Benefit Information

It is the District's responsibility to continue the employer contributions during the Family Medical Leave. While you are in the paid portion of your leave (using paid leave accrual) or on an approved Family Medical Leave, the District will maintain its contributions toward your medical plan and will also continue to pay your mandatory benefits (Dental, Vision, Life and/or LTD). The employee portion of medical premiums will continue to be deducted from your paycheck (as normal) to pay the employee portion of the next month’s medical coverage. If at any time during your FMLA, you arrive in an “unpaid” status, to maintain your medical coverage, you will be required to self-pay your portion of your medical benefit premiums. 
 
The District reserves the right to use discretion when determining district payment for any benefits during the PDL (Pregnancy Disability Leave) or FLA (Family Leave Act) period. The District will not be responsible for the payment of an employees portion of medical premiums at any time. If an employees self-pay portion of medical premiums is not received within established timelines, the District will assume you do not wish to continue benefit coverage and all coverage will be terminated. Following is a basic instruction for adding baby to your plan(s), continuing or terminating coverage and how to reinstate your coverage(s) when you return to work:

Adding child to medical benefits: 

Medical

You have up to 60 days to add your newborn to your medical plan, but we HIGHLY recommend you do this in the first 30 days after date of birth.  It takes a couple of weeks for processing and you don’t want to take the chance of missing the 60 day deadline.

  • If you have Regence or Kaiser coverage, add baby by completing an Enrollment Change Form and sending it to 109 E Pioneer, Puyallup, WA 98372.

It is not necessary to wait until you have baby’s social security card – the enrollment form asks for baby’s social security number but we need to get baby enrolled as soon as possible, therefore, just plan to give us a call with the social security number when you receive it.


Dental

Although your newborn won't need dental benefits for a while, it is essential that you call the WEA Select Benefit Center at 855-668-5039 and add baby to your dental plan within the first 60 days after birth.  This is your Enrollment Period and if you don’t add baby at that time, you will need to wait until the following Open Enrollment.

Vision

Your vision plan covers all family members.  There is no need to add family members (or newborns) for them to be included on your vision plan.


Terming Coverage:

When you are on a leave of absence and lose your benefit eligibility, you may choose to let your benefits lapse. You may possibly have other coverage (such as your spouse’s medical plan) and do not want to pay for District medical premiums. You would follow the same steps as identified above for adding baby – step 1 and step 2.  Rather than “adding baby” you would choose “waive benefits”.  When you return to work from your leave, it is imperative to contact the Benefits Office to get your benefits reinstated. There will be new forms and applications to complete for all mandatory and optional benefit reinstatements of coverage. 

How to Pay Your Portion of Premiums

If you need to pay your portion of any insurance premium(s), please complete the Automatic Billing Authorization form and return it to accounting (instructions are on the form).

Cobra Continuation

If you decide to apply for an extended leave of absence, you will have COBRA eligibility for up to 18 months.  This is a federal mandate that protects your availability of medical, vision and/or dental plans.  COBRA is a 100% self-paid program in which you would maintain the same plan(s) you have at the time of group termination, but would pay the premium(s) in its entirety plus a 2% COBRA fee.  If it is determined in our Benefits Department that you are losing benefit eligibility and will not be returning to work within a couple of months of baby’s date of birth, you will receive a COBRA eligibility packet with further instructions.

Optional Benefits   

Leave Share:  Effective March 1, 2019 the Leave Share program may apply to Maternity and Parental Leave entitlements and provisions. This includes pregnancy, birth and recovery as well as bond with child time. The District will automatically apply all available sick leave, personal leave and vacation before applying Leave Share donations, unless you request us to reserve. If you wish to reserve 40 hours of your sick leave during a Parental/Maternity Leave, please contact the Human Resources Leave Coordinator.  

Short term Disability: This is an optional benefit that is employee elected during the District’s annual open enrollment period in the Fall. If you have this benefit, you may file a short term disability claim by completing a claim form. Please contact the Benefits Office by email or phone at 253-841-8615 for questions regarding this benefit and the claim process. 

Our Short Term Disability plans have a 12 month pre-existing condition clause. This means that if you have been diagnosed or treated for a disability (pregnancy included) within the past 12 months, this disability will not be covered.

Since it depends on your employee group as to which short term disability plan you may have, it is best to contact American Fidelity (the carrier) directly to discuss exactly how your plan will pay. Their customer service number is 800-662-1113.