Plan for health care coverage when you retire.

This is the time of year when school employees dream of ... retirement! If this is the year you hang up that hammock, there are things you should know when you start weighing your options for future health care coverage. As a school employee, you may be eligible for PEBB retiree insurance coverage when you retire.

PEBB retiree insurance

PEBB retiree insurance coverage offers a range of plans to choose from, with generous benefits and affordable premiums. The medical plans available include options for both non-Medicare and Medicare enrollees.

If you’re not ready to enroll in PEBB retiree coverage, you may choose to defer (postpone) enrollment. Deferring your enrollment will retain your eligibility in case you want to enroll later. To defer, you must be qualified for PEBB retiree coverage and have other qualified medical coverage avail­able, such as a spouse’s employer coverage or TRICARE. You must take action to defer.

Retiree eligibility

In most cases, you must be vested in and eligible to retire from a Washington State-sponsored retirement plan when your employer-paid or SEBB Continuation Coverage (COBRA or Unpaid Leave) ends. Eligible retirement plans include the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) and the School Employees Retirement System (SERS). We know eligibility can be complicated, but help is available.

When you’re ready

If you choose to enroll or defer your enrollment in PEBB retiree insurance coverage, it doesn’t happen automagi­cally – you have to take action, and there are time limits. Submit the Retiree Election Form (form A) and any other required forms and documents to the PEBB Program.

Don’t miss out!

Here is a general timeline to help you prepare for retirement.

1 year to 6 months before retirement

If you have a Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) plan, contact DRS to request an estimate of your benefit. If you don’t have a DRS plan, contact your employer to determine if you have a retirement plan and, if so, when you will be eligible to retire from the plan.

3 months before retirement

Contact the Social Security Administration to enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B three months before you turn 65. Request the Retiree Enrollment Guide from the PEBB Program. The guide explains eligibility, enrollment requirements, deadlines, and your options, including available plans and premi­ums. Submit your retirement application to DRS.

1 month before retirement

Starting June 12, 2023, use Benefits 24/7 to apply for PEBB retiree insurance coverage. Or you can use paper forms. It’s easiest and least stressful to apply at this time, but you have until 60 days after your other coverage ends to apply. If you intend to enroll in a PEBB Medicare Advantage plan, the deadlines are earlier. If you do not apply by the required deadlines, you could lose your right to enroll or defer enrollment in PEBB retiree insurance coverage.

Get the scoop!

We’re here to help you understand PEBB retiree insurance coverage.

If you are close to retirement and have questions about eligibility or enrollment, send us a secure message through HCA Support, a secure website that allows you to log in to your own account to communicate with us. You will need to set up a SecureAccess Washington (SAW) account to use this option. Or call us at 1-800-200-1004 (TRS: 711).

Learn more on HCA’s website

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