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Insurance FAQs

  • You may select one or both or neither.
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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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  • They can apply to suspend their coverage at any time. Annuitants can call OPM's Retirement Information Office at 1-888-767-6738 to obtain a suspension form. Callers within the local Washington, DC calling area must call 202-606-0500. Former spouses can get the form from the employing office or retirement system maintaining their enrollment. Eligible individuals must submit a completed suspension form and provide all necessary documentation to show eligibility for TRICARE or CHAMPVA during the period beginning 31 days before and ending 31 days after the date they designate as using TRICARE or CHAMPVA instead of FEHB coverage.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Read about FEDVIP Qualifying Life Events.
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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 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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  • Unfortunately, parents are not eligible family members.
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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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  • If you are the surviving spouse and you receive a survivor annuity, you can continue the deceased's Self and Family enrollment for all eligible family members. The enrollment will be changed to your name and premiums withheld from your survivor annuity. If you are the only person eligible for coverage, the enrollment will be changed to Self Only. After the change, the carrier will send you a new identification card.
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  • No, retiree pay premiums on a post tax basis.
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  • No, unlike FEHB, employees may not opt out of premium conversion for FEDVIP. If employees do not wish to have premium conversion for FEDVIP, they should not enroll.
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  • You must apply within 60 days of:
    • the date your marriage ended, or
    • the date the employing office notified you that your qualifying court order (or your former spouse's election) entitled you to coverage, whichever is later.
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  • This means that the person (a designated beneficiary or person entitled under the order of precedence) advised OFEGLI, in writing, that he/she does not want the money he/she is entitled to receive. A disclaimer by default means that the person doesn't ever file a claim form to claim the benefits. If someone entitled to benefits disclaims them, he/she cannot tell OFEGLI who should get the disclaimed benefits. Rather, OFEGLI must treat those benefits as if the person disclaiming had died before the Insured. If the person disclaiming was a designated beneficiary, OFEGLI would pay the disclaimed share equally to the remaining beneficiaries. If there are no remaining beneficiaries or the person disclaiming was not a designated beneficiary, OFEGLI will pay the proceeds according to the next step in the order of precedence. Perhaps a few examples will help.
    Mary designated John and Susan for 50% each. Mary dies. John disclaims his share. It does not matter that John wanted his mother, Laura, to receive the benefits. OFEGLI will pay 100% to Susan.
    Here's another example.
    Raul is single, childless, and did not designate a beneficiary. Raul dies. His parents are entitled to the benefits based on the order of precedence. His father disclaims his share of the benefits. OFEGLI will pay 100% to his mother.
    And here's a final example.
    Cyndi is married with one child. She did not designate a beneficiary. Cyndi dies. Her husband is entitled to the benefits based on the order of precedence. He disclaims the benefits. OFEGLI moves to the next step in the order of precedence and pays 100% to Cyndi's child.
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  • As a result of health care reform, beginning January 1, 2011, children of Federal enrollees will be covered by their parent’s FEHB Self and Family enrollment until their 26th birthday (plus a 31-day temporary extension of coverage), even if the child previously lost coverage because he/she turned 22.
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  • 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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  • During the annual Open Season, OPM sends Open Season material to all those enrolled in the FEHBP plus those who have suspended their enrollments to enroll in a Medicare-sponsored plan approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), formerly the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) and to enroll in TRICARE.
    • OPM provides Open Season Express, an operator supported toll-free telephone service for retirees to call to request brochures, health benefits satisfaction surveys, and make enrollment changes using telephone technology. The phone number is 1 (800) 332-9798.
    • OPM also provides an interactive Open Season website at retireefehb.opm.gov/.
    • There are other events that allow retirees or their survivors to make enrollment changes -- such as a move out of the service area of an HMO, enrollment in Medicare, or a change in marital status. These events are given in the FEHB Handbook. During the year, annuitants should call 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. Annuitants in the Washington DC local calling area should dial (202) 606-0500, or (202) 606-0551 for the hearing impaired.
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Total Count: 824, Number of Pages: 42, Page: 3
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