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Southern Oregon University is committed to offering a benefits package that provides employees with options to choose the appropriate coverage to help manage health and wellness. PEBB (Public Employees’ Benefit Board) is the labor-management board that designs, contracts, and administers benefits for the state of Oregon employees, which SOU is a part of. Find more information about our benefits package at


Employees that are benefit eligible work over 90 days at half-time or greater. Any other form of eligibility would come from notification from the Benefits Officer, such as qualifying for health benefits coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Irregular instructors or faculty members may qualify for health coverage if working over 8 ELU’s in one term, which is typically equivalent to a half-time position.

Employees have 30 days from their date of hire to make benefit elections. If no elections are made after 30 days, the employee would be enrolled as a Decline. Eligible employees that Decline benefits may enroll during our annual Open Enrollment period the month of October, which take effect January 1 of the coming plan year. Employees may intentionally decline, though if other coverage is available employees may consider Opting-Out to receive a cash incentive.  

Eligible dependents include a spouse or domestic partner (review requirements and documents needed for domestic partnership, review the 2021 Imputed Value Tax amounts) and any dependent children. PEBB reviews dependent eligibility and will contact members who enroll a spouse/partner or children under their plans for documentation proving the dependent is eligible. Review PEBB's dependent eligibility information here


Newly hired or newly eligible employees may enroll online by visiting within their first 30 days. Benefits will take effect the first of the following month after enrollment is received.


Visit the HR Open Enrollment webpage for details about Passive Enrollment for 2021. 

Aside from your initial enrollment, you can adjust your benefit elections yearly during PEBB’s annual Open Enrollment period, which is October 1-31 each year. Open Enrollment is a two-step process and requires all benefit-eligible employees to (1) go into the system to re-save their benefits or make necessary changes AND (2) go into their medical provider's website to complete the HEM (Health Engagement Model), a required health questionnaire (Opt-Outs go to the Providence Choice website to complete the HEM only if they anticipate enrolling in a medical plan). For the plan year following Open Enrollment, if both steps were completed, employees will receive a $17.50 incentive in their monthly paycheck; not completing Open Enrollment will raise your deductible up to $300 a year and because you did not re-attest, PEBB will assume you are a tobacco user and that you have other group coverage, charging you higher rates and fees. New employees get the benefit of a low deductible and by completing Open Enrollment in October, they will continue to have a low deductible into the following plan year. 


Outside of Open Enrollment, existing employees may change benefits midyear if they have a qualifying status change. PEBB has created a Midyear Plan Change Matrix of qualifying events which states what benefits are available to change. If a member has a qualifying mid-year event, they can submit the Midyear Change form to HR within 30-days of the event date. Changes submitted will take effect the first of the following month after the event. Also, if adding a new baby to coverage, babies are covered under the subscriber for the first 30-days automatically.  


Coverage will always run through the end of the month in which coverage is set to terminate. If the employee has at least 80-hours worked in their final check, Payroll will take contributions for another month of benefits. Since we pay for coverage a month in advance, employees often have coverage through the end of the month after they separate. As an example, if the employee was full-time and terminated on June 15, they would have coverage through July 31. Dependent children who age out of coverage will have their benefits terminated at the end of the month in which they turn age 26. 

Employees and their dependents who terminate coverage will automatically be sent COBRA information in the mail. COBRA allows PEBB members the ability to continue coverage for a certain period of time. Check out HR's COBRA Information webpage for more details. 

Explore SOU’s benefits package with the resources below: