Issues with spousal coverage premium surcharge attestations

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The SEBB Program has been working on several issues related to the spouse or state-registered domestic partner (SRDP) coverage premium surcharge attestations, specifically regarding:

  • Past attestation issues.
  • Reattestation responses needed during open enrollment.

During this year’s open enrollment, we are asking for your help to remind employees to attest (or reattest) to the spouse or SRDP coverage premium surcharge by the deadlines below.

Past attestation issues

We found SEBB My Account (SMA) allowed subscribers to potentially make incorrect attestations in two scenarios. System changes were made to address both situations before this year’s open enrollment began.

  1. Some subscribers answered “No” to at least one of the six attestation questions, which should have ended the attestation process. However, SMA allowed them to complete the Spousal Plan Calculator in error. If they responded “No” after completing the calculation, their attestation would show “No” without recording the reason why. The underlying reason is needed to determine whether a member needs to reattest to the surcharge the following year.

    In this scenario, subscribers were not assessed the premium surcharge, but they need to reattest.

  2. Some subscribers answered “No” to at least one of the six attestation questions, which should have ended the attestation process. However, the system allowed them to complete the Spousal Plan Calculator in error. If they responded “Yes” after completing the calculation, their attestation would incorrectly show “Yes.”

    In this scenario, subscribers have been incorrectly assessed the $50 premium surcharge in addition to their medical premiums. These subscribers will receive a credit/refund of the spouse or SRDP coverage premium surcharges they have paid; this is included in the November 14 SEBB billing file (more details to follow in a future communication).

Reattestation responses needed during open enrollment

Every open enrollment, some subscribers will be required to reattest to the spouse or SRDP coverage premium surcharge (see WAC 182-30-050(2)(ii). For this year’s open enrollment only, subscribers in the two scenarios listed above are also required to reattest. Their reattestations must be received by November 23, 2020 (if using SMA) or December 31, 2020 (if using a paper form).

Notices to subscribers and benefits administrators

To notify both subscribers and benefits administrators of the reattestation requirement, we:

  • Sent a letter to subscribers in October and added a banner in SMA during open enrollment.
  • Added a reattestation report in SMA for benefits administrators. On November 6, 2020, we updated the report and notified you via GovDelivery. Please use the updated report if you want to contact your employees about the reattestation requirement.

Subscribers who have already reattested will no longer see the banner in SMA and will no longer show up on the reattestation report.

How to reattest

Subscribers who must reattest to the spouse or SRDP coverage premium surcharge may do so by either using:

What happens if subscribers don’t reattest by the deadlines?

After November 23, 2020, we will mail a letter to subscribers who must attest or reattest but have not done so, informing them of the December 31, 2020 deadline (allowed under WAC 182-30-050). The letter will include forms for their use.

If they do not respond by December 31, 2020, they will be defaulted into paying the $50 monthly surcharge in addition to their medical premium starting January 1, 2021.

Next steps

We will send additional updates on this topic after open enrollment ends, and we have more information about subscribers who still need to attest or reattest.

We appreciate your help to identify issues with premium surcharge requirements, as well as your patience as we resolve issues in SMA.