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Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program Open Season 2013

The Federal Employees’ Health Benefits (FEHB) Program’s annual Open Season begins Monday, November 11, 2013 and continues through Monday, December 9, 2013. During this period, if you are eligible for government benefits, you may enroll, change plans or options, change from self-only to family or from family to self-only, cancel enrollments, and/or change your premium conversion option. After Open Season, these options will only be available under limited situations. Open Season requests will be effective January 12, 2014.

Representatives from insurance carriers will be participating in our Federal Benefits Open Season Fairs. Scheduled fairs are as follows:

  • November 14 – 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Durham, NC – 615 Davis Drive KeyStone Building, Conf Rooms 1003 A & B
  • November 18 – 9:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m. – Baltimore, MD – Biomedical Research Center/BRC Atrium (251 Bayview Blvd/Ste 100)
  • November 19 – 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Bethesda, MD – Natcher Building (Building 45), Atrium

See the Benefits Calendar of Events for additional information.

Who is Eligible?

If you are on a permanent Federal civilian appointment or an appointment lasting more than one year you are probably eligible to enroll or change enrollment. IRTA, Visiting Fellows, Special Volunteers or others covered under health insurance offered through the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES External Web Site Disclaimer) are not covered under this open season. Also, if you are a member of the PHS Commissioned Corp you are not covered under this program.

If you are a temporary employee, and have completed one year of current continuous employment, excluding any break in service of five days or less, you MAY be eligible to enroll. If you apply under this provision you are responsible for the full cost for the health insurance. Government contributions toward the total premium are not allowed. If you are a temporary employee and are eligible to apply for health benefits during this open season, you must complete the SF-2809, Health Benefit Election Form and submit the form directly to the Benefits & Payroll Liaison Branch in Building 31, Room B3C23, MSC-2215. If you have questions, please notify your Benefits Contact.

I am Eligible. What Should I Do?

If you are satisfied with your current plan, review the 2014 brochure and premium rate to make certain you want to continue with your plan. If you are still satisfied, do nothing. Your coverage will continue and any adjustments will take place automatically on January 12, 2014.

If you would like to enroll or change your enrollment, review the information on the available plans and options to see what plan will best meet your needs. You MUST request an open season election through myPay. myPay  External Web Site Disclaimer  is available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. We strongly recommend that after you submit your open season request, you click on the option that provides confirmation of your request.

To access myPay External Web Site Disclaimer, you will need your Login and Password. If you have forgotten your Login or Password, click the "Forgot Your Login ID?" or "Forgot or Need a Password?" link on the left side of the myPay screen. Using this method, your Password can be e-mailed to you if you pre-registered your e-mail address, or it can be mailed to your current home address of record within 7 to 10 business days.  A second option for requesting a Password is to send a fax to 216-367-3549. You will need to include in your request your name, SSN, a daytime phone number, a copy of your NIH ID Card, and you must sign the fax. Upon receiving your fax, the Defense Finance & Accounting Service (DFAS) will reset your Password using a temporary Password. Your temporary Password will be 8 numbers, the last 4 numbers of your SSN twice. You will not receive a notice from DFAS that your Password has been reset. Simply wait at least two business days before logging into myPay to use your temporary Password. Upon logging in, you will be prompted to reset your Password. Information pertaining to establishing an acceptable Login and Password can be obtained at myPay FAQs External Web Site Disclaimer.

If you encounter problems with your Login and/or Password or technical issues using myPay External Web Site Disclaimer, contact the DFAS Centralized Customer Support Unit toll-free at 1-888-332-7411. This support line is available Monday through Friday, 7:00 A.M. to 6:30 P.M. Eastern Standard Time.

When Will My Open Season Change Occur?

Enrollments or changes in enrollments requested during open season, as well as new premium rates, will become effective January 12, 2014. These will be reflected in your salary check and on your January 31, 2014 Leave and Earnings Statement. Please review this statement carefully and report any problems to your timekeeper or your Benefits Contact.

Where Can I Find FEHB Guides and Brochures?

Guides and brochures will be available for view and printing from OPM's web site External Web Site Disclaimer in the near future. Hard copy brochures will also be available at the open season benefit fairs, and a limited supply of brochures will be available at the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch, located in Building 31, Room B3C23 and in Keystone Building, Room 1108, Durham, N.C.

Need Help Deciding?

The Consumer Checkbook External Web Site Disclaimer and Plan Smart Choice External Web Site Disclaimer are interactive tools that assist in comparing the Federal health plans. Both sites will provide you with instructions on accessing and using the tool.

The Office of Personnel Management also has an interactive on-line tool External Web Site Disclaimer to help you compare available plans. The tool will give you a chance to compare costs and benefits among the plans available to you. The tool will be updated soon to include the 2014 information.

What Is Premium Conversion?

Premium conversion External Web Site Disclaimer is the ability to pay your health insurance premium with pre-tax dollars. All eligible employees are automatically covered under premium conversion. During the annual open season, you have the option to change your decision. You do not need to do anything unless you want to change your earlier decision. Premium conversion does limit your ability to cancel FEHB or to change your coverage from family to self-only.

Significant Changes in 2014

New Plans Entering The FEHB Program

  • HealthKeepers, Inc. HMO (A91, A92), will cover Accomack, Albemarle, Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Caroline, Charles City, Chesapeake, Chesterfield, Clarke, Culpeper, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Essex, Fairfax, Fauquier, Fluvanna, Frederick, Gloucester, Goochland, Greene, Greensville, Hanover, Henrico, Isle of Wight, James City, King and Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Loudoun Louisa, Lunenburg, Madison, Mathews, Mecklenburg, Middlesex, New Kent, Northampton, Northumberland, Nottoway, Orange, Page, Powhatan, Prince Edward, Prince George, Prince William, Rappahannock, Richmond, Southampton, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Suffolk, Surry, Sussex, Virginia Beach, Warren, Westmoreland, and York in Virginia.

TRICARE (Formally CHAMPUS) Coverage and FEHB

If you have TRICARE coverage and are now a civilian Federal employee not enrolled in the FEHB, you should be aware that TRICARE coverage terminates when you become eligible for Medicare (usually age 65). You may wish to enroll in an FEHB plan during the Open Season before you retire as a civilian Federal employee so that you may continue the FEHB coverage into retirement. TRICARE coverage counts towards meeting the requirements of having FEHB coverage for the last 5 years of Federal service prior to retirement. You should also be aware that if you become age 65 while you are still employed, event number 1M on the Table of Permissible Changes allows you to enroll in FEHB when you lose your TRICARE coverage.

Note: Effective October 1, 2001, military retirees may elect to enroll in TRICARE-for-Life provided they enroll in Medicare Part B. For more information call 1-888-DOD-LIFE or visit the TRICARE web site External Web Site Disclaimer.

Customer Satisfaction Survey

The US Office of Personnel Management has arranged to have a customer satisfaction survey External Web Site Disclaimer completed in which enrollee's can rate their health plans in a variety of areas. The results of the survey are in the FEHB Guide External Web Site Disclaimer.

Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC)

You should be aware that if you leave Federal employment, you might be eligible for Temporary Continuation of Coverage External Web Site Disclaimer (TCC). TCC can continue your enrollment for up to 18 months. TCC is also available for up to 36 months for your dependents who lose eligibility as family members under your enrollment. This includes spouses who lose coverage due to a divorce and children who lose coverage because they reach age 26. TCC enrollees must pay the total premium (without a Government contribution) plus a 2% charge for administrative expenses.

TCC enrollments must be requested within 60 days of the event that causes the loss of coverage (i.e. date of separation, date of divorce, or child's 26th birthday). Please notify your Benefits Contact for further information concerning TCC.

Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)

FEHB plans do not cover long-term care. However, you can protect yourself against the high cost of long term care by applying to the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP). FLTCIP helps pay for costs of care if you need help with activities of daily living or you have a severe cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer's disease. Care can be received at home, an adult day care center, a hospice, an assisted living facility, or a nursing home. Qualified relatives are also eligible to apply for coverage. This includes your current spouse, adult children, parents, parents-in-law, and stepparents.

Unlike other benefit programs, you must take action. Applications can be obtained on the FLTCIP website External Web Site Disclaimer or by calling 1-800-582-3337 (TTY: 1-800-843-3557). You may apply for enrollment at any time. There are no open season requirements.

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