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Frequently Asked Questions Insurance

  • No, you do not have to be enrolled in a family plan for the five years before you retire to meet the five-year requirement. As a retiree, you can enroll in a family plan during the Open Season or when an event occurs that permits a change to the family plan.
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  • Employee Express is an innovative automated system that Federal employees use to make their personnel and payroll transactions electronically.
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  • No, your FEDVIP enrollment will not count towards the 5-year enrollment requirement for carrying FEHB coverage into retirement.
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  • You may select one or both or neither.
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  • No. You may be eligible to obtain insurance as a reemployed annuitant, but you will have to pay the same rates as any other employee for such insurance. Your agency will give you more information when you are reemployed.
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  • No. Employees may not suspend their coverage. However, they can cancel their coverage to use CHAMPVA, TRICARE or TRICARE-for-Life. Employees who do not participate in premium conversion may cancel their enrollment at any time. For employees who participate in premium conversion, eligibility for CHAMPVA or TRICARE is not a qualifying life event that would allow them to cancel their FEHB enrollment. These employees may cancel during any annual FEHB Open Season. If an employee who canceled FEHB coverage to use CHAMPVA, TRICARE or TRICARE-for-Life decides to return to FEHB coverage, the employee can do so during a future Open Season. If the employee loses CHAMPVA, TRICARE or TRICARE-for-Life coverage involuntarily, the employee can immediately reenroll in the FEHB Program.
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  • A court order for permanent custody is acceptable as proof of dependency, but is not necessarily required. However, a court order for temporary custody or a Power of Attorney is not acceptable proof for health benefits enrollment. Other acceptable proof of foster child status are:
    • evidence that the child has been included as a dependent on your tax returns for previous years;
    • canceled checks, money orders, or receipts for periodic payments received from you for or on behalf of the child;
    • evidence of goods or services which show regular or substantial contributions of considerable value; and
    • sworn affidavits from people unrelated to you that the child lives in your home.
    The employing office will ultimately make the final decision as to what proof is acceptable in an individual case.
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  • Annuitants sometimes need a new copy of “Your Federal Retirement Benefits” to show their retirement income to their mortgage lender, bank, underwriter, state income tax office, or low-income housing provider.  To request a new copy of “Your Federal Retirement Benefits”, or to receive a verification of your annuity, contact OPM’s Retirement Office at 1-888-767-6738 or retire@opm.gov.  The phone lines are open from 7:30 am to 7:45 pm (Eastern Standard Time). It is a busy phone number so we encourage you to call early in the morning or after 5:00 pm when the phone lines are less busy.
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  • No. The FEGLI Program provides group term insurance. It does not have any cash value and you cannot borrow against your coverage. The only opportunities to get money from your coverage while you are still alive are (1) if you are terminally ill and qualify for Living Benefits, or (2) if you are terminally or chronically ill and assign your coverage to a viatical settlement firm.
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  • A qualifying life event (QLE) is a term defined by OPM to describe events deemed acceptable by the IRS that may allow participants in cafeteria plans (including premium conversion) to change their participation election for premium conversion outside of an open season. With two exceptions, the rules for changing FEHB enrollment outside of Open Season do not change. Most of the time, people make changes to their FEHB enrollment on account of and consistent with a qualifying life event. The opportunities for you to enroll or change enrollment described in 5 CFR Part 890, and described in the FEHB Employee Health Benefits Election Form (SF 2809) will continue to be allowed under premium conversion except:
    • you may not cancel your enrollment at any time
    • you may not change from Self and Family to Self Only at any time.
      You will still be allowed to make these changes to your enrollment if the change is on account of and consistent with a qualifying life event. The IRS has additional events that will allow you to change your participation (election) in premium conversion. Read on for more information.
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