In June of 2021, the State of Oregon passed Senate Bill 551 which establishes a mechanism for part-time faculty who are teaching an aggregate of at least half-time across multiple Oregon institutions to obtain health care.
Senate Bill 551 (SB551) requires that the premium costs be funded at 90% by the employer, with the faculty member contributing a 10% premium cost share. SB551 was expanded in June 2023 with House Bill 2611 (HB2611) which allows employee-only coverage and is limited to medical, prescription, dental, and vision coverage. These bills allow part-time faculty members to pursue enrollment if they believe they qualify and require the faculty member to provide their "home institution" (see definition below) evidence of eligibility. This initial benefit enrollment period will begin October 1 - 31 annually, with plan coverage starting on November 1, if all conditions are met. Evidence of eligibility may be submitted thereafter, and if deemed eligible, prospective coverage will take effect the first of the following month.
A home institution is defined as one of the Oregon University System or Oregon Community College institutions they currently work at (must be actively receiving pay).
Faculty members are eligible for employee medical, prescription, dental, and vision coverage under SB551 and HB2611 if they were eligible for PERS or the ORP in the previous calendar year while working at any of the Oregon University System and any Oregon Community College institution.
The faculty member is required to choose a home institution. Eligible part-time faculty members only have access to the full-time medical, prescription, dental, and vision plans available at the home institution. The home institution will administer and determine eligibility for the program.
If the faculty member stops working for their home institution but is still within their eligibility period, they must choose a new home institution where they are still actively receiving a paycheck. Changing home institutions may change the faculty member's available health plans. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to provide the home institution with the necessary employment documentation for eligibility to be determined by the deadlines detailed.
Part-time faculty members will have from October 1 to October 31 annually to complete the Attestation Form, which must accompany necessary employment documentation from all other eligible employers (i.e. contract or employment documentation). The Attestation Form and supporting documentation must be uploaded to the HR Secure Inbox and eligibility for the program will be determined. If deemed eligible, the part-time faculty member will be sent the medical enrollment form, which must be completed and uploaded to the HR Secure Inbox by October 31. A summary of current medical plans and medical premiums can be found on the PEBB member website.
All enrollment time periods following October will correspond with the start date of each academic term when an employee is considered newly eligible.
It is the responsibility of the employee to research and compare plan options at the different institutions they could designate as their home institutions.
SB 551 and HB 2611 require the faculty member to pay 10% of the health insurance premiums. For the academic year, health insurance premiums are paid monthly through payroll deduction. For summer health coverage, premiums are taken out of May and June pay, with three months of premiums taken out of May and two months taken out of June, which will allow coverage through October. If health insurance premiums are due and the faculty member does not have a paycheck or is not working, health plans may be terminated (retro termination may apply). However, if the faculty member is still working at another Oregon University System institution or Oregon Community College, they may elect a new home institution and enroll in the available plans at the new home institution.
2023 SB551 medical, dental, and vision rates can be found here.
Medical, dental, vision plans, and program applications may vary per institution.
Enrollment timelines and program details may be updated related to legislative changes.
For faculty who have submitted the Attestation Form, eligibility will be assessed. If deemed eligible, the faculty member will be eligible for coverage for the following 6-months if they remain actively employed and are receiving a paycheck at SOU.
October eligibility assessment allows coverage from November through April.
April eligibility assessment allows coverage from May through October.