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Insurance FAQs

  • Employee Express is an innovative automated system that Federal employees use to make their personnel and payroll transactions electronically.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Premiums are paid on a pre-tax basis (premium conversion) if you are an active employee and your salary is sufficient to make the premium withholding. Pre-tax premiums are not available to annuitants, survivor annuitants or compensationers.
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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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  • 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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  • No. Accidental death and dismemberment coverage ends when your employment ends. You cannot carry this coverage into retirement.
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  • Yes, if you are eligible for this TRICARE program, you can suspend your FEHB coverage.
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  • No, USPS employees pay the same premiums as Federal employees and annuitants.
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  • When you retire, you are entitled to the full government contribution.
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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 theĀ 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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  • 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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  • Yes. There are a few things an employee should consider. First, to be eligible to continue FEHB coverage after retirement, a retiring employee must be enrolled or covered under the FEHB Program for the five years of service immediately before retirement, or, if less than five years, for all service since the first opportunity to enroll. Employees can count their coverage under TRICARE toward meeting this requirement. However, the employee must be enrolled in an FEHB health plan on the date of retirement to continue coverage. Second, if the employee dies when the cancellation is in effect, any surviving spouse will not be eligible to continue FEHB health benefits coverage.
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  • You will be able to select a Self Plus One enrollment beginning in the 2015 Open Season.  After Open Season, you will have an opportunity to change your enrollment upon experiencing a Qualifying Life Event (QLE).
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  • No. FEGLI life insurance open seasons are extremely rare.  Outside of an open season, eligible employees can enroll in FEGLI by taking a physical exam or with a Qualifying Life Event. The form to request FEGLI by taking a physical exam is available the SF 2822.  The form is completed partly by you, partly by your agency, and partly by your healthcare provider.  If OFEGLI approves your request, you are automatically enrolled in Basic. If you want Optional insurance as well as Basic, you can enroll in Option A and/or Option B within 60 days from the date of OFEGLI's approval. You cannot enroll in Option C by getting a physical. With a FEGLI Qualifying Life Event, you can enroll in FEGLI Basic, Option A, up to five multiples of Option B, and/or up to five multiples of Option C.  Qualifying Life Events are marriage, divorce, death of spouse, or acquisition of an eligible child. To enroll or increase your FEGLI coverage based on a life event, submit an SF 2817 to your human resources office within 60 days after the life event.
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  • No.
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Total Count: 966, Number of Pages: 49, Page: 4
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