News & Announcements

Expanding Benefits Access – Improving Health Equity: The City of Seattle made some important equity changes to employee health benefits in 2022. These include expanded access to the Employee Assistance Program, additional gender-affirming care services, and expanded access to infertility services. For change details, see the below infographics. 
 
Employee Assistance Program 
Gender-Affirming Care Services 
Fertility Services (Most Employee Benefits coverage only) 

Update - WA Cares Fund Exemption Application Process: Governor Jay Inslee signed two bills into law that seek to improve the WA Cares long-term care program by delaying its implementation until July 2023 and allowing for voluntary exemptions for specific groups.  In accordance with the new law, the City will not implement WA Cares payroll deductions from employee paychecks. Please note that no long-term care premiums have been collected from City employee paychecks to date.  

If you enrolled in the City of Seattle offered long-term care plan through Chubb Insurance, or another qualifying private long-term care insurance plan, WA Cares Fund exemption applications are available. Below are the steps to apply for a permanent exemption.

  • Submit an exemption application to the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) at http://www.wacaresfund.wa.gov/private-insurance/.
  • ESD will review your application and notify you if you're eligible for an exemption from WA Cares coverage.  
  • If ESD approves your applicationyou'll get an exemption approval letter from ESD, at which point you'll be:
  • Removed from the program with no option to re-enroll. 
  • Disqualified from accessing WA Cares benefits in your lifetime. 
  • Required to present your exemption approval letter to all current and future employers. If you fail to present your ESD approval letter, employers will withhold non-refundable WA Cares premiums. 
  • Submit your exemption approval letter to the City of Seattle (process to be determined)

Until more is known about the future of the WA Cares program, employees should continue to file their exemption letters received from the Washington State Employment Security Department in the City Payroll Service WA Cares Exemption portal (click here). 

Employees without exemptions that are interested in learning more about the program can continue to monitor the WA Cares Fund website.  Additionally, employees with questions about their private policy with Chubb should contact them directly at (855) 241-9891 or by e-mail at csmail@gotoservice.chubb.com

WA Cares Fund Webinar: The City of Seattle hosted two informational WA Cares Fund webinars presented by several state and community partners. To access the recording, click here. Enter passcode j7^*@=A*.

2022 Benefits Orientation - Regular Employees: View the recorded presentation for information including making the most of City of Seattle employee benefits, healthcare plans for the Most benefits program, employee well-being programs, Flexible Spending Accounts, optional insurances, employee responsibilities, and things to remember. (1 hour and 3 minutes). See the Benefits Orientation time stamp map

2021 Benefits Orientation - Temporary Benefits Eligible Employees: View the recorded presentation for information on benefits for temporary employees who are eligible for City of Seattle benefits (45 minutes). See the recording time stamp map

Deferred Compensation Plan Orientation: View the recorded presentation here.  

Health Plan Options for Retiring Employees Seminar:  View the recorded presentation for information about City-sponsored retiree health plan options; what employees should consider prior to retiring; COBRA considerations; premiums; how Medicare plays a role and employees' responsibilities (25 minutes).

May Well-Being Newsletter: Find City well-being and benefits programs and events along with articles on asthma advice, the myth of multitasking, fitness parks, zero-down home loans, sugar versus artificial sweeteners, teens at work, and more. Check the online edition for additional tools and tips. Share the newsletter with family members by forwarding it to your personal email address.

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