB Program in 2017 with the goal of leveraging HCA’s experience in administering the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Program to offer fair, affordable, high-quality health benefits to the state’s school employees.

Benefit and premium information for employees will be available on HCA's website on Sept. 3. HCA will mail an enrollment guide to school employees in mid-September with details about all of the plan and benefit offerings, premiums, and how to enroll. HCA also will offer in-person benefits fairs and online tools to help employees select the right plans for themselves and their families.