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National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association

The 2015 Federal Benefits Open Season ends December 14, 2015.

Extended waits have been reported on the dedicated toll-free
Open Season telephone number of 800-332-9798.

As an alternative, you can send your change request via USPS mail. Be sure to include:

  • Your name and CSA number;
  • Name, date of birth, and Social Security number any of other individual to be covered on your insurance;
  • Name of the insurance provider, i.e., Blue Cross and Blue Shield; and
  • Your phone number and address, to:

OPM
Open Season Processing Center
P.O. Box 5000
Lawrence, KS 66046-0500

 

Self Plus One: Historic FEHBP Enrollment Option Offered for 2016

November 13, 2015

Correction to OPM Information About Survivor FEHBP Eligibility

Some NARFE members may have received outdated information on their Open Season health enrollment change confirmation letter from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regarding survivor eligibility to continue Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) coverage into retirement. 

Previously, a survivor could continue coverage after the death of the retiree if the retiree was enrolled in Self and Family coverage at the time of death and the retiree had elected a survivor benefit at retirement. After the law allowed for a Self Plus One enrollment, OPM changed the wording in the regulations to add Self Plus One coverage at the time the retiree dies and if the surviving spouse is the dependent under that enrollment. OPM issued a Benefits Administration Letter to all agency benefit officers dated October 20, 2015, that states, in part: “For surviving family members to continue FEHB coverage after an employee’s or annuitant’s death, the enrollee must have been enrolled in Self Plus One or Self and Family at the time of death.”

When the eligible dependent under the Self Plus One enrollment is the spouse of the enrollee, and the enrollee elected to provide that spouse with a survivor benefit, the spouse is eligible to continue FEHBP coverage after the enrollee’s death.

--NARFE Federal Benefits Service Department

November 9, 2015

Open Season Opens; Runs November 9-December 14

The annual Open Season for federal benefits officially began on Monday, November 9, and will end on Monday, December 14, 2015. This is the time employees can enroll or make changes in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Program (FEDVIP) and the Flexible Spending Account program.  It also is the time federal retirees and survivors can make changes in their FEHBP health insurance enrollment; enroll, change or cancel their enrollment in FEDVIP; or re-enroll in FEHBP if they had suspended their enrollment previously to enroll in TRICARE, TRICARE for Life, a Medicare Advantage plan, CHAMP VA, the Peace Corps or Medicaid.

Updated October 21, 2015

2016 FEHBP Premiums Announced; Self Plus One Rates Explained

On September 29, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced the 2016 premium rates for plans participating in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Average premiums, programwide, increased 6.4 percent, with the government share of the premium rising 6 percent and the enrollee share of the premium rising 7.4 percent. To read NARFE’s press release on the premium rates, click here.

NARFE members have been particularly interested in the new Self Plus One category available this year. For more than 95 percent of enrollees, the enrollee share of the premium for Self Plus One will be lower than the enrollee share for Self and Family in their current plan. However, some plans have higher enrollee shares for Self Plus One enrollments than for Self and Family enrollments. This is due to the statutory formula used in computing the government’s share of the total premium. While no participating health plan submitted a total premium rate for Self Plus One that is higher than its Self and Family total premium, as OPM dictated, the maximum government contribution to the cost is such that in some plans, the enrollee share of the premium is higher for Self Plus One coverage.  

The November issue of narfe magazine provides the premium rates for all of the nationwide fee-for-service plans and major HMO plans. Members also can find the 2016 premium rates for all participating FEHBP plans at: https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/plan-information/premiums/.

If you have questions, please contact NARFE’s Federal Benefits Service Department at fedbenefits@narfe.org or by calling 703-838-7760.  

OPM Issues Rate Estimate for Self Plus One Enrollment

September 17, 2015

According to a final rule issued today, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) estimates that rates for the new Self Plus One enrollment type in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) will be “approximately 94 percent of the cost of existing Self and Family coverage.” OPM previously had said that the rates for Self Plus One could not be more than family coverage.

The final rule also addressed the costs for family coverage, saying that the “average premium for Self and Family coverage will be approximately 107 percent of the cost of existing Self and Family coverage.”

OPM is expected to release specific rates for FEHBP plans in late September. Federal Benefits Open Season, when FEHBP enrollees can make changes in their health insurance coverage, will take place November 9-December 14. Changes take effect in January 2016.

The final rule also said that OPM will give federal employees a second opportunity to make a change from family coverage to Self Plus One. OPM will provide a Limited Enrollment Period from February 1, 2016, until February 29, 2016, for enrollees who participate in premium conversion, which allows employees to pay for their health insurance from pre-tax wages. “The Limited Enrollment Period is intended to allow individuals who miss Open Season and want to change their enrollment from Self and Family to Self Plus One,” OPM said. “It will not apply to annuitants and other individuals who do not participate in premium conversion because they may decrease their enrollment at any time.”

Self Plus One: Historic FEHBP Enrollment Option Offered for 2016

August 11, 2015

Take advantage of the new Self Plus One coverage during this year’s Federal Benefits Open Season, which runs from November 9 through December 14.

A Self Plus One enrollment covers the enrollee and one eligible dependent and is designed for:

  • Married couples with no other eligible dependents;
  • Single parents with only one eligible dependent; and
  • Survivors with only one eligible dependent .

Even if you are perfectly happy with your current coverage, if you are Self Plus One-eligible you should pay careful attention this Open Season. The enrollee cost of the health insurance premium is predicted to be lower for Self Plus One than for Self and Family.

The 2016 premiums for all of the FEHBP plans and options will be available in late September.  Keep abreast of these and other FEHBP developments by reading the November issue of narfe magazine (out in October), online at narfe.org or online at opm.gov/healthcare-insurance.

Remember, you must actively change from a Self and Family to a Self Plus One option; your agency or OPM will not automatically change your enrollment. 

For more information:
 “Self Plus One Makes This Open Season Particularly Important,” narfe magazine, September 2015, click here

“Is Self Plus One for You?” narfe magazine, August 2015, click here

www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/special-initiatives/self-plus-one
 

National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association
NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association)
606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: (703) 838-7760, Fax: (703) 838-7785.

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