PEBB Benefits Eligibility

Non-student temporary hourly employees are now referred to as Nonpermanent employees as of December, 2022. For information and frequently asked questions about the Nonpermanent employee category, visit Modernization Nonpermanent.

These employees can become eligible for PEBB benefits in the following ways; these are unchanged from the prior non-student temporary hourly rules as well as Nonpermanent rules:

At the Time of the Initial Appointment: If, at the time of initial appointment, it is known that the employee is anticipated to work for more than a six-month consecutive period, and average at least 80 hours per month with at least eight hours in each month, they may become eligible for benefits as of the beginning of the appointment. (See WAC 182-12-114(1)(a)(i) – PEBB benefits eligibility.) In Workday, if the appointment term is six months or more, and the work hours 20 or more per week, with the additional data verifying they are anticipated to work at least 8 hours a month during at least a six month period, they will be determined to be eligible at the beginning of the appointment.  

It is important departments accurately reflect the anticipated work pattern when they enter jobs into Workday, since that information is what HRS Benefits will use to determine benefit eligibility. In the majority of cases, changes to the job after the fact will not change the initial benefit eligibility determination.

Based on Work Pattern or Change in Work Pattern: If it is unknown or not anticipated at the time of the initial appointment that the employee will meet the above criteria, but 1) their appointment is later modified or 2) the employee’s actual work pattern ends up meeting the criteria, the employee may become benefits eligible at that time.  At WSU, this is referred to as the 480/6 criteria, which reflects a work pattern in which an employee has worked more than a consecutive six-month period, and averaged at least 80 hours per month with at least eight hours in each month. (See WAC 182-12-114(1)(a)(ii-iii) – PEBB benefits eligibility.)  In other words, any Nonpermanent employee who has worked 480 hours (80 × 6 months) in a consecutive six-month period, with eight hours of pay in each of the 6 months will be eligible for insurance benefits beginning the seventh month of continuous employment.

After establishing eligibility in the above two scenarios, if an employee does not work a minimum of eight hours in any month, the employee will lose benefit eligibility and must re-establish eligibility.

Recurring Seasonal Employment: Nonpermanent employees who work performing similar type work on a recurring seasonal basis, who average at least 80 hours per month with at least eight hours in each month of the season, may become eligible. (See WAC 182-12-114(2) – PEBB benefits eligibility.) A season is identified as a period as short as three consecutive months that occurs on a recurring annual basis.

After establishing eligibility, employees will be eligible for benefits during the recurring seasonal period, provided they work each season performing similar work. In the event there is a season in which the employee does not work, or the work is substantially different, the employee will lose benefit eligibility and must re-establish eligibility. Employees who become eligible will be able to self-pay for their coverage during the off season.

Appeals & Review Process: HRS will notify employees of any changes in eligibility and employees have the right to ask HRS to re-evaluate their benefit eligibility at any time. Employees have 30 days from the decision date to appeal eligibility decisions made through the PEBB Appeals Process. The appeals process and forms are available by contacting HRS.

Retirement Eligibility

Nonpermanent employees whose appointment details in Workday reflect they are anticipated to work at least 70 hours per month for five months out of a 12-month period become eligible for retirement participation with the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems upon initial appointment. If not immediately identified as eligible under this criteria, the employee will be monitored for eligibility based on work pattern; once this criterion is met, the individual will become eligible for retirement participation at that time.

Nonpermanent employees will be initially enrolled in the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) Plan 2, and will be given 90 days to elect permanent participation with either PERS Plan 2 or PERS Plan 3.