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Self-Pay Insurance for
Faculty, Staff & Librarians on Leave

You may elect to continue your medical, dental, and life insurances on a self-paid basis when you are on an approved unpaid leave or are laid off from UW employment. You choose which, if any, of the coverages you wish to continue. If you are on an approved educational leave, you may also elect to continue your long-term disability insurance on a self-paid basis (see below).

If you do not continue your life insurance on a self-paid basis, you may not be automatically reinstated when you return to work. Evidence of Insurability may be required before reinstatement. You may continue your medical, dental, and life insurance coverage on a self-paid basis provided that you are on an approved leave of absence from a PEBB insurance-eligible position and that the leave is no longer than 24 months, the maximum period allowed by the UW and most labor agreements.

If your leave is fully or partially covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), some of your coverages may not require that you self-pay for insurance coverage. Staff should contact their HR Consultant if you have questions about whether a leave may be covered by the FMLA. Faculty and librarians should contact Academic Human Resources for more information. If you receive written notification that a leave of absence without pay is covered by FMLA, you should email for information about benefits eligibility under FMLA.

Long-Term Disability

Long-Term Disability (LTD) insurance is typically not in force while an employee is on an unpaid leave of absence. An exception would be when an employee on approved educational leave without pay (LWO) self-pays for long-term disability insurance. If an educational leave is partially paid, deductions are taken from the partial salary, and you can elect to self-pay the difference in order to maintain full long-term disability insurance coverage. If the additional premium is not paid, then in the event of a claim, benefits would be based on the partial salary. You can arrange to pay the portion of the insurance premium not covered by your partial salary by contacting Employees on other types of unpaid leave may not self-pay to continue long-term disability insurance, but coverage can be reinstated if you apply within 10 days of returning from your leave without pay.

Self-Pay Premiums

Leave While on Active Military Duty

If you are called to active duty military service, special rules apply for continuation of your medical, dental, life and long-term disability insurance benefits. Learn more about eligibility while on active duty military leave.

Deciding NOT to Self-pay

If you choose not to continue your benefits on a self-paid basis:

If you allow your optional (employee-paid) life insurance to lapse and, if on approved education leave, your LTD insurance lapses, you must re-apply for coverage upon your return, providing proof of good health to the insurance company.

Returning to Work

If you are returning from leave and were paying PEBB self-paid insurance premiums while on leave, you will receive employer contributions for coverage beginning the first of the month in which you return to work in a PEBB insurance-eligible position. If you have self-paid premiums for any month in which you are eligible for premium contribution by the UW, you will be reimbursed for any self-pay premium payment. If your medical premiums were not self-paid, coverage will begin the first of the month in which you return to work at least 8 hours.


Disclaimer: The information on this page does not substitute for official plan documents. If there is a conflict between the information on this site and an official plan document, the official plan document will govern. Refer to the Benefits Forms & Publications page.

Plan availability and eligibility may change depending on your employment status and/or actions of the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA), the agency that purchases and coordinates health insurance benefits for public employees, including employees of the University of Washington, through the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) program.

Insurance Topics