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Frequently Asked Questions Insurance

  • 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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  • 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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  • Employee Express is an innovative automated system that Federal employees use to make their personnel and payroll transactions electronically.
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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, your FEDVIP enrollment will not count towards the 5-year enrollment requirement for carrying FEHB coverage into retirement.
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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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  • 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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  • FEHB and FEDVIP are separate programs. While some FEHB plans offer dental or vision benefits as part of their benefit package, only those carriers under contract to OPM are FEDVIP plans. FEDVIP plans offer comprehensive dental and vision benefits. FEDVIP is not part of the FEHB program, and it is different from any supplementary dental and vision product your FEHB plan may offer.
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  • A Living Benefit payment is a lump sum payment to those who are terminally ill and have a documented medical prognosis showing a life expectancy of no more than nine months. You are eligible to elect a Living Benefit if you are an employee, annuitant, or compensationer and you are enrolled in the FEGLI Program. Employees can choose a full or partial (a multiple of $1,000) Living Benefit. Annuitants and compensationers can elect only a full Living Benefit. A Living Benefit is equal to the Basic Life insurance amount, plus any extra benefit for persons under age 45, that would be in effect nine months after the date of the Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI) receives a completed claim for Living Benefits form. If you have assigned your life insurance, you cannot elect a Living Benefit. Living Benefit payments are reduced by a nominal amount (4.9%) to make up for lost earnings to the Life Insurance Fund because of the early payment of benefits. The election of Living Benefits has no effect on the amount of any Optional life insurance. You will continue to pay premiums for any Optional insurance you have. You must contact OFEGLI at 1-800-633-4542 to obtain the form to elect Living Benefits (Form FE-8). This form is not available from your human resources office or the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
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