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Layoff Support Resources
Insurance Continuation & Other Benefits

Introduction

This information applies to employees who are laid off—either totally (100%) or partially (reduced percent time). If you are being laid off, contact the Benefits Office to learn about continuing your insurance coverage during the months in which you will not be working at the UW.

If you are enrolled in the state Public Employees’ Benefits Board (PEBB) insurance plans and your position ends due to lack of work, lack of funding, or reorganization, you may have options for continuing some of your benefits for up to 24 months—we call this "Layoff Benefits Eligibility."

Layoff Benefits Eligibility

If you move from an eligible to an otherwise ineligible position due to layoff, you may retain your eligibility for the employer contribution toward insurance coverage for each month that you are in pay status for at least eight hours. To maintain eligibility you must:
• Be hired into a position with a state agency within 24 months of the original eligible position ending; and
• Upon hire, notify the employing state agency that you are potentially eligible.

Note: This layoff benefits eligibility ceases to apply if you are employed in a position eligible for public employees benefits board (PEBB) benefits under WAC 182-12-114 within 24 months of leaving the original position.

After the 24th month, you must reestablish eligibility under WAC 182-12-114.

Medical & Dental Insurance

There are three ways to continue your medical/dental insurance eligibility following layoff:

  1. Self-pay for your insurances for any month that you do not work for the University for at least 8 hours. Complete the Leave Without Pay Continuation Election form and send it, along with your check, to the Washington State Health Care Authority in Olympia (address on form) for any month in which you are not eligible for the UW-paid employer contribution. See medical and dental Self-Pay Insurance Premium Rates.
  2. The UW will make the employer insurance contribution for any month in which you work a minimum of 8 hours at the UW in a non-student position. However, there is no guarantee that temporary hourly work will be available for employees who have been laid off. Eight hours of work is required even if you were laid off from a part-time position. Email benefits@uw.edu to let us know if you work 8 hours or more in a month. This helps us keep your benefits current. If the employee-paid share of the medical premium is not taken or not made in full by payroll deduction, you must arrange payment with the Benefits Office.
  3. Work at least 8 hours per month at any Washington State agency. The employing State agency will make employer insurance contributions for any month in which you work a minimum of 8 hours up to a maximum 24-month period. You must provide written notice to the employing State agency of your eligibility for layoff insurance continuation including effective dates.

At the end of the 24-month layoff benefit eligibility period you may be eligible to purchase additional months of coverage under the federal COBRA law. Please contact the Washington State Health Care Authority at 1-800-200-1004 for more information.

Other Health Insurance Options

You can explore other health insurance options and compare these to self-pay and COBRA.

Life, Optional life, and Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance

Life Insurance

Your group term life insurance plan coverage terminates at the end of the month in which your paid UW employment ends. You can convert your life insurance coverage (not AD&D) to an individual whole life policy. As an alternative, you can self-pay your life insurance during the 24 months of layoff benefits eligibility or pay via payroll deduction if you work at least 8 hours of eligible UW employment in a month.

Life insurance ends if your premiums are not continued and kept current. You would have to reapply with Evidence of Insurability upon return to eligible UW employment. Life insurance employee premiums are paid at the same rate as while you were in UW pay-status, with the addition that you must also pay the employer basic life insurance premium. Once layoff benefits eligibility ends, there is a conversion option which can allow you to retain the life insurance at individual whole life rates. AD&D cannot be converted.

Long Term Disability Insurance (LTD)

Basic and optional LTD insurances end the last day of the month in which your paid UW employment ends. LTD insurances can be reinstated on your return to either a temporary or permanent position at the UW.

On-Site Child Care

A child enrolled at one of the UW's on-site childcare centers may remain enrolled for up to 30 days after your employment end date. Please notify the childcare center directly of your situation.

For assistance in making new child care arrangements, contact UW CareLink at 1-866-598-3978 or check out UW CareLink’s Child/Adult Care Referral Services. You are eligible to use the services for up to 30 days after your employment end date.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Your medical FSA ends at the end of the month in which you received your last paycheck. Claims for services up to the end of that month will be honored. After layoff, you may continue your FSA through the end of the calendar year by special arrangement directly with the FSA administrator. Contact Flex-Plan Services at 866-535-9227. If you do not make special arrangements with Flex-Plan then only claims incurred prior to the end of the month in which you received your last paycheck may be submitted to the account for reimbursement.

Parking

If you leave UW employment or if you are a current employee but no longer want your U-PASS, return your U-PASS to Commuter Services to stop the charges. You continue to be financially responsible for the cost of the annual U-PASS until the U-PASS is returned. No refunds are issued for the quarterly U-PASS.

Benefits-related Contacts

Layoff Support Resources

View a summary of
Benefits at Layoff