Employee benefits will see some significant changes this fall at WSU. Human Resource Services (HRS) will publish several articles over the next few months to provide information on benefits and changes. Here is a sneak peek at what’s coming:
Medical coverage: The Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) has approved changes to the state’s medical benefits package effective Jan. 1, 2010. These changes impact out-of-pocket expense levels, such as deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance rates.
In October, PEBB and the Health Care Authority (HCA) will send open enrollment packets to employees’ homes that will provide information about these changes. HRS articles will address benefit changes, open enrollment, flexible spending accounts and other important benefit information.
Preliminary information regarding the 2010 benefit changes is available online and can be accessed through the HRS website, www.hrs.wsu.edu, under “Latest News.”
Domestic partners and insurance coverage: Effective Jan. 1, PEBB rules have expanded eligibility for PEBB coverage to opposite-sex domestic partners age 62 and over, which is in addition to coverage for married partners and same-sex domestic partners.
 
Domestic partners must register their partnership with the Washington Secretary of State’s Office in order to be covered.
New dependent verification: If you cover family members on your medical/dental coverage, this fall PEBB will request information to verify that those covered meet eligibility criteria.
In the soon-to-be-mailed PEBB newsletter, “For Your Benefit,” the new process will be discussed, with additional mailings and information to be distributed this fall. The information will explain what action(s) you must take to either keep your family members enrolled in PEBB health coverage or remove ineligible family members.
The PEBB newsletter also is available online at www.pebb.hca.wa.gov, under the “Spotlight” section or “Publications” link.
DRS seminar for those planning to retire: The Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) will host a free retirement planning seminar in Pullman 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17.
It will include general information presentations on Social Security; VEBA accounts; DCP (Deferred Compensation Program, State of Washington); and state retirement plans including PERS 1, 2 and 3, TRS (Teachers’ Retirement System) Plan 1, and LEOFF (Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’) Plan 2.
You must pre-register at 1-888-711-6676 or online at https://fortress.wa.gov/drs/retirementplanning/main.asp.
 
DRS/DCP presentations for all employees: In addition to the large-group presentation Oct. 17 for those planning to retire within five years, DRS representatives will be on the Pullman campus on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 15-16, to provide plan-specific presentations on: PERS 1/TRS 1; PERS 2/LEOFF 2; PERS 3, and the Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP), which is a retirement savings option available to all employees.
Individual appointments also will be available. Please watch for future announcements providing times, locations and information about making an appointment.