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Insurance FAQs

  • To inquire about how much coverage you have under the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program, go to Retirement Services Online at https://www.servicesonline.opm.gov.  You will need your retirement claim number and Personal Identification Number (PIN) to access information about your health benefits enrollment.    If you cannot access Retirement Services Online, you can inquire about your coverage by contacting OPM’s Retirement Office at 1-888-767-6738 or retire@opm.gov.  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.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • If you are a current Federal employee, you should contact your Human Resources Office and ask them to find out on what date and carrier report number your enrollment information was forwarded to your new health insurance carrier. With this information, your new carrier will be able to locate your enrollment data and forward ID cards to you. If you are an annuitant, call your plan. If they tell you they haven't gotten the paperwork yet from your retirement system, you may contact your retirement system. If you are a Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) annuitant or a Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) annuitant, contact OPM at retire@opm.gov. Before contacting your retirement system, have your annuity information ready, for instance, your name, civil service annuity number (beginning with CSA or CSF), phone number and address, and information about your plan, such as the carrier enrollment code.
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  • No, any coverage provided under your FEHB plan remains as your primary coverage. FEDVIP coverage would pay secondary to that coverage. FEDVIP is not intended to replace any existing coverage.
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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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  • Open Season changes for most Federal employees are effective the first day of the first full pay period that begins in January. Generally, mid-year changes are effective on the first day of the pay period which begins after your enrollment is received by your Human Resources Office.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • If your pay is too low to allow a withholding for life insurance premiums and your human resources office expects this to last for more than six months, you will have a choice. You can choose either to terminate some or all of your insurance coverage or to continue the coverage and pay the premiums directly. (See your human resources office for more details).
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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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  • The formulary for your health plan provides a list of medications that a team of health care specialists have approved. Your doctor will write a prescription based on your medical needs, but the formulary provides him with recommendations from the pharmacist and physician team. An effective formulary system provides a medication safety feature. When drugs and administration methods are systematically included (or deleted) in a controlled drug formulary, there are a number of benefits. For instance, each new drug added undergoes a peer review process that uncovers any safety concerns with the drug. Also, when drugs are systematically added to the formulary, there is adequate time to educate the staff before the drug is used. An organized formulary also ensures that the number and variety of drugs is kept to an effective minimum. There are approximately 13,000 prescription drugs on the market today and several drugs can often be used to treat the same condition. A formulary, based on safety and cost considerations, helps to limit the drugs recommended by your plan's health care professionals.
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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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  • Yes, TRICARE enrollees are eligible to participate in the FEDVIP program if they meet other eligibility requirements (see the section on eligibility and enrollment, above).
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Total Count: 956, Number of Pages: 48, Page: 7
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