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Frequently Asked Questions Insurance

  • Increasing life insurance:  FEGLI life insurance open seasons are extremely rare and none are currently scheduled.  Your agency and OPM's website will announce when there is a life insurance open season coming up.  The most recent FEGLI open seasons were held in 2004 and 1999. Outside of an open season, eligible employees can enroll or increase their coverage by taking a physical exam or with a Qualifying Life Event. For more information about the physical exam, please see SF 2822. FEGLI life events are marriage, divorce, death of spouse, or acquisition of an eligible child.  With a life event, you can enroll or increase coverage in Basic, Option A, up to five multiples of Option B, and/or up to five multiples of Option C.  You must submit an SF 2817 to your human resources office within 60 days after the life event. Reducing or cancelling life insurance: You can reduce or cancel your FEGLI life insurance at any time, without waiting for an open season.   If you are an employee, submit an SF 2817 to your human resources office, signing only for the coverage you want to keep.   If you are retired, there is no form; you must write a signed letter to OPM's Retirement Office stating clearly the reduction or cancellation you want to make.  Be sure to include your signature, annuity number (CSA/CSF) or social security number, and your phone number.  Send the letter to:
    • Office of Personnel Management 
    • Retirement Operations Center 
    • P.O. Box 45 
    • Boyers, PA 16017-0045
    Please note that you cannot enroll, increase coverage, or restore cancelled coverage after you have retired. Changing beneficiaries: You can change beneficiaries at any time, without waiting for an open season.  Submit an SF 2823 to your human resources office, or to OPM's Retirement Office if you have retired.  The address for OPM's Retirement Office is on page 3 of the form.
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  • President George W. Bush signed The Federal Employee Dental and Vision Benefits Enhancement Act of 2004 into law on December 23, 2004. The Act authorizes OPM to establish arrangements under which supplemental dental and vision benefits are made available to Federal and U.S. Postal Service employees, retirees, and their eligible family members, and the law gives OPM broad contracting authority to leverage the purchasing power of Federal enrollees to provide comprehensive benefits with competitive premiums.
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    • OPM's Office of Retirement Programs website. The site provides various categories of information including the questions most frequently asked by annuitants and survivor annuitants.
    • During the year, you may request information such as verification of annuity or the value of life insurance as well as make changes to your own retirement account, such as federal and state income tax withholding changes, by calling OPM on the toll-free number 1-888-767-6738, TDD for the hearing impaired 1-800-878-5707, or send email to retire@opm.gov. The automated telephone system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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  • During the annual FEHB Open Season, you may enroll, cancel an enrollment, change plans or options, and waive or begin participation in premium conversion. If you waived participation in premium conversion, you can change from self- and-family enrollment to a Self Only enrollment or cancel your enrollment at any time. You can make other changes during Open Season or due to certain events. Your Human Resources Office can give you more information about these events.
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  • Eligible individuals will be able to enroll during the annual Open Season or after a Qualifying Life Event (QLE) that permits enrollment outside of Open Season. You must enroll through BENEFEDS at www.BENEFEDS.com. Those without access to a computer can enroll by telephone at 1-877-888-FEDS (3337), TTY 1-877-889-5680. Should you have any enrollment questions, please contact BENEFEDS at www.BENEFEDS.com or 1-877-888-FEDS (3337), TTY 1-877-889-5680.
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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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  • 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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  • When your life insurance terminates, except when you stop it voluntarily by cancellation, the coverage automatically continues for 31 days after the terminating date. You do not pay any premiums during these 31 days.
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  • The reductions start at the beginning of the 2nd month after your 65th birthday or the beginning of the 2nd month after your retirement date, whichever is later. For example: Pierre retired December 31, 1999. He will turn 65 on March 15, 2005. The reductions for his Basic and Optional insurance (if applicable) will start May 1, 2005. Here's another example: Selena was 67 years old when she retired on December 31, 1999. Since she was already past 65 when she retired, the reductions for her Basic and Optional insurance (if applicable) will start February 1, 2000.
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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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