What are the obligations of a state agency in the application of employee eligibility?
(1) All state agencies must carry out all actions, policies, and guidance issued by the public employees benefits board (PEBB) program necessary for the operation of benefit plans, education of employees, claims administration, and appeals process including those described in chapters 182-08
, 182-12, and 182-16
WAC. State agencies must:
(a) Use the methods provided by the PEBB program to determine eligibility and enrollment in benefits, unless otherwise approved in writing;
(b) Provide eligibility determination reports with content and in a format designed and communicated by the PEBB program or otherwise as approved in writing by the PEBB program; and
(c) Carry out corrective action and pay any penalties imposed by the authority and established by the board when the state agency's eligibility determinations fail to comply with the criteria under these rules.
(2) All state agencies must determine employee eligibility for PEBB benefits and employer contribution according to the criteria in WAC 182-12-114
. State agencies must:
(a) Notify newly hired employees of PEBB rules and guidance for eligibility and appeal rights;
(b) Provide written notice to faculty who are potentially eligible for benefits and employer contribution of their potential eligibility under WAC 182-12-114
(3) and 182-12-131
(c) Inform an employee in writing whether or not he or she is eligible for benefits upon employment. The written communication must include a description of any hours that are excluded in determining eligibility and information about the employee's right to appeal eligibility and enrollment decisions;
(d) Routinely monitor all employees' eligible work hours to establish eligibility and maintain the employer contribution toward insurance coverage;
(e) Make eligibility determinations based on the criteria of the eligibility category that most closely describes the employee's work circumstances per the PEBB program's direction;
(f) Identify when a previously ineligible employee becomes eligible or a previously eligible employee loses eligibility; and
(g) Inform an employee in writing whether or not he or she is eligible for benefits and the employer contribution whenever there is a change in work patterns such that the employee's eligibility status changes. At the same time, state agencies must inform employees of the right to appeal eligibility and enrollment decisions.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.160
. WSR 12-20-022 (Order 2012-01), § 182-12-113, filed 9/25/12, effective 11/1/12; WSR 09-23-102 (Order 09-02), § 182-12-113, filed 11/17/09, effective 1/1/10.]