As you leave your employment with Washington State University, the following topics provide information on how your separation impacts your benefits and retirement program(s). HRS Benefits staff is available to answer your questions, please contact us at 509-335-4521 or

One-page reference document for individuals who are separated due to layoff or reduction in force: Important Benefits Information for Separation Due to Layoff/Reduction in Force

Medical and Dental Coverage – including COBRA information

Your medical and dental coverage ends on the last day of the month in which you are paid for at least 8 hours or more in your regular eligible position*. You may be eligible to continue your medical and/or dental coverage for at least 18 months under COBRA (up to 29 months under provisions due to a Layoff/Involuntary Separation/Termination). The Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) in Olympia will mail a Continuation of Coverage packet to your home address. If you lose your benefits due to being laid off, HRS Pullman will also mail you information regarding your benefit options. You have 60 days from the date your coverage ends to pursue continuation of coverage.

In the event your spouse or registered domestic partner (RDP) works for WSU, they have the option to add you and any eligible dependents you may have been carrying onto their insurance as a dependent for a lower premium rate than the self-pay COBRA rates. This may also be the case if you have a parent who works at WSU and you are under age 26. These individuals have 60 days from the end of your coverage to pursue this option. Your coverage will not go into effect until the first of the month following the date the enrollment form is received. Therefore, in order to prevent a gap in coverage, your spouse/RDP or parent should request to add you to their coverage the same month in which your coverage ends. (The above may also be applicable if your spouse/RDP or parent works for any State of Washington employer.)

Medical and Dental 
Initial Notice of COBRA and Continuation of Coverage RightsThis PEBB publication contains information about your right to extend PEBB health coverage after certain events cause your PEBB coverage to end.
COBRA Enrollment Form2020 COBRA enrollment form
Continuation Coverage Form (LWOP) 2020 Leave Without Pay (LWOP) enrollment form, to be used by employees who are laid off, and will begin self-paying in 2020. This form contains information on how to pursue life insurance coverage on a self pay basis.
COBRA RatesThis chart provides 2020 COBRA/LWOP monthly premiums for medical and dental plans.

*8 hours of pay may not generate enough compensation to cover your monthly premiums. Outstanding premiums are still the responsibility of the separating employee and may be collected from annual leave payout, other WSU pay, or invoiced to the employee.

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Retirement Plans – including Voluntary Investment Plans

You have several options regarding your retirement account(s) upon separation from employment, which could include leaving your funds in the account, rolling-over funds into another investment vehicle, or withdrawing some or all of your retirement funds. It is strongly recommended that you contact the retirement plan directly and speak with a tax advisor to understand the implications of your choice, such as taxes, possible penalties, etc. The following is contact information for the various retirement vendors:

  • TIAA (for the WSURP Regular and Voluntary Investment Plan (VIP) Accounts): Contact TIAA at 1 (800) 842-2776 or visit the TIAA website for additional information.
  • Department of Retirement Systems (PERS, TRS & LEOFF Plans): Contact the DRS at 1 (800) 547-6657 or visit the DRS website. For specific information to take into consideration before deciding to withdraw/rollover your contributions, review the information on “Withdrawals” in the DRS publications directory. Plan 3 participants may also contact Empower at 1 (888) 327-5596 or visit the Empower Washington website.
  • Deferred Compensation Program (Voluntary Account): Contact DCP at 1 (888) 327-5596 or visit the Empower Washington website for additional information.

In the event you are eligible to retire, contact HRS Benefits and your retirement plan to review your options.

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Life Insurance

The life insurance policies offered through WSU are term policies, with the “term” being the period of benefit-eligible employment. Normally, life insurance coverage ceases at the end of the month in which an employee separates. Individuals will have the option to convert or port their insurance coverage into a private policy with the carrier, which they can pursue during the first 60 days following the end of employment. In the event a person were to pass away during the 60-day window, there is a possibility the policy would still be payable. See the 2020 MetLife Certificate of Coverage for Washington Residents or 2020 MetLife Certificate of Coverage for non-Washington Residents for more information. 

In the event your spouse or qualified domestic partner works for WSU, and one employee’s coverage terminates, life insurance coverage may be transferred, without evidence of insurability, to the remaining insured employee’s life insurance.

In the event of layoff, employees may continue their life insurance on a self-pay basis for up to 29 months using the 2020 Continuation Coverage Election/Change (for LWOP) Form. Separating employees also have the option to convert the group life insurance policies to individual term and/or whole life policies with Met Life.

Please contact MetLife at 1 (866) 548-7139 or visit the MetLife website for additional information. For the employer name, enter “Washington State PEBB”.

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Long Term Disability Insurance

Both the Optional and Basic Long Term Disability (LTD) coverage cease after your employment ends; the Termination of LTD Coverage webpage provides detailed information on when long term disability insurance coverage ends.

If an employee is on an active LTD claim, or has pursued a claim prior to separation, the claim may still be processed or in place, even though active employment is no longer in effect.

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Health Savings Account (HSA)

An HSA is an account which is owned by the employee and remains as their account, even after the employee has left employment. All funds in the account (both employee-contributed and employer-contributed) will stay in the account for the employee’s future use. The employer-contributed funds deposited into the HSA each month will stop the last month in which the employee is eligible for employer sponsored medical coverage. The employee is able to claim the funds in the account after employment, but must be enrolled in a high-deductible medical plan to continue contributing to the HSA. Details on the HSA when employment ends can be directed to the plan administrator, HealthEquity, at 1-877-873-8823 or through the HealthEquity website.

The HSA Guide from HealthEquity provides detailed information about your HSA.

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Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

An FSA is an employee benefit, so coverage in the FSA typically ends when your employment ends.  This means you can claim expenses, up to the amount of funds that are available, incurred during your employment.  Generally, you cannot claim any expenses incurred after you leave employment unless you requested to accelerate your remaining contributions prior to separating from employment or continue coverage under COBRA. See WAC 182-12-133 (options for continuation coverage).

If you are eligible to continue coverage under WAC 182-12-133 (options for continuation coverage) or COBRA, you may extend your period of coverage so you may claim expenses incurred after your employment ends. To do this, contact Navia Benefit Solutions within 60 days from the end of your employment. If you elect to continue your FSA coverage, your contributions will be made on a post-tax basis. For additional information contact Navia Benefit Solutions at 1 (800) 669-3539 or

The Navia Benefits Solutions FSA Guide publication provides detailed information about your Flexible Spending Account when your employment ends (see pages 11-12).

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Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP)

You may continue to submit claims for eligible expenses (up to your account balance) for the remainder of the calendar year until your available funds are exhausted as long as the expenses for care allow you to attend school full-time, look for work, or work full-time. For additional information contact Navia Benefit Solutions at 1(800) 669-3539 or

The Navia Benefits Solutions DCAP Guide publication provides information about your Dependent Care Assistance Program.

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Liberty Mutual Auto/Home Insurance 

Your group insurance discount rate will end after your employment ends. For information about continuing your coverage and making adjustments in premium payments, contact Liberty Mutual at 1 (800)-295-3753.

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Leave Payout (for employees who accrue annual or sick leave)

If your appointment is eligible for leave payout, WSU will process the leave payout after your leave/time reports are received from your department and audited.  Sick leave is not eligible for payout, unless a qualified employee is retiring from WSU.

The following Business Policies and Procedures address leave payoff, and who is eligible:

For additional information contact HRS at (509) 335-4521 or

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Address Changes

It is important to update your address online at MyWSU. This will ensure that WSU is able to mail any important information, such as your W2 form.  Contact TIAA and the DRS directly (at the phone numbers listed above) to report the updated address for retirement accounts, and future mailings from them.

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