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Insurance FAQs

  • 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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  • Yes, two Federal employees who are married may BOTH elect Option C life insurance coverage. Any eligible children would be covered under both policies.
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  • As long as your spouse has a Self and Family enrollment and you are still married to your spouse, you will be covered under the enrollment. Your eligibility for coverage under your spouse's Self and Family enrollment will cease after a divorce or annulment. You may, however, be eligible for FEHB coverage under either the Spouse Equity provisions or the Temporary Continuation of Coverage provisions of the law. You would be enrolled in your own right and would pay both the Government and employee shares of the premium yourself.
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  • Your new plan is NOT responsible for providing coverage until the effective date of your enrollment change which for most employees is the first day of the first full pay period in January. If you need medical services before the effective date of your Open Season enrollment, you should contact your old plan. Please remember, while the new enrollments are not effective until the first full pay period in January, the new plan benefits are effective January 1. Your old plan, therefore will provide coverage according to the new contract. These expenses will count toward your prior year's deductible. If you are an annuitant, you should contact your new plan. Your Open Season enrollment is effective January 1.
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  • Medicare beneficiaries may enroll in Original Medicare (Parts A and B) or choose to get their benefits from an array of Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) plan options. Depending on where you live, Part C options may include Medicare Advantage Plans that are approved by Medicare but run by private companies. Medicare Advantage plans offer Medicare Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), private fee-for-service plans (PFFS), Medicare Special Needs Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) plans. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act (MMA) established a voluntary outpatient prescription drug benefit, Medicare Part D, effective January 1, 2006. Medicare enrollees are able to receive prescription drug coverage by enrolling in a Medicare Part D plan. Medicare Advantage Plans (Medicare Part C) may also offer prescription drug coverage that follows the same rules as the Medicare Part D coverage. Other Medicare plans include Medicare Cost Plans, demonstration/pilot programs, and PACE (Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly).
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  • If your agency does not pay your premiums, you must pay the employee's share of the premium during the first 12 months of coverage (just as any other employee on leave without pay). You must pay both the employee and government shares, plus an administrative charge of 2 percent of the total premium, for up to 12 additional months that you continue your coverage while on military duty.
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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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  • If you do not want to continue your FEHB enrollment, you must notify your employing office in writing that you wish to terminate your coverage. If you do not take action to terminate the coverage, your enrollment will continue for up to 24 months while you are on military duty.
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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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  • 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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  • No. Coverage for employees does not reduce based on age. The post-age 65 reductions can only affect retirees.
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  • Any insurance policy purchased under the conversion privilege is a private business transaction between you and the insurance company. The cost of the individual policy is determined by the insurance company and is based on your age and class of risk. If you return to Federal service and have converted your FEGLI coverage (including as a reemployed annuitant), you do not have to cancel your conversion policy. You can continue the conversion policy and have FEGLI coverage as an employee.
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  • You should consult an attorney concerning such legal issues as appointing a guardian for your minor child. If you should die while your child is still a minor and he/she is entitled to your life insurance benefits, the Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI) will not pay benefits to your minor child. If the benefits payable are $10,000 or less, OFEGLI may pay the benefits to a surviving parent when the parent assures OFEGLI, in writing, that he/she will use the funds for the sole benefit of the child. If benefits exceed $10,000, payment depends on whether the State where the child lives requires a guardian. If the State requires a guardian, a court-appointed guardian can file a claim for death benefits on behalf of your minor child. In those cases, guardianship must be established before payment can be made. Natural parentage is not automatic guardianship. The guardian must have the authority granted by the court to collect money on behalf of the child. OFEGLI would then make payment to the guardian who would have to answer to the court regarding how/when he/she spent the money, depending on the details of the guardianship granted by the court. In those States that do not require the court appointment of a guardian, OFEGLI will pay the benefits to the person responsible for the care of the child when he/she assures OFEGLI, in writing, that he/she will use the funds for the sole benefit of the child. If there is not a guardian and one won't be appointed and the State requires one and the proceeds are greater than $10,000, OFEGLI will open an interest-bearing account payable to the minor upon reaching the legal age.
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  • No. If you receive an SF 2819, that means that you are eligible to convert your insurance, but you don't need to — the choice is yours. IF you qualify to carry your coverage into retirement, you may want to do that and not convert. Just because you receive an SF 2819 does not mean that you do not qualify to carry your coverage into retirement. All employees whose current coverage as an employee is terminating (other than by voluntary cancellation) receive a copy of that form — whether or not they qualify to carry coverage into retirement.
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  • Each state has a law that allows pharmacists to substitute less expensive generic drugs for many brand names. However, if your doctor specifies that a brand name must be dispensed, then the pharmacist may not substitute the generic. Sometimes an acceptable generic is available that your doctor may not be aware of. In this case, your pharmacist may be able to consult with your doctor to suggest an effective medication that costs less.
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  • There are a number of factors for you to consider if you are employed part-time. Although you will not be eligible for the full government contribution, your entire employee contribution will be pre-tax if you participate in premium conversion. That larger reduction in taxable income might offset the lower government contribution. If you are a part-time reemployed annuitant, we suggest that you consult your agency or a qualified tax advisor to review your individual situation.
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  • If you cancel your FEHB, you need to be aware of the following consequences that apply to all employees who cancel their FEHB, including:
    • You and your dependents are no longer covered under the FEHB Program.
    • You may not reenroll in FEHB until you lose your TAMP coverage or have another qualifying life event (QLE) that permits enrollment, or until the next FEHB Open Season. If you reenroll because you lose TAMP coverage, you must do so from 31 days before to 60 days after your TAMP ends, and use Code 1M on Health Benefits Election Form, SF 2809, at www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/sf2809 [848 KB]. Additional QLEs that permit enrollment, for example, a change in family status, are listed on SF 2809. If you have one of these QLEs, you must enroll within the timeframes shown.
    • If you transfer to another Federal agency, your cancellation follows you and you may not reenroll until you lose your TAMP coverage or have another QLE that permits enrollment, or until the next FEHB Open Season. See above bullet for details.
    • If you separate from your employment, you will not be eligible for temporary continuation of coverage (TCC) because you will not have any FEHB enrollment to continue. Also, you will not have an FEHB enrollment to convert to an individual policy with your former insurance carrier.
    • If you retire, you will not have an FEHB enrollment to continue into retirement.
    • If you die, you will not have an FEHB family enrollment for your survivors to continue, even if they are eligible for a survivor annuity.
    Note: Your agency may ask you to sign a statement stating that you understand these consequences.
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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 should contact your Human Resources Office for the appropriate information for employees covered under FEHB who are called to military duty.
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  • Your former Human Resources Office should send the new agency your Waiver of Immediate Reinstatement of FEHB along with your FEHB records, so that your postponement may continue. Your new agency should reinstate your FEHB and transfer it in to their payroll office on the date you requested by using the Notice of Change in Health Benefits Enrollment (Standard Form 2810). It is important that you check your leave and earnings statement to be sure that your FEHB is reinstated on the date you requested.
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Total Count: 976, Number of Pages: 49, Page: 7
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