Over the past year, a number of individuals have been involved with an interagency work group headed up by our state’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to address the troubling reality of suicide. The work group’s first outcome is the recent release of the new state employee suicide prevention website. There are six main sections: Get Help Now; Help a Loved One; Help a Coworker; Manager and HR Resources; If You Have Lost Someone to Suicide; and Understanding Suicide. Click on the link below for more information.
Our Employee Assistance Program continues to be a wonderful source of helpful information! This month’s EAP newsletter, Frontline, offers tips about a number of issues including:
- To-do lists
- Positive thinking/attitudes
- Fitness ideas for the desk worker
Click the link below to take advantage of more ways to improve your work relationships and beyond!
There are just a few days left to enroll in Long-term Disability, which ends on March 31, 2019. This was special, one-time open enrollment opportunity for optional long-term disability insurance. Click the highlighted link above to find out how you can enroll.
From March 1 through March 31, 2019, you will have a special, one-time open enrollment opportunity for optional long-term disability insurance. You can enroll or reduce your waiting period without providing evidence of insurability (proof of good health). Normally, you must submit proof of good health to take these actions after your initial 31-day eligibility period for PEBB benefits.
This opportunity is available to employees whose employer offers LTD insurance. Changes made during March 2019 will be effective May 1, 2019. Learn more about optional LTD, or calculate your LTD insurance needs, on The Standard’s website.
If you haven’t enrolled in optional LTD in the past, or didn’t want to provide proof of good health, now is a great time to reconsider this benefit.
Note: The current preexisting condition exclusion and 12-month exclusion period will still apply during the one-time open enrollment. Please read your certificate of coverage carefully to understand this benefit.
How do I take advantage of this opportunity?
To enroll or reduce your waiting period, complete the Long-Term Disability One-time Open Enrollment/Change Form and submit it to your personnel, payroll, or benefits office by March 31, 2019.
On behalf of Sheryl Gordon:
Starting in 2020, Washington State will be the fifth state in the nation to offer paid family and medical leave to workers. Washington State passed legislation in 2017 that established the “Paid Family and Medical Leave” (PFML) program that offers Washington workers the opportunity to receive partial wage replacement while on leave for qualifying family and/or medical events after establishing eligibility. This insurance program will allow workers to take up to 12 weeks, as needed, when they welcome a new child into their family, experience a serious illness, need to take care of a sick relative, and for certain military connected events. If workers experience multiple events in a given year, they may be eligible to receive up to 16 weeks, or up to 18 weeks if the employee experiences a serious health condition with a pregnancy that results in incapacity.
Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Program is organized as an insurance program, and like most insurance programs, it is funded through premiums. Beginning on January 1, 2019, most employers will be required to withhold premiums from their employee’s paychecks, and many employers will be required to pay into the program too.
As directed by the Legislature, premium assessment begins on January 1, 2019 and benefits can be applied for starting January 1, 2020.
Green River College is opting to pay both the employer and the employee premiums to fund this new Paid Family & Medical Leave program!
Details on How It Will Work
Eligible Washington workers will be able to use Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits starting in 2020. The application and benefit payment process will be managed by the Washington State Employment Security Department. For more information about PFML, go to www.paidleave.wa.gov
On behalf of Sheryl Gordon:
Our Open Enrollment period is continuing but you’ve got just 15 days to make changes to your current plans! From now until November 30, you can make the following changes:
- Change medical and dental plans;
- Add or remove dependents from your coverage;
- Enroll or re-enroll in the Medical Flexible Spending Arrangement or the Dependent Care Assistance Program
- Waive medical coverage if you have or are enrolling in other employer group medical, a TRICARE Plan or Medicare;
- Enroll in health coverage if you previously waived;
- Re-attest to the spouse/state-registered domestic partner coverage premium surcharge. You only need to do this during Open Enrollment if PEBB sent you a letter telling you to do so.
You make changes on your My Account feature on the PEBB website 24 hours/day.
Changes made during Open Enrollment become effective January 1, 2019.
Now that summer has officially begun, lots of us will be taking some time to enjoy travel and well-deserved “down time”. As you plan your vacations and leisure time, be sure to check out the articles and resources offered through our Employee Assistance Program. The link below will guide you to a number of informative articles to help you get the most out of your free time.