Correcting employer errors
Employing agencies (employers) must correct their enrollment errors as described on this page, in WAC 182-08-187, and Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Program Administrative Policy 11-3.
On this page
The types of errors which require correction are as follows:
- Failure to timely notify an employee of their eligibility for PEBB benefits and the employer contribution (WAC 182-12-113 (2)).
- Failure to enroll an employee, or their dependents, including:
- Failure to timely enroll an employee and their dependents in PEBB insurance coverage, as elected by the employee.
- Failure to accurately reflect an employee's premium surcharge attestation on the employee's account in the PAY1 insurance system.
- Failure to accurately enroll an employee in employee-paid LTD insurance as elected.
- Failure to provide correct information regarding PEBB benefits to an employee which the employee relied upon.
- Failure to accurately enroll an employee in default enrollment when the elections were not received timely (WAC 182-08-197(1)(b)).
- Enrolling an employee or their dependent in PEBB benefits when they were not eligible and it is clear there was no fraud or intentional misrepresentation by the employee involved (WAC 182-12-114 or 182-12-260).
The process to correct employer errors depends on whether or not the effective date of the correction falls within the lower limit.
In most cases, an enrollment error may be resolved by the employer in accordance with PEBB Program rules and policies, if the effective date of the correction falls within the lower limit. In other words, the error may be resolved directly by the employer if the insurance system will allow you to enter the enrollment correction.
Employees should be notified of any corrections that impact the employee or their dependent’s enrollment.
If the effective date of the correction falls outside the lower limit, the employer must complete the error correction process.
When correcting an employer error within the lower limit that results in the employee or dependent being enrolled in PEBB benefits, enter the eligibility and effective dates of coverage in the insurance system that would have been entered had the enrollment been processed timely.
If the insurance system does not allow you to make the correction within the lower limit, contact Outreach and Training (O&T) through HCA Support.
When correcting an employer error within the lower limit that results in the termination of PEBB benefits, the effective date will depend on whether it’s the employee’s or dependent’s coverage being terminated and the reason for the termination.
Review PEBB Policy 19-1A to identify the effective date of a correction that results in the termination of PEBB benefits.
If the insurance system does not allow you to make the correction within the lower limit, contact O&T through HCA Support.
When the effective date of the correction falls outside the lower limit, the employer must follow the steps below to complete the error correction process.
- Draft a correction/recourse notice. The notice must be approved by the PEBB Program (PEBB) prior to being sent to the employee.
The notice must describe the error that occurred, how it will be corrected, and the recourse options available to the employee.
- Sample correction/recourse notices:
- Recourse options available to the employee are (WAC 182-08-187(5)):
- Retroactive enrollment in a PEBB medical and/or dental plan.
- Reimbursement of claims paid.
- Reimbursement of amounts paid by the employee or dependent for medical and dental premiums.
- Reimbursement of amounts paid by the employee for the premium surcharges.
- Other legal remedy received or offered.
- Other recourse, upon PEBB approval.
- Send the draft notice to Outreach and Training (O&T) through HCA Support for PEBB review.
- If the notice is approved by PEBB, send the notice to the employee.
- The notice will allow the employee to request their own recourse.
- The employee will have 31 days to review, complete, sign, and return the notice and all required documents to their employer.
- If the employee fails to return the notice and required documents, this must be reported using the same HCA Support case number used to submit the initial notice draft for review.
- If the employee disagrees with a recourse decision of the employer or PEBB, they may appeal the decision by submitting an appeal within 30 days.
- Once received, send the completed and signed copy of the notice and any required documents to O&T using the same HCA Support case number.
- The correction will be noted by PEBB and enrollment will be completed in the insurance system by:
- O&T if the correction is retroactive, or
- The employer, at the direction of O&T, if the correction is prospective.
In addition to following the necessary steps to correct errors, employers must also reconcile related premium payments and applicable premium surcharges as described below (WAC 182-08-187).
- The employer must remit to the Health Care Authority (HCA) the employer contribution and the employee contribution for the medical plan premium, applicable premium surcharges, basic life, basic accidental death and dismemberment, and employer-paid long-term disability (LTD) starting the date PEBB benefits begin.
- If an employer fails to notify a newly eligible employee of their eligibility for PEBB benefits, the employer may only collect the employee contribution for health plan premiums and applicable premium surcharges for coverage for the months after the employee was notified.
- If the employer fails to correctly enroll the amount of employee-paid LTD insurance elected by the employee, premiums will be corrected as follows:
- If additional premiums are due to the HCA, the employee is responsible for premiums for the most recent 24 months of coverage. The employer is responsible for additional months of premiums.
- If a premium refund is due to the employee, the LTD insurance contracted vendor (The Standard) is responsible for premium refunds for the most recent twenty-four months of coverage. The employer is responsible for additional months of premium refund.
- If the employer mistakenly enrolls an employee or their dependents when they are not eligible and it was clear there was no fraud or intentional misrepresentation by the employee involved, premiums and any applicable premium surcharges will be refunded by the employer to the employee without rescinding the insurance coverage.
Related rules and policies
- WAC 182-08-015 Definitions
- WAC 182-08-187 How do employing agencies (employer) and contracted vendors correct enrollment errors and is there a limit on retroactive enrollment?
- PEBB Policy 11-3: Correcting employing agency (employer) and contracted vendor enrollment errors
- PEBB Policy Addended 19-1A: Termination due to loss of eligibility or enrollment error