A special one‑time open enrollment period for long‑term disability insurance (LTD) is occurring during the month of March for benefit‑eligible WSU employees.

Long‑term disability insurance provides salary‑replacement protection, as well as possible retirement savings assistance, when an employee is unable to work due to a medical condition.

It is non‑taxable and replaces up to 60 percent of an employee’s base salary after an elected waiting period ranging from 90 to 360 days is satisfied. The insurance works for employees with medical conditions that may be part‑time, short‑term, long‑term or permanent.

During the special enrollment period between March 1–29, all benefit‑eligible classified staff, administrative professionals and faculty on appointments of half‑time or more can automatically be enrolled in optional LTD insurance or decrease their current waiting period without providing evidence of insurability. Some hourly employees may also be eligible. Undergraduate and graduate students are not eligible.

“If someone has previously applied and been denied coverage, or if a pre‑existing condition may have prevented you from applying previously, act now since your request for coverage will be granted,” said Ann Monroe, benefits director for Washington State University Human Resource Services. “If enrollment is not pursued now during the open enrollment period, individuals can request to change their coverage in the future, but that will require they go through a medical underwriting process to determine if the coverage can be approved.”

In order to apply, complete and return the LTD Open Enrollment form, by March 29 to Human Resource Services – Benefits at PO Box 641014, Pullman, WA 99164‑1014, by fax at 509‑335‑1259, or deliver the completed form to a campus’ HRS office.  Since March 31 is on a Sunday, forms should be submitted by the close of business on Friday, March 29. All changes made during March 2019 will be effective May 1, 2019.

“Statistics show that one in four people can expect to be out of work for at least a year because of a disabling condition during their working career,” Monroe said. “We never know when that may be us.  I hope WSU employees take advantage of this special open enrollment, learn more about this coverage and determine if it is something that would be beneficial to them.”

Visit the Human Resource Services Long‑Term Disability Open Enrollment Post for more information, including Frequently Asked Questions, and a schedule of planned presentations that will be offered throughout March to help employees understand the benefits of LTD insurance and decide if the special one‑time open enrollment opportunity would be advantageous for them to pursue.

Questions can be addressed to the Human Resource Service’s Benefits unit at 509‑335‑4521 or hrs@wsu.edu.