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Frequently Asked Questions Insurance

  • Your Human Resources Office will compile your health benefits records and forward them to OPM along with your retirement application and other records. OPM will review your health benefits records to determine if you are eligible to continue your FEHB enrollment into retirement. If you are eligible, OPM will process a transfer-in action and forward you a copy of this action for your records.
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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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  • No, retiree pay premiums on a post tax basis.
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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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  • Once Medicare becomes the primary payer, you may find that a lower cost FEHB plan is adequate for your needs, especially if you are currently enrolled in a plan's high option. Also, some plans waive deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments when Medicare is primary.
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  • Federal and U.S. Postal Service employees eligible for FEHB coverage (whether or not enrolled) and annuitants/survivor annuitants/compensationers (regardless of FEHB eligibility) are eligible to enroll.
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  • During the first 12 months of LWOP, your FEGLI coverage continues. If you die during the first 12 months, OFEGLI uses the salary at the time of death to compute the benefit. For example:

    Stan had Basic insurance only. He went on LWOP February 1, 2003. His salary at that time was $18,449. In September 2003, he got a within-grade increasing his salary to $20,849.00. He died November 15, 2003. Since he died during the first 12 months of LWOP, life insurance is payable. The basic salary used to compute the benefit is $20,849.00.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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