Faculty and staff on academic or 9-month appointments will have summer premiums and surcharges collected from the last paychecks of the Spring Semester. Summer premiums for life insurance will be collected from the May 10 paycheck, and medical premiums and any surcharges will be collected from the May 25 paycheck. The lump sum premium will be equivalent to seven pay periods (one May contribution, and all June, July, and August premiums).

For individuals on 9.5 or 10-month appointments, deduction dates will vary based on when the summer break occurs. Those on 11-month appointments will not see a Summer deduction on their paychecks prior to their break, and we will capture any premiums in due after the break.

Additional information can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Medical Insurance Premiums and Surcharges

Employees will see Summer medical premiums, as well as any applicable tobacco and/or spousal insurance surcharges collected from the May 25 paycheck. Life insurance premiums for the summer months, however, will be collected from the May 10 paycheck.

For more details on this lump sum payment, view the summer medical premium payment chart.

Coverage or Premium Changes that Occur Over the Break

In the event a life or medical insurance change occurs over the Summer, WSU will collect/refund associated premiums in the Fall when the employee returns to work to bring accounts into balance. Changes that could cause premiums to be out of balance would be a change in premium rates due to a birthday or adding/dropping coverage over the Summer.

Summer Benefits Example

An employee has full family coverage (self, spouse, and child[ren]) under Uniform Medical Classic Plan and Employee Supplemental Life Insurance. They normally pay $156.50 for Medical, and $45.00 for Life insurance each pay period.

PremiumsFirst May CheckSecond May Check
Life Insurance
Life Insurance (Summer Benefits)
+ 270.00 ($45.00×6)
Health Insurance
Health Insurance (Summer Benefits)
+ $939.00 ($156.50×6)

**Normal life insurance deduction on the May 25 check
**Normal health insurance deduction on the May 10 check

Summer Benefit FAQs

The following Q&As primarily address summer benefits for faculty and staff on 9-month appointments. For employees on 9.5, 10, and 11-month appointments, payroll deduction dates will vary based on when their summer break occurs.

I am on a less than 12-month appointment. Will my benefits remain active over the summer months, and if so, how will I pay for those premiums?

WSU provides 12 months of coverage for employees on less than 12-month appointments, provided the faculty or staff member will be returning to work at WSU following the Summer break.

Premiums for the summer months will be collected from the May 10 paycheck (life insurance premiums) and the May 25 paycheck (medical premiums and surcharges).

Why are summer benefit premiums taken out of two paychecks instead of one?

For 9-month employees, seven pay cycles worth of life insurance premiums, medical insurance premiums, spousal surcharges, and/or tobacco surcharges need to be collected prior to the summer break. To help diffuse the impact of this potentially large sum of deductions, WSU collects these premiums and surcharges from the two May paychecks.

What happens if I make changes to my insurance during the summer months?

If you make changes to your coverage during the summer months that result in a change in premiums after the lump sum payment has already been deducted, an over- or under-deduction may have occurred. Any deficient or surplus premiums will be collected or refunded when you return to work in the fall.

If an individual has a Summer appointment during their regular summer break, will insurance premiums or surcharges be collected from those earnings?

No. All summer premiums and surcharges should have been collected at the end of the spring semester, and collection of premiums/surcharges from summer pay would not be required.

Will a faculty member be eligible for summer benefits if they are not returning in the fall?

If a faculty member is not expected to return to WSU for the fall semester, they are not eligible for summer benefits and their coverage will end May 31. Premiums would not be collected on the May paychecks. Departments and Colleges are requested to submit Termination actions in Workday as soon as possible to ensure benefits are processed correctly.

If the faculty member will have a summer appointment, please see “What if I will have a Summer Appointment following the end of my regular 9-month appointment?”

What happens to the life insurance summer premiums already collected on the May 10 paycheck if an employee separates during the first half of May?

A refund of the summer portion of life insurance premiums will be issued, possibly as early as the May 25 paycheck. In addition, medical premiums would not be withheld from the May 25 paycheck.

What if I will have a Summer appointment following the end of my regular 9-month appointment?

If a faculty member is not expected to return to work in the Fall, the department should enter the summer appointment(s) as a Change Job action when possible. This will communicate that the primary 9-month job is over, and the faculty member is changing jobs to a summer assignment. This appointment would then be reviewed by HRS Benefits to determine if benefits can be extended through the summer.

For faculty who will be returning the next Fall, most summer appointments should be set up as Add Job actions, with some exceptions. This communicates that this person is maintaining their academic appointment through the end of the year, and adding an additional job(s) for the summer period.

How much must I work in the Summer to maintain summer benefits if I know I will not be returning to work in the Fall?

In any semester, be if Fall, Spring, or Summer, a faculty member must be employed at a 50% level or more to maintain benefit eligibility. Since there can be a variety of summer appointments, all appointments occurring for the period of May 16 – August 15 are reviewed to determine if the 50% average is met for the entire Summer Session. Since the Summer semester is shorter than the normal academic year semester, a weighted average is used.

Please contact HRS Benefits to request a review of continued eligibility based on summer employment.

I will not be back with WSU in the Fall, but will be working with another State of Washington higher education institution. Does this have an impact on my summer benefit eligibility?

Yes. If you will be continuing with another higher education institution in the Fall, WSU would maintain your benefits through the summer, and the other institution would pick you up in the Fall (September 1).

This is only if you are moving to another State of Washington institution.  Moving to a higher education employer in another state does not extend your employee benefits.

Please contact HRS Benefits to inform us of this change in employer so we can assist with a smooth benefit transition to the new institution.

I am a faculty member employed on a semester by semester basis, and due to the nature of my employment, my FTE will vary semester to semester. Do I have any options to maintain insurance based on my fluctuating employment?

If you have been on benefits for at least two years, then experience a reduction in FTE to below 50% or a semester break, but it is anticipated you will be returning to work with WSU in the future, you can request HRS Benefits to perform a two-year averaging review. This may allow you to maintain your benefits for a period of time until it can be confirmed whether or not you will average working 50% or more over a year.

Questions can be directed to HRS Benefits at 509-335-4521 or hrs.benefits@wsu.edu.