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Insurance FAQs

  • Generally, your coverage continues for 36 months from the date of your divorce or annulment, as long as you pay your premiums on time. After your TCC enrollment ends:
    • you get a 31-day extension of coverage, and
    • you may convert to an individual contract offered by your health benefits plan,
    unless you lose coverage because you canceled your enrollment or didn't pay your premiums.
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  • You should examine your Medicare coverage in order to determine if the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) will benefit you or your family. Your FEDVIP premiums will not change if you enroll in Medicare.
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  • You are no longer an eligible family member when your divorce or annulment becomes final. You get a 31-day extension of your health benefits plans coverage after that date. You may convert to an individual contract offered by your health benefits plan, if you don't qualify for or don't want FEHB coverage through Spouse Equity or TCC.
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  • 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.
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  • Information about the new TRICARE-For-Life program can be obtained by calling 1-888-DOD LIFE (1-888-363-5433) or by going to the TRICARE website at www.tricare.osd.mil.
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  • A court order for permanent custody is acceptable as proof of dependency, but is not necessarily required. However, a court order for temporary custody or a Power of Attorney is not acceptable proof for health benefits enrollment. Other acceptable proof of foster child status are:
    • evidence that the child has been included as a dependent on your tax returns for previous years;
    • canceled checks, money orders, or receipts for periodic payments received from you for or on behalf of the child;
    • evidence of goods or services which show regular or substantial contributions of considerable value; and
    • sworn affidavits from people unrelated to you that the child lives in your home.
    The employing office will ultimately make the final decision as to what proof is acceptable in an individual case.
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  • Yes, and this works differently than when a survivor disclaims benefits. You can name someone as a beneficiary and someone else if that first person disclaims the benefits. It's a form of contingent beneficiary. As the insured, you CAN specify who should receive the disclaimed benefits (the beneficiary cannot specify who should receive disclaimed benefits). For example, you could word your designation like this:
    Mary Jones, 100%, unless she disclaims.  Otherwise to Johnson Wallace, 100%.
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  • We have published a final regulation that allows current FEHB annuitants and former spouses who are eligible for these programs to suspend their FEHB coverage and premium payments. The regulation allows these individuals to reenroll in the FEHB Program during the Open Season, or immediately if they are involuntarily disenrolled from the non-FEHB coverage.
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  • The National Defense Authorization Act for 2001 (Act) extended TRICARE pharmacy coverage to uniformed services Medicare eligible retirees, spouses, and survivors on April 1, 2001. Now uniformed services beneficiaries can get comprehensive prescription drug coverage through TRICARE's retail, mail order, or military treatment facility pharmacies. The Act also reinstated eligibility for TRICARE medical benefits for these beneficiaries on October 1, 2001. Beneficiaries with Medicare Parts A and B are now eligible to use TRICARE coverage for physician, hospital, surgical, and pharmaceutical services.
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  • The former spouses that the regulation applies to are those of civilian Federal employees and annuitants as defined under the Civil Service Retirement Spouse Equity Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-615). The regulation does not apply to "unremarried former spouses" under TRICARE law (title 10 USC). See also the chapter on former spouses in the FEHB Handbook.
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  • If you disagree with the plan’s decision on your claim, the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program provides for an appeal process.  Check your plans FEHB brochure to see if the service is covered, limited, or excluded. Review and follow the directions in the disputed claims section (Section 8) of the brochure. This section will tell you how to ask the plan to reconsider your claim. You must explain why (in terms of the applicable brochure coverage provisions) you feel the services should be covered. If the plan again denies the claim, read the plan's decision letter carefully. Then, check your plan's brochure again. If you still disagree with the plan's decision, the disputed claims section of the brochure will tell you how to write to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to ask us to review the claim.   If you have a complaint that is not related to a disputed claim, email your complaint to FEHB@opm.gov.
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  • To inquire about how much coverage you have under the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program, contact OPM's Retirement Office by emailing retire@opm.gov or calling 1-888-767-6738. The phone lines are open from 7:30 am to 7:45 pm (Eastern Standard Time). It is a busy phone number so we encourage you to call early in the morning or after 5:00 pm when the phone lines are less busy. You will need to provide your retirement claim number (CSA) or Social Security Number.   Please note: For privacy reasons, the response to an email request for information on FEGLI coverage will be mailed to the address on file with the OPM Retirement Office. It will not be sent back via email.
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  • No, FEDVIP is completely separate from your private plan. You will not be able to transfer the amount of time you spent in your private plan to your FEDVIP Plan.
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  • No. When you lose FEHB coverage other than by cancellation (including cancellation by nonpayment of premiums) you have a 31-day temporary extension of coverage, at no cost. This coverage is provided in the same enrollment category so you may convert to an individual contract with your current health benefits plan. Please review the Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) pamphlet. www.opm.gov/insure/health/eligibility/tcc
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  • Yes, taxes in 49 states and most localities will be reduced; exceptions include the state of New Jersey and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. OPM monitors changes in state and local tax regulations, and provides guidance to your agency as needed. Regardless of where you live, FEHB premiums are not subject to Federal taxes. FICA Taxes If you are covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and participate in premium conversion, FEHB premium deductions will also be excluded from gross pay before Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) and Medicare taxes are applied. Employer FICA contributions will also be reduced in concert with the decrease in employee withholdings.
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  • No. Employees can only enroll in Basic, Option A and Option B this way. Obtaining a physical does not allow you to enroll in Option C. You must either enroll during an unrestricted Open Season or else in connection with a life event — marriage, divorce, death of spouse or acquisition of eligible children.
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  • You can submit a court order if you are an employee, an annuitant, a former spouse, the former spouse's attorney or anyone else.
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  • 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 FEHB Program, oral statements can never be regarded as official and, so, we state in the brochures that oral statements made by any representative of a carrier cannot modify the benefits described in the brochure.
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  • No, your FEHB plan will still be the primary payor for your vision and dental care up to the limits of its coverage.
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  • If you are on a deferred retirement annuity, you are not eligible for FEDVIP. If you are retiring with title to an MRA+10 annuity and you postpone receiving your annuity, you are eligible for FEDVIP only when you begin to receive that annuity. You would not be eligible for FEDVIP during the time between your separation from duty and before actual receipt of your annuity.
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Total Count: 965, Number of Pages: 49, Page: 6
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