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Benefits

Eligible employees participate in the generous benefits program provided to State of Washington employees.

You can find a wide range of benefit information at WEA’s Your Benefits Resources. You can use YBR’s online tools to compare your WEA-provided benefit options and costs, and enroll online. You can also review information about the WEA Select medical (Premera) and dental (Washington Dental Services and/or Willamette Dental) benefits you and your dependents are enrolled in, including your total cost of coverage (not including district funding for benefits). All employees are automatically enrolled in VSP for vision benefits.

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Here’s a brief summary of the insurance and retirement benefits:

Insurance

The Bargaining Agreements and the Benefits Handbook state the new pooling method (to make progress toward ESSB5940 compliance) would change with the start of the 2014-2015 school year, but implementation has been postponed due to a number of reasons. While testing the new pooling methodology it became clear that we needed real-time data to help employees understand how the change affected their out-of-pocket medical. We also thought it might be best to take it in steps and let employees see how the current pooling changed due to open enrollment and the new medical premiums before compounding the changes with the new 5940 method. There has also been discussion as to the starting point (what percentage or set dollar amount to use) of implementing the State mandate and exactly how that looks for each group. The District was also advised to take smaller steps toward the 3:1 goal, as 5940 was passed before the Federal Affordable Care Act, which has had unforeseen consequences and may lead to the State changing some of the mandates in 5940. A meeting was held with union presidents to discuss the situation, and everyone was supportive in postponing changes to the pooling method at this time. You will be notified before any changes are implemented.

Bottom line: your October medical out-of-pocket changes are a direct result of open enrollment and increases in benefit premiums, and not a new pooling method.

Employees and their families are covered by dental and vision insurance, as well as basic life and long-term disability insurance plans.  Medical insurance is offered as an optional benefit to employees who have, at minimum, a half time position.  Additional insurance coverage is available at special group rates.

Retirement

Employees have an excellent state retirement plan regulated by WA State Department of Retirement Systems.  In addition, the district offers optional retirement programs such as a 457 Deferred Compensation Plan and 403b Tax Sheltered Annuities. Notice of Privacy Practices: FLEX PLAN – FSA & HRA


Resources

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