Open Enrollment Through November 30th

Posted on behalf of Sheryl Gordon, Employee Benefits.

Open Enrollment continues through November 30, and there are new plans available for 2016. If you haven’t taken the time to review your plan, now is the perfect time!


In case you need to catch up on the conversation, in our last post we detailed information on the following:

  • Register Online
  • Add Family Members
  • Stay Up to Date
  • Compare Plans
  • Re-enroll in FSA or Dependent Care Programs
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing a Medical Plan

Here are some things to think about when choosing a medical plan…

Open Enrollment Is Here!!!

Posted on behalf of Sheryl Gordon, Employee Benefits. 

Open enrollment is finally here! Whooooohooooo!


Find answers to the most often asked questions during EVERY Open Enrollment. 

  • Learn what changes you can make…
  • Learn how and where to make your changes by logging into “My Account”…
  • Find out where to attend a benefits fair…
  • Find out if there are any Webinars left…
  • Find out how to enroll or re-enroll in   Flexible Spending and/or Dependent Care Assistance…

During Open Enrollment each year you can change plans, add or remove eligible family members, waive your health coverage if you have a valid reason under PEBB rules, enroll in the Flexible Spending Program or the Dependent Care Assistance Program or (if you need to) re-attest to the spousal coverage premium surcharge.

Register Online

Unless you’re adding family members never on your account before, you will DO IT ONLINE at – If you’ve never registered before, you will need to do that first.  On your MY ACCOUNT  you will change plans, add or remove family members, re-attest if you need to (by clicking on the “my attestations” tab at the top of the page) of your “My Account.”

Add Family Members

If you’re adding eligible family members never before on your account, you will need to submit a 2016 paper enrollment form to Human Resources because you will also have to provide verification (prove they are your family members).  Find the forms under “Get a Form” in the green tabs on the PEBB WEBSITE

Stay Up to Date

There’s still one webinar left —on Monday, November 23 and lots of benefit fairs.  More information at Benefit Fairs and Webinars. Also, be sure to check out the October “For Your Benefit” newsletter. 

Compare Plans

A VERY, VERY COOL FEATURE ON THE PEBB WEBSITE is the Medical Plan Comparison Tool  You can compare the benefits of three health plans at once.

Re-enroll in FSA or Dependent Care Programs

During Open Enrollment each year you can also enroll or re-enroll (you must re-enroll every year) in the FLEXIBLE SPENDING ARRANGEMENT PROGRAM and/or DEPENDENT CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM  – great way to keep more of your money in your pocket.

Most Asked Question

AND, OH YES, the most often-asked question during every Open Enrollment is . . . .”If I don’t want to make any changes and I don’t need to attest to any of the surcharges, DO I NEED TO DO ANYTHING……..And the answer is “No.”

New Health Plan Options Coming in 2016

screenshot-PEBB-newsletterThe Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Program will offer three new plan options in the Puget Sound area, starting January 1, 2016. These plans are designed to promote higher quality through enhanced care coordination.

More Coordinated Care

These new plans will include a broad array of providers and health systems for members to choose from within the integrated network. These providers and health systems will work together to:

• Encourage you to use a primary care network provider to be your partner in making medical decisions.
• Allow all network providers, including both physical and mental health, access to your medical records for better care coordination and efficiency.
• Avoid duplicate tests and services.
• Focus on improving your overall health.

For complete information related to this topic, be sure to view the “For Your Benefit” newsletter from the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Program.

NOT ME – Diabetes Prevention Program

NOT ME Diabetes Prevention Program

Type 2 diabetes threatens 1 in 3 Americans, and 90 percent of these people don’t know they’re at risk. The NOT ME Prevention Program works with your health plan to help you:

  1. Know your pre-diabetes risk
  2. Find out if you have pre-diabetes
  3. Learn how to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes​

What is NOT ME?

PEBB teamed up with the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA) to bring members the NOT ME Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). DPP focuses on pre-diabetes. At an early stage, practical, everyday steps may reverse pre-diabetes and help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle changes are the key, and this program is available at no cost to eligible PEBB members. NOT ME provides a 16-week series of hour-long group coaching sessions held by specially trained coaches. The NOT ME classes include nutrition counseling, private weekly weigh-ins, a detailed program handbook, and follow-up monthly maintenance.

How do I know if I am eligible?


HR Staff Members Hit a Home Run!

What if we said you could win free Mariner’s tickets? What if we could reduce your annual health deductible (between $250 – $350 or more) so that you would only have to pay $125 or $225 instead, or what if we could put $125 into your consumer-directed health saving account?


We now qualify for a chance to win free Mariner’s tickets! Game on!

You would say “Sign me up for that” right? I mean, you may or may not be a Mariner’s fan, but who would just throw away $125?

PEBB’s SmartHealth Program is all about getting healthier, having fun, and saving money at the same time. You start on a wellness journey with activities that are fun, challenging and social, and if you reach 2000 points by June 30, you qualify for $125 off your medical plan’s annual deductible (the amount you pay before the plan pays anything), and your name is entered to win 4 free Mariner’s game tickets (complete with buffet and free parking for two cars).


It’s raining money! We’ve each reached 2000 points and will receive $125 towards our deductible!

The deadline is June 30, 2015 (if your medical effective date started after March 31, you have a different deadline date).

HR staff members, Claire, Toya, Sheryl, Kirk, Marshall, and Steve just reached their 2000 points by doing fun activities like drinking more water, giving a coworker unexpected help, connecting their smartphone or tablet to help track Smart Health activities and visiting a Farmers’ Market to buy some fresh vegetables to serve for dinner!

Haven’t Started? Don’t Worry – You Still Have Time!

  • Step Œ1: Visit and select Get started.
  • Step 2: Complete the SmartHealth Well-being Assessment (800 points). If you don’t have internet access, you can complete the Well-being Assessment by phone. Call SmartHealth Customer Service toll-free at 1-855-750-8866 (Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific Time).
  • Step 3: Join and complete activities that interest you. When you join and complete activities on SmartHealth’s website, you earn points. Earn 2,000 total points by June 30, 2015*, and you’ll qualify to receive a $125 wellness incentive in 2016.

*If your PEBB medical coverage became effective in April or May, you have a different deadline and requirements to qualify for the $125 wellness incentive in 2016. View the different requirements.

Thinking About Retirement?

Fun Retirement

As an eligible retiree, you can apply for medical and dental coverage through the PEBB Program for yourself and your eligible family members.  You have 60 days to complete an application to enroll in or defer PEBB retiree coverage after your employment or COBRA coverage ends. How do you enroll? Follow this three-step timeline:

Step 1: Contact the Social Security Administration

About ninety days before your active employment or COBRA ends, contact the Nearest Social Security Office to enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B if you or any family members you wish to cover are entitled to Medicare.

Step 2: Request a retiree enrollment packet

Sixty days before your active employment or COBRA ends request a retiree enrollment packet. Call 1-800-200-1004 or 360-725-0440 in the Olympia area. PEBB will send you a Retiree Enrollment Guide including applications and information).

Step 3: Return you completed retiree application

Within sixty days after your active employment or COBRA coverage ends return your completed retiree application and any applicable forms to the PEBB Program at P.O. Box 42684, Olympia, WA 98504-2684.

If you or any covered dependents are entitled to Medicare, you must enroll in Part A and Part B and remain enrolled to keep your PEBB coverage.

Is Your Doctor In or Out of Network?

Did you know there’s a quick way to verify if your doctor (or dentist) is “in” or “out” of network? 


You can check to see if a doctor is a preferred provider or in-network provider by going to the PEBB website and clicking on Find a Provider. Here you can also find a dental provider that works in the plan you selected. Under some plans (Group Health Classic, for example), unless you see one of their providers, the plan won’t pay. Under the Uniform Classic plan, for another example, you can see any provider you choose; however, it’s much more cost effective to make sure the provider is “preferred” under the plan because if not, that provider can choose to bill you for what would have been the “provider write off” if he/she had been a preferred provider. This can result in you being responsible for large out-of-pocket medical costs.

Medical and Dental Plan Verification

PEBB Login Screen

PEBB – How can I find out which medical plan or which dental plan I enrolled in?

That information is always at your fingertips by logging into your My Account feature on the PEBB website. Here you can see which plans you are enrolled in and which family members, if any, you elected to cover. We won’t know who your dentist or doctor is, but you can Contact your Plan to find out the names of the providers you’ve seen in the past, claims history, etc.