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Frequently Asked Questions Insurance

  • If you provide documentation to your retirement system that you are suspending your FEHB coverage to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you may reenroll in FEHB if you later lose or cancel your Medicare Advantage plan coverage. However, you must wait until the next Open Season to reenroll in FEHB, unless you involuntarily lose your coverage under the Medicare Advantage plan (including because the plan is discontinued or because you move outside its service area). In this case, you may reenroll from 31 days before to 60 days after you lose the Medicare Advantage plan coverage, and your reenrollment in FEHB will be effective the day after the Medicare Advantage plan coverage ends (or ended).
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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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  • A. In order for you to continue your health benefits enrollment into retirement, you must: (1) be entitled to retire on an immediate annuity under a retirement system for civilian employees (including the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) + 10 retirement; and (2) have been continuously enrolled (or covered as a family member) in any Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program plan(s) (not necessarily the same plan) for the five years of service immediately before the date your annuity starts, or for the full period(s) of service since your first opportunity to enroll (if less than 5 years). The 5 year requirement period can include the following: the time you are covered as a family member under another person's FEHB enrollment; or the time you are covered under the Uniformed Services Health Benefits Program (also known as TRICARE) as long as you were covered under an FEHB enrollment at the time of your retirement.
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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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  • 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, 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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    • 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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  • 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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