September 2015 Benefits Newsletter
- Benefits Calendar Of Events
- Premium Increases For The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)
- New “Self Plus One” Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Option Coming Soon!
- Expansion Of FEHB Coverage For Certain Full-Time Temporary Employees and Employees On Seasonal Or Intermittent Work Schedules
- What Do I Do If I Am Injured At Work?
- Employment And Income Verification – Use TALX – The Work Number®
- Why Do I Need A myPay PIN And How Can I Get One?
- Where Can I Find Information On Pay And Leave?
- How Can I Get In Touch With My Benefits Contact?
- Previous NIH Benefits Information – Did You Know? E-mails
2. Premium Increases For The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and John Hancock Life & Health Insurance Company (the program’s insurer) have determined that premium rates for new FLTCIP applicants should increase to ensure they are adequate to cover projected benefits for new enrollees. The new premium rates were effective August 1, 2015, and affect applicants who apply for FLTCIP coverage on or after that date. FLTCIP quotes issued prior to the new premium rates were valid until July 31, 2015. The new premium rates do not apply to current FLTCIP enrollees.
For additional information, visit the FLTCIP website or call 1-800-LTC–FEDS (1-800-582-3337).
3. New “Self Plus One” Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Option Coming Soon!
The FEHB Program will offer a new “Self Plus One” insurance option during the upcoming annual Federal Benefits Open Season in November. Elections made during the Open Season will be effective on January 10, 2016. In an attempt to help Federal employees understand the new health care option, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has prepared a number of FAQs. Some key points about the new option are:
- Agencies will not automatically change enrollments for individuals enrolled in “Self and Family” with only one covered family member. Employees wishing to change must positively elect the new enrollment type.
- Online enrollment systems must be updated with the new Self Plus One information for the upcoming Open Season. All online enrollment systems should be updated by September/October.
- OPM will release the new rates for all FEHB options (including the new Self Plus One option) in late September/early October.
- Several Benefits Administration Letters are expected to be issued before the Open Season, which will further address the specifics of the new Self Plus One option.
Additional information will be forthcoming as OPM releases it.
4. Expansion Of FEHB Coverage For Certain Full-Time Temporary Employees and Employees On Seasonal Or Intermittent Work Schedules
Under a new rule which was effective on November 17, 2014, the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program was expanded to include employees working on temporary appointments, employees on seasonal schedules who will be working a schedule of less than six months per year, and intermittent employees who are expected to work at least 130 hours per month or more for at least 90 days. The following applies:
- If the employing office expects the employee to work for at least 90 days, the employee is eligible to enroll at the time of his her appointment. He/she will have a 60 day opportunity window to enroll.
- If the employing office expects the employee to work fewer than 90 days, the employee is considered to be in a 90 day waiting period and is not eligible to enroll in the FEHB program. However, if the expectation changes and the employee works for at least 90 days, the employee is eligible to enroll in the FEHB program immediately.
These employees will receive the same Government contribution toward the premium as full-time permanent employees. Additional information can be found in the Benefits Administration Letter. Questions should be directed to your Benefits Contact.
5. What Do I Do If I Am Injured At Work?
If you are injured in the performance of duty, you should immediately contact the Occupational Medical Service (OMS) at 301- 496-4411 to report the injury and seek medical attention. You may be entitled to medical services and lost wages compensation. If appropriate, OMS will direct you to the NIH Workers’ Compensation Program. The NIH Workers’ Compensation Program will assist you throughout the life of your claim. To learn more about the program, call 301-496-2404 to speak with a Compensation Specialist or visit the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch’s website.
6. Employment And Income Verification – Use TALX – The Work Number®
The Work Number®, is an automated system that provides proof of employment and income to verifiers. Workforce Solutions is widely known and used by over 50,000 entities including most major financial institutions, mortgage lenders, leasing companies, and private corporations to verify employment and income status of employees. The system provides a secure way for verifiers to obtain your employment information and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Before your information can be released to a verifier, you must give your authorization. NIH employees can use Workforce Solutions - The Work Number® in two easy steps:
- Authorize the verification by completing the verifier's (lender, bank, etc.) authorization form. When you try to access the system as an employee, you will be asked to enter a User ID and a PIN.
- Your user ID is your full SSN
- Your initial PIN is the last four digits of your SSN + full birth year (Example: 12341953)
Note: You will be prompted to enroll in the Enhanced Security or Risk Based Authentication. This is mandatory and must be completed in order to use the system.
- Provide the verifier with:
- Workforce Solutions –The Work Number® access options - www.theworknumber.com or 1-800-367-5690
- HHS Employer Code: 14775
Salary Key (if needed) (A salary key is a six digit electronic signature created by the employee that is good for a one time use by a verifier)
7. Why Do I Need A myPay PIN And How Can I Get One?
It is very important to have access to your myPay (DFAS) account so that you can view your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) each pay day to verify that the correct deductions are being withheld and that your leave balances on your LES match the balances in ITAS. You must also use myPay to make changes to your home address, TSP contributions, direct deposit of pay, allotments, Federal tax withholdings, and Open Season health benefits elections. Additionally, some state tax withholdings must be made via myPay (DFAS). If you move to or from Maryland, you must complete a state tax form for your new state and submit it to the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch (Bldg 31/Rm B3C23) for processing. However, for movement between other states and/or the District, you must use myPay (DFAS).
To access the system, 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 (DFAS) 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 (DFAS) 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 (DFAS).
If you encounter problems with your Login and/or Password or technical issues using myPay (DFAS), 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. They can provide assistance on how to use the options available to you in myPay . They will also provide support for establishing and changing your Login and/or Password.
8. Where Can I Find Information On Pay And Leave?
9. How Can I Get In Touch With My Benefits Contact?
Your contact in the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch will be able to help you with a variety of issues pertaining to the health and life insurance programs, designating beneficiaries, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), calculating your retirement annuity estimate , working with you to pay a redeposit for prior civilian service if you previously withdrew your retirement funds, paying a deposit for prior civilian or military service for which retirement deductions were not withheld, etc. To find your benefits contact, review our list of contacts. In addition, the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch (BPLB) website has an abundance of information regarding your Federal benefits. Don’t forget to check out the Benefits FAQs section.
Human resource topics not related to your benefits are normally handled by your Client Services Division HR Representative .