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Insurance FAQs

  • The Privacy Rule permits OPM to impose reasonable, cost-based fees. The fee may include only the cost of copying (including supplies and labor) and postage, if you request that the copy be mailed. We expect to charge an amount similar to that used for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
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  • The following people are not eligible to enroll in FEDVIP, regardless of FEHB eligibility or receipt of an annuity or portion of an annuity.
    • deferred annuitants,
    • former spouses of employees or annuitants,
    • FEHB temporary continuation of coverage (TCC) enrollees,
    • temporary employees who are:
      • serving under an appointment limited to one year or less and have not completed at least one year of current continuous employment, excluding any break in service of 5 days or less; or
      • expected to work less than 6 months in each year.
    • intermittent employees (who do not have a prearranged regular tour of duty)
    • seasonal or occasional employment for one calendar year that amounted to less than 6 months of work does not meet the one year of current continuous employment requirement.
    • anyone receiving an insurable interest who is not an eligible family member
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  • You must inform your Human Resources Office that you want to revoke your waiver during your final pay period. Your Human Resources Office will then reinstate your FEHB so that you will have an enrollment to continue under TCC or convert. If your leave and earnings statement for your final pay period does not show a withholding for an FEHB premium, contact your Human Resources Office immediately.
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  • Some health plans offer dental and vision benefits separate from the officially offered benefits stated in their FEHB brochures. Such separate benefits are described on the "Non-FEHB Benefits" page in FEHB brochures. The plans solely determine what is covered and what is excluded and you must pay any premium associated with these benefits directly to the health or dental plan. There is no government contribution toward the premium on non-FEHB benefits. Also, some health plans offer a separate dental plan that does not require you to be a member of their health plan. And, occasionally, an agency's employee organization offers dental and vision benefits to the agency's employees. Check with your Human Resources Office.
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  • There are limited circumstances where an Attorney-in-Fact, named in a power of attorney, may sign the FE-6 on behalf of a claimant. Whenever possible, however, the claimant should sign the claim form. For more information, please call the Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance at 1-800-633-4542.
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  • Premium conversion may slightly reduce the Social Security benefit you will receive upon retirement. The extent of the impact depends upon several factors:
    • the retirement system that you participate in;
    • whether your salary exceeds the Social Security wage base; and
    • the number of years left until your retirement.
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  • A brand name drug is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and is supplied by one company (the pharmaceutical manufacturer). The drug is protected by a patent and is marketed under the manufacturer's brand name.
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  • Portability is a provision in Public Law 105-311, the Federal Employees Life Insurance Improvement Act, which was enacted October 30, 1998. It applies only to FEGLI Option B insurance, which provides coverage in multiples of 1 to 5 times an employee's annual salary. Employees that met certain requirements were eligible to continue Option B insurance following separation from Government service. The portability provision was a three-year demonstration project. It expired April 24, 2002, and is no longer available. Your agency should not give any employees a Portability Notice or other portability information. For more detailed information refer to Benefits Administration Letter 02-206 of April 26, 2002[119 KB].
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  • If you elect a full Living Benefit, you stop paying premiums and the Government no longer pays its contributions for your Basic life coverage. If you elect a partial Living Benefit, your agency will adjust the withholdings and contributions for your post-election Basic Insurance Amount. The amount of the post-election Basic does not change. Subsequent salary changes have no effect on the Basic amount. However, if you have Option B coverage, it will continue to change with salary changes. A Living Benefit election has no effect on your any Optional insurance you may have.
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  • First, check your plan's brochure to see if the service is covered, limited or excluded. The next step is to review the disputed claims section of your brochure. Briefly, the disputed claims section will direct you to write to the plan to explain why (in terms of the applicable brochure coverage provisions) you feel the services should be covered, and to ask the plan to reconsider your claim. If the plan again denies the claim, read the plan's decision letter carefully and then check your plan's brochure again. If you still disagree with the plan's decision, the disputed claims section of your brochure will show you how to write to the Office of Personnel Management to ask us to review the claim. We can't review a denied claim unless your plan has reconsidered it first (or at least been given an opportunity to reconsider it). Your disputed claim will be reviewed in one of three Health Insurance Groups. Generally, we will acknowledge your request within 5 days. After we complete the review, we will send you a final response within 60 days. If we need more time before we can decide, or if you need to do more -- such as send us more information -- before we can decide, we will contact you within 14 work days of the time we get your request and tell you what you still need to do, if anything. We are sorry but we cannot give you a decision over the phone until the review has been completed and a written copy of the final decision has been issued.
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  • Medicare has two new provisions: Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage). Part C: You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan to get your Medicare benefits. Medicare Advantage is the term used to describe the various private health plan choices available to Medicare beneficiaries. Part D: There is a monthly premium for Part D coverage. Most Federal employees do not need to enroll in the Medicare drug program, since all Federal Employees Health Benefits Program plans will have prescription drug benefits that are at least equal to the standard Medicare prescription drug coverage. Still, you may want to be aware of the benefits Medicare is offering, so you can help others make informed decisions. If you have limited savings and a low income, you may be eligible for Medicare's Low-Income Benefits. For people with limited income and resources, extra help in paying for a Medicare prescription drug plan is available. Information regarding this program is available through the Social Security Administration (SSA). For more information about this extra help, visit SSA online at www.ssa.gov, or call them at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
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  • You can find the Guide to Federal Benefits (RI 70-5) that lists the premiums for TCC at http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/planinfo/guides/index.asp.
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  • No, FEDVIP plans are separate from any Non-FEHB dental plan offered through your FEHB plan.
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  • You are correct. Problems arising from oral discussions are very difficult to settle later because they are impossible to prove or disprove. In contractual situations such as under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, oral statements can never be regarded as official and, so, the brochures state that oral statements made by any representative of a carrier cannot modify the benefits described in the brochure. If a serious decision -- such as whether to enroll or not enroll in a plan -- hinges on such a coverage issue, do not rely on a verbal response. This is particularly true if the response disagrees with the plan's brochure benefits description.
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  • No, your FEHB plan is separate from the dental and vision insurance program. You may enroll in any dental or vision plan (assuming you live in the service area, if it is a regional plan).
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  • Be careful. Such a cancellation would be permanent. Annuitants cannot re-enroll in the program except under very limited circumstances, such as to enroll in a Medicare-sponsored health plan, as described below, or TRICARE. Another exception is if your spouse is also a Federal employee and you cancel to be covered by your spouse's FEHB plan. Further, neither you nor your family members would be eligible for continued coverage nor would you be able to convert your coverage to a private non-group policy. Do not drop out of the program unless you are sure of being able to re-enroll.
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  • No. Your agency can postpone automatic reinstatement of your FEHB until your transitional TRICARE ends if you sign a Waiver of Immediate Reinstatement of FEHB, which is available through your Human Resources Office.
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  • “Changes to Federal Benefits Eligibility Due to Health Reform” are now available on OPM’s website at http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/aca/index.asp.  These FAQs provide your employees with important information about child eligibility and Federal Benefits under the Affordable Care Act. FastFacts offering a basic understanding of the Affordable Care Act and child eligibility under the Federal Benefits Health Benefits (FEHB) Program are now available on our website at http://www.opm.gov/insure/fastfacts/reform.pdf.  The FastFacts is a two-page document designed to be easily posted to a bulletin board as well as distributed electronically. These and additional resources about health care reform are available on our website at www.opm.gov/insure/health/reform.   If you have specific questions, please contact your agency’s benefits officer. If you do not know who this person is, please go to http://apps.opm.gov/abo/ where you will find a list of agencies and their Headquarters Benefits Officers.
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    • Self Only                                                                                                                                                      
    • Self and Family
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  • Yes. FEHB regulations provide that an employee’s FEHB is automatically reinstated upon return to employment following active duty. An annuitant’s FEHB is automatically reinstated on the day of separation from the uniformed services.
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Total Count: 964, Number of Pages: 49, Page: 10
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