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Insurance FAQs

Disputed Claims

  • The effective date of the Open Season change is the first day of the first full pay period in January. For annuitants this date will always be January 1.
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  • You can change most "discretionary" personnel and payroll transactions, including your:
    • Financial allotments
    • Savings bonds
    • Health benefits
    • Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
    • Direct deposit
    • Federal and state tax withholdings
    • Your home address
    • Combined Federal Campaign (CFC)
    • Your Employee Express PIN
    • New! -- You can also get a copy of your Leave and Earnings Statement for the current pay period and two previous pay periods.
    (You can't change your life insurance on Employee Express.) Contact your Human Resources Office to find out what other services your agency may provide through Employee Express.
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  • No, USPS employees pay the same premiums as Federal employees and annuitants.
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  • Yes. The amount of your FEGLI automatically increases when your salary goes up, whenever your annual pay is increased by an amount sufficient to raise the pay to the next $1,000 bracket.
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  • If the documentation showing your eligibility for TRICARE is received within the period beginning 31 days before and ending 31 days after the date you designate as the day you want to use TRICARE or CHAMPVA instead of FEHB coverage, the suspension becomes effective at the end of the day before the day you designated. Otherwise, the suspension becomes effective at the end of the month in which we receive your documentation.
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  • The employing office bills you for each pay period (generally each month) you are covered.
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  • You should obtain, complete and return a waiver/election form to your employing office. You may waive participation in premium conversion (or elect to participate, if you previously waived) during the annual FEHB Open Season. Also, you may have the opportunity to waive participation in premium conversion if you've experienced a Qualifying life event (QLE). Refer to the QLE section for more information. FEHB Open Season During the FEHB Open Season, you will have an opportunity to elect or waive your participation in premium conversion. An Open Season election to participate or waive participation in premium conversion must be received by your employing agency no later than the last day of the Open Season to be considered timely filed. The effective date of your election will be the same as the effective date of an FEHB enrollment election: the first payroll period that begins on or after January 1st. If your agency accepts and processes a late Open Season enrollment election, it must also accept a late election to participate or waive participation in premium conversion. Because elections begin with pay periods, when you change participation in premium conversion (begin or waive participation) during the FEHB Open Season, there will likely be at least one payroll paid date in the subsequent calendar year in which your FEHB deductions reflect the previous election. Example Mark G. had previously waived participation in premium conversion. He opted to participate again in premium conversion during the November 2002 Open Season. Mr. G. is paid on a biweekly basis, with the following payroll periods: Payroll Begin Date End Date Pay Date Pre-Tax/ After-tax 01 12/15/02 12/28/02 1/8/03 after-tax 02 12/29/02 1/11/03 1/22/03 after-tax 03 1/12/03 1/25/03 2/5/03 pre-tax Mr. Marks' payroll office would treat his FEHB deductions on an after-tax basis through the end of payroll period 02.
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  • No. Accidental death and dismemberment coverage ends when your employment ends. You cannot carry this coverage into retirement.
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  • The Help Desk:
    • Tells you what transactions you can do (link to question #4) and how to do them using Employee Express;
    • Gives numbers for the Employee Express phone system;
    • Gives locations for touch screens (kiosks) and contacts for Human Resources Offices;
    • Gives the Employee Express email address;
    • Issues new PINs
    • Automatically sends a verification letter to you for health benefits changes you make in Employee Express. (For paperwork on other changes, contact your Human Resources Office.)
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  • Life insurance proceeds are not considered taxable income for the recipients for personal income tax purposes. Interest paid on FEGLI proceeds is reportable as income for Federal Income tax purposes. You may wish to consult your tax advisor for further advice.
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  • During the fall of each year, you will receive a copy of the Medicare & You handbook. It is also available by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or TTY 1-877-486-2048, or at www.medicare.gov/publications/pubs/pdf/10050.pdf . The Medicare & You handbook has information on Medicare Parts A & B; Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C); Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D); Help for People with Limited Income and Resources; and Joining and Switching Plans. The Medicare website (www.medicare.gov) contains the handbook and other information about Medicare. If you do not have a personal computer, your local library or senior center may be able to help you access this website. You should contact your retirement system before making any change to your coverage, especially if you are considering suspending your FEHB coverage to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan. If you are a CSRS or FERS annuitant, you may call OPM's Retirement Information Office at 1-88USOPMRET (1-888-767-6738) or 202-606-0500 from the metropolitan Washington area, or you may write to:
    Office of Personnel Management Retirement Operations Center P.O. Box 45 Boyers, PA 16017-0045
    Other useful publications, such as the Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare, are also available at the Medicare number (1-800-633-4227) or from your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) counseling office. The SHIP counselors in your state are also available by telephone or sometimes as a walk-in resource if you would like more personalized attention. You can find SHIP counseling office telephone numbers in the Medicare & You handbook or on the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov/contacts/static/allStateContacts.asp. Your FEHB plan brochure provides specific information on how its benefits are coordinated with Medicare. Some HMOs participating in the FEHB are structured to provide more comprehensive coverage if you enroll in both their HMO and their Medicare Advantage plan.
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  • No.
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  • Contact your ex-spouse's agency Human Resources Office (or retirement system, if applicable) for information on how to enroll. You will need to document your eligibility. You will be required to submit a certified copy of the court order to the US Office of Personnel Management, Court Ordered Benefits Branch, P.O. Box 17, Washington DC 20044-0017. This office will review the court order to determine if you qualify to enroll. The Court Ordered Benefits Branch will issue a letter notifying you of their findings. Since it may take a few months for this notification to be sent, you should contact your former spouse's Human Resources Office and request to enroll in TCC. The notification from the Court Ordered Benefits Branch will provide instructions on enrolling under the Spouse Equity provisions of the law.
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  • 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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  • Premiums are paid on a pre-tax basis (premium conversion) if you are an active employee and your salary is sufficient to make the premium withholding. Pre-tax premiums are not available to annuitants, survivor annuitants or compensationers.
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  • Yes. There are a few things an employee should consider. First, to be eligible to continue FEHB coverage after retirement, a retiring employee must be enrolled or covered under the FEHB Program for the five years of service immediately before retirement, or, if less than five years, for all service since the first opportunity to enroll. Employees can count their coverage under TRICARE toward meeting this requirement. However, the employee must be enrolled in an FEHB health plan on the date of retirement to continue coverage. Second, if the employee dies when the cancellation is in effect, any surviving spouse will not be eligible to continue FEHB health benefits coverage.
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  • No, FEDVIP is completely separate from your private plan. You will not be able to transfer the amount of time you spent in your private plan to your FEDVIP Plan.
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  • If you do not want to continue your FEHB enrollment, you must notify your employing office in writing that you wish to terminate your coverage. If you do not take action to terminate the coverage, your enrollment will continue for up to 24 months while you are on military duty.
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  • Generally, your coverage continues for 36 months from the date of your divorce or annulment, as long as you pay your premiums on time. After your TCC enrollment ends:
    • you get a 31-day extension of coverage, and
    • you may convert to an individual contract offered by your health benefits plan,
    unless you lose coverage because you canceled your enrollment or didn't pay your premiums.
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  • For a small number of individuals it may make sense to waive premium conversion. There are two items to consider in making a decision to waive participation and they are: Flexibility Under IRS rules, you may reduce coverage (cancel, or change from Self and Family to Self Only) only during an Open Season or at the time of a qualifying life event. Social Security Paying your premiums with pre-tax money reduces your earnings reported to the Social Security Administration. When you begin to collect Social Security (normally this occurs at age 65), you may receive a slightly lower Social Security benefit. The extent of the impact will vary depending upon the retirement system you participate in, your salary compared with the Social Security wage base ($87,000 in 2003) and the number of years until you retire.
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Total Count: 705, Number of Pages: 36, Page: 4
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