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Tribal Employers HR Personnel

Access to FEHB and FEGLI Coverage for Employees of Tribes, Tribal Organizations and Urban Indian Organizations

Section 157: Access to Federal Insurance

Title IV of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (25 U.S.C. 1641 et seq.) (as amended by section 15) is amended by adding the following:

"Sec. 409. Access to Federal Insurance. Notwithstanding the provisions of title 5, United States Code, Executive order or administrative regulation, an Indian tribe or tribal organization carrying out programs under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450 et seq.) or an urban Indian organization carrying out programs under title V of this Act shall be entitled to purchase coverage, rights, and benefits for the employees of such Indian tribe or tribal organization, or urban Indian organization, under chapter 89 of title 5, United States Code, and chapter 87 of such title if necessary employee deductions and agency contributions in payment for the coverage, rights, and benefits for the period of employment with such Indian tribe or tribal organization, or urban Indian organization, are currently deposited in the applicable Employee's Fund under such title."

Eligibility

  • Tribes and Tribal organizations carrying out programs under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA), and urban Indian organizations carrying out programs under title V, are eligible to purchase FEHB and FEGLI coverage.
  • Tribes carrying out programs under ISDEAA and title V may purchase coverage for all Tribal employees meeting the common law employee standard.

Impact on Tribal Communities

  • Improved access to health care for employees of Tribes, Tribal organizations, and urban Indian health organizations.
  • Increased flexibility and variety in choice of plans for employees to purchase through FEHB.
  • Expanded access to health care for Tribal employees and their dependents.

Impact on FEHB Program

  • Expands the number of covered lives within the FEHB Program
  • Could add nearly 600 additional employer entities to FEHB
  • Additional administrative efforts:
    • billing
    • premium collection
    • other support functions

Consultation

  • Worked with Indian Health Service (IHS) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to understand the needs of Tribal communities to assure effective implementation.
  • OPM and IHS issued a joint "Dear Tribal Leader" letter on October 5, 2010 to gather information on:
    • Tribal interest in participating in the FEHB/FEGLI
    • Potential take-up rates
  • OPM issued another "Dear Tribal Leader" on April 29, 2011 to initiate implementation consultation.

Next Steps

  • OPM is committed to a thorough, meaningful consultative process.
  • OPM is working to establish a consultation schedule and timeline for regional consultation sessions to be held over the next four months.
  • We will be circulating a schedule, along with documents that will outline many of the questions we hope to work through during consultation.
  • A website has been created where we will post relevant documents and information, and provide a portal for feedback.

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