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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.
When children reach age 26, they are eligible to enroll in Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) or convert to an individual policy. It is the responsibility of you or your child to know when he/she is no longer eligible for coverage and to apply for TCC or a conversion policy in a timely manner. Your employing office is not obligated to inform you of your child’s eligibility for TCC and conversion rights when he/she is no longer eligible for coverage.
If a child loses coverage under your enrollment because he/she reaches age 26, he/she is eligible for TCC. You must contact your Human Resources Office within 60 days of your child’s 26th birthday to inform them that your child is turning age 26. Your Human Resources Office will give you information about enrolling your child in TCC or converting your child to an individual policy. Your child has 60 days to request enrollment for TCC from the later of (1) his/her 26th birthday or (2) the date of the TCC notice from the Human Resources Office. For more information about TCC, please review the TCC coverage pamphlet at www.opm.gov/insure/health/eligibility/tcc.
If a child loses coverage under your enrollment because he/she reaches age 26, he/she is entitled to convert to an individual policy offered by the carrier of your plan. Your child is not required to provide evidence of insurability. To apply for conversion, you or your child must make a written request to the carrier of your plan. You or your child must apply for conversion within 31 days after his/her 26th birthday. For more information about conversion, please visit http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/reference/handbook/FEHB15.asp#31.
Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) is available to: (1) employees who lose their FEHB Program coverage because they leave their Federal jobs, (2) children who lose their FEHB Program family member status because they reach age 26, and (3) former spouses who lose their FEHB Program family member status because of divorce or annulment. TCC allows former employees to continue their FEHB Program coverage for up to 18 months, and former family members (children and former spouses) to continue FEHB Program coverage for up to 36 months. For more information about TCC, please review the TCC pamphlet at www.opm.gov/insure/health/eligibility/tcc/index.asp.
The "Federal Employees Health Benefits Children's Equity Act of 2000" requires mandatory Self and Family enrollment coverage for FEHB-eligible employees who do not comply with a court or administrative order to provide health insurance coverage for their child(ren). You should send a copy of the court order to your ex-spouse's Human Resources Office. They will ensure that your ex-spouse has an FEHB Self and Family enrollment that provides coverage for the children.
If your ex-spouse does not have a Self and Family enrollment, his Human Resources Office will enroll him in the Self and Family option of his current FEHB plan. If his current plan is an HMO and the child(ren) don't live within the service area of this plan, they will enroll him in the Basic Option of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Service Benefit Plan. Please be sure to include your home address in your notification so that the Human Resources Office can make this determination.
The Human Resources Office will send you a copy of the SF 2809, Health Benefits Election Form. They will also send a copy to the FEHB plan so the plan can update their records and send ID cards to you. The Human Resources Office will flag your ex-spouse's health insurance records to prevent him from making a change to a Self Only enrollment for as long as the court order requires him to provide health insurance coverage to your child(ren) or until the youngest child reaches age 26, whichever occurs first.
If you are an annuitant or an employee who waived premium conversion, you can change from a Self and Family enrollment to a Self Only enrollment at any time. If you are an employee, your youngest child turning age 26 is a qualifying life event (QLE) permitting you to change your FEHB enrollment outside of Open Season. With this QLE, you can change from Self and Family to Self Only coverage. You do not need to wait until the next Open Season to make this change; however, you need to request the change to Self Only coverage within 60 days of your child turning 26.
If you are a surviving child of the enrollee and the enrollee also has a surviving spouse or child eligible to receive a CSRS or FERS survivor annuity benefit, you can be covered under the survivor annuitant’s Self and Family enrollment until age 26. You can continue coverage beyond age 26 if you are incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability that existed before age 26.
If you are a surviving child of the enrollee who is eligible for a CSRS or FERS survivor annuity benefit and the enrollee has no other survivors, the enrollment will be changed to a self only enrollment in your name. You will be responsible for paying the premiums either by having them withheld from your survivor annuity or through direct billing. You can continue this FEHB coverage until your survivor annuity ends at age 18, or age 22 if you are a full-time student. You can continue coverage beyond age 18 if you are incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability that existed before age 18.
Your coverage will continue for 31 days after eligibility ends, unless the enrollment is cancelled. During that time, you may enroll in Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) or convert to an individual policy offered by your FEHB plan.
Your grandchild may be eligible for FEHB coverage if he/she meets the eligibility requirements for foster children. These requirements are:
For your grandchild to be covered under your FEHB enrollment, you must sign a certification stating that your grandchild meets all the requirements and that you will notify your employing office if the child moves out of the home or stops being financially dependent on you. You submit this certification to your employing office for their determination that your grandchild meets these requirements. Your employing office will then notify your FEHB plan that your grandchild should be added to your enrollment.
No, the children are entitled to receive benefits under only one enrollment. Generally, when divorce occurs, one parent will enroll in Self Only coverage and the other parent will enroll in Self and Family coverage to provide benefits for the children. If there is a reason for both parents to enroll in Self and Family coverage (i.e., both parents have remarried and need Self and Family enrollments to cover their new spouses and stepchildren), each enrollee must notify his or her insurance carrier of the name(s) of the child(ren) to be covered under his/her enrollment to prevent ant child from receiving dual coverage under FEHB (which is prohibited by Federal law).
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