Core Benefits/Cost Containment Programs

Eligible unclassified or classified employees, must enroll for your benefit plan within 30 days from date of eligibility. For new employees, this is the date you were hired. Benefits begin on the first day of the month after hire date. Our plan year runs from January 1 to December 31. You may change your elections only during Open Enrollment in October, to be effective January 1 of the following year, unless you have a qualifying midyear change.

Our benefit premiums are paid a month in advance, so depending on the timing of your first paycheck you may have benefits taken out twice on your first paycheck. Eligible 9-month employees who are on the 9-month pay plan and are expected to return in the fall, will have their benefits tripled on their May paycheck each year to pay for summer benefit coverage. Additionally, if you don’t receive pay in September, your October paycheck will have benefits taken twice to pay for October and November benefit coverage.

Medical Coverage

Employees may choose between five medical plans:
You pay 5% of the monthly premium cost, unless you enroll in the lowest cost plan in your zip code, then you pay 3%.

PEBB Statewide Plan (Providence PPO)- offered Statewide and Nationwide.
Providence Choice HMO Plan – available to employees who live or work in Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Hood River, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Wasco, Washington, Yamhill in Oregon; Clark, Walla Walla in Washington.
Kaiser Traditional HMO Plan or Kaiser Deductible HMO Plan – available to employees who live or work in Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Hood River, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington, and Yamhill in Oregon; Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Skamania & Wahkiakum in Washington.You must coordinate medical care through a Kaiser facility.
Moda Synergy
 – available to employees who live or work in Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington, Yamhill, in Oregon; Clark in Washington.

Health Engagement Model

Signing up for the HEM program gives you and your spouse or partner lower monthly deductions for health coverage and important tools for better health. See the HEM Program Page for more information. If you participate in the HEM program you receive an incentive of $17.50 (employee only) per month.

Tobacco Use Program

Employees enrolled in a medical plan who use tobacco have a deduction to help offset the risks they bring to the group. For employees and/or their covered spouse/domestic partner who use tobacco there is a monetary monthly deduction. Tobacco users can stop the deduction if they quit using tobacco mid-year. Employees to whom this applies have a monthly surcharge of $25 per person.

Spouse-Other-Coverage Program

If an employee covers a spouse or domestic partner on their medical plan and their spouse or partner waives coverage offered by their employer, it shifts risk and costs to PEBB. Employees to whom this applies have a monthly surcharge of $50.

Dental Coverage

PEBB sponsors four dental plans: (You may choose to enroll or not enroll.)
You pay either 5% or 3% of the monthly premium cost dependent on your medical plan enrollment.

Moda Health Traditional Plan – provides nationwide coverage, employees may choose any dentist.
Moda Health Preferred Plan – provides coverage under a select list of dentists.
Willamette Dental Group – a dental health maintenance organization with select locations throughout the Willamette Valley.
Kaiser Permanente Plan – employees must live in the service area and coordinate dental care through a Kaiser facility.

Vision Coverage

PEBB sponsors one vision plan if you aren’t with Kaiser medical: (You may choose to enroll or not enroll.)
You pay either 5% or 3% of the monthly premium cost dependent on your medical plan enrollment.

VSP Vision Plan
Kaiser medical participants are automatically enrolled in the Kaiser Vision Plan. (Cost is included in your medical plan premium).

Life Insurance

Benefit eligible employees will automatically receive $5,000 of basic life insurance coverage with enrollment through The Standard.


Optional Benefits

Optional Life Insurance

Benefit eligible employees may elect for additional life insurance coverage through The Standard. Optional life insurance is available up to $600,000 for employee’s coverage and $400,000.00 for spouse/domestic partner coverage. The first $45,000 of employee life insurance is paid on a pre-tax basis. Amounts above $45,000, and spouse life insurance, are deducted on a post-tax basis

Short Term & Long Term Disability Insurance

PEBB offers a short-term disability plan, and long-term disability coverage to our employees through The Standard. Disability plans offer income protection during times when an employee is unable to work due to an injury or illness. Premiums for disability insurance are paid on a post-tax basis, and rates vary depending on the plan(s) chosen and gross monthly salary. Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance is also available for employees and family.

Long Term Care Insurance

UNUM’s Long Term Care Insurance pays benefits when you require substantial assistance with two out of six activities of daily living. Once you qualify, you will receive the monthly benefit you selected, even if your benefit payment exceeds the actual monthly charge you incur. When your plan pays a benefit, you can use the money to meet the needs that you decide are most important. How and where you receive services depends on your needs, family situation, finances, and plan selection. Employees can enroll in Long Term Care at any time.

Medical/Dependent Flexible Spending Accounts

Any benefit eligible employee may establish a flexible spending account to use pre-tax income to pay for eligible healthcare and dependent-care expenses. Employees may enroll in accounts within 30 days of initial date of hire, during Open Enrollment, or within 30 days of and consistent with a qualified status change. FSAs are “use it or lose it” accounts. If your expense is less than the amount that you deposit for the year you will forfeit the balance.

Other Benefits

Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential counseling and referral service that is provided to WOU employees as a pre-paid benefit. Three referral/counseling visits are available at no charge to WOU employees, household members, and dependents per year to help with personal or job-related issues. This service is completely confidential and operates separately from the University.

Student Debt Solution Benefit for WOU employees through TIAA

WOU also offers an extra benefit for WOU employees and their dependents through our partnership with TIAA in a program called SAVI. You can think of Savi as an advocate and a concierge for your student debt journey. You can visit their site to get a better estimate of how much you can save. It takes about 20 minutes and you’ll be asked to provide information about your income, taxes, family, and student debt. Savi’s calculator will take all that into account to show you a recommended course of action. Once you understand your options, you can decide if you want to proceed with any of the available programs.

Learn more about SAVI by visiting their website 

Opt-Out/Decline Benefits


Employees may opt-out of medical coverage for cash back. Cash back is subject to Federal, State, and Social Security taxes. The medical opt-out amount is $233 per month less the cost of employee basic life insurance of $1 per month. You may choose to enroll or not enroll in dental or vision coverage, you would pay 5% of the monthly premium cost of each.

To be eligible to opt-out you must be covered by another employer sponsored health insurance program or employer sponsored health and dental programs. Other group coverage does not include Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration Health Benefits, Student Health Benefits, or an individual plan. You must provide proof of other employer coverage.
If you opt out of medical coverage you must still enroll in basic life insurance and may still enroll in any of the PEBB optional insurance coverage.

Declining Benefits

You may decline coverage all together. If you decline coverage, you are declining enrollment in the CORE benefits (medical/vision, dental and employee basic life insurance). You will also not be eligible to enroll in any of the other PEBB optional insurances.

For a more detailed information on our benefits options please see PEBB’s Summary Plan Description.


Human Resources

P: 503-838-8490 | F: 503-838-8522 E-mail:  


Human Resources

P: 503-838-8490 | F: 503-838-8522 | E-mail:  

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