UW Retiree Benefits
The benefits for which you may be eligible as a UW retiree include medical, dental, and vision insurance; continuation, portability, or conversion of your life insurance coverage; a VEBA health reimbursement account; and a retirement investment account and/or fixed-benefit pension plan.
Your best resource for understanding your eligibility for various retiree benefits is the UW Benefits Office (206.543.4444). Employees and retirees are assigned to Benefits Consultants based on the first letter of their last name: A-G should contact John Comerford (firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.616.7845), H-N should contact Cassondra Pascoe (email@example.com or 206.543.2805), and O-Z should contact Gerry Grohs (firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.543.2810).
RETIREE HEALTH INSURANCE
Medical, dental, and vision insurance for all Washington state retirees is managed by the Health Care Authority (HCA) and the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB). These entities also manage health insurance for current state employees, but in retirement you will work directly with HCA rather than with the UW Benefits Office to manage your insurance plan elections, open enrollment, and other administrative matters.
Retirees may make changes to their health plan elections (i.e., changing from one health plan option to another) during the annual Open Enrollment period. However, the decision to elect, defer, or decline participation in your retiree health insurance benefits is a one-time decision which must be made within a limited time period following your official retirement date.
To ensure a smooth transition, the UW Benefits Office recommends that you begin the insurance enrollment process up to six months before your retirement date.
RETIREE HEALTH INSURANCE AND MEDICARE
Retirees who have elected to participate in plans offered through the Health Care Authority are required to enroll in Medicare when you or your dependent turns 65. The state of Washington funds an explicit premium subsidy for Medicare-eligible plan participants. The subsidy is currently equal to $183 or half the total premium amount (whichever is less), per month, per subscriber. This subsidy is applied automatically. You do not need to take any action to receive this subsidy, and it is already factored into the published premium rates for each plan year.
Have Questions About How to Choose Your Health Plan?
The Office of the Insurance Commissioner provides assistance in selecting medical insurance through its Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program.
Depending on your current coverage and policy, you may be eligible to port some or all of your existing coverage, or convert your existing term life insurance coverage to an individual whole life policy.
VEBA HEALTH REIMBURSEMENT ACCOUNT
Some UW retirees are eligible to deposit a portion of the cash value of their unused, accrued sick leave into a VEBA account, which may then be used to reimburse qualified health expenses. Participant account balances are held by VEBA Trust, a non-profit, multiple-employer voluntary employees’ beneficiary association authorized under Section 501(c)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code.
FIXED-BENEFIT PENSIONS (PERS 1/2/3, TRS 1/3 AND LEOFF 2)
If you are enrolled in one of the state’s fixed-benefit pension plans, please consult the UW Benefits Office for information on benefit calculations, vesting, and age and service requirements:
All fixed-benefit pension plans are administered by the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems.
UW RETIREMENT PLAN (UWRP)
If you are enrolled in the UW Retirement Plan, please consult the UW Benefits Office for information on accessing your funds, and age and service requirements.
UW SUPPLEMENTAL RETIREMENT PLAN (UWSRP)
Some participants in the UW Retirement Plan may be eligible for additional retirement income through the UWSRP.