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Federal Employees Benefits Open Season November 13 - December 11, 2017

This year’s Federal Benefits Open Season will run from Monday, November 13th through Monday, December 11, 2017. During Open Season, eligible employees may enroll, make changes, and/or cancel coverage for the following:

Prior to open season, you should take the time to evaluate your current benefits enrollment to determine if you have the right health, dental, and/or vision insurance coverage for you and your eligible family members and determine if changes are needed. The Federal Employee Benefits Statement, found on Employee Express under miscellaneous, provides a summary of your current enrollments.

Image of the 2017 Federal Benefits Open Season flyer and link to a larger view

Mark your calendar graphic REGISTER NOW for the 2017 Virtual Benefits Fair

Attend the 2017 Virtual Benefits Fair to visit individual carrier booths and get your questions answered from the experts. Representatives from all participating carriers will be available to take your questions during two live carrier chat days:

Monday, November 13 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST

Tuesday, December 5 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST

During this once-a-year opportunity, making an informed decision is important. Utilize the many resources for Open Season available to assist you in making a well informed decision:

Small graphic representing the Benefits Fair

Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB)

The FEHB Program is group health insurance that covers eligible employees, retirees, and their dependents. It offers a wide choice of health plans and options of coverage to help you meet your health care needs.  You can choose from several plan types:  fee-for-service plans, health maintenance organizations, consumer-driven health plans and high deductible health plans. There are no pre-existing condition limitations or waiting periods. All eligible employees who are not currently enrolled may enroll during this Open Season period.

If you are currently enrolled, you may change from one plan or option to another, from self-only to self and family or self plus one, change Premium Conversion  participation or make any combination of these changes.

No action is required if you do not wish to make any changes to your current enrollment; however, be sure to become familiar with your plan’s premiums, coverage, changes for 2018, annual catastrophic limit, and provider directory to ensure that you are satisfied with any changes effective in 2018. You may go online to review brochures or you may request a hard copy brochure by contacting your health plan directly.

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How to enroll, cancel or make changes:
The effective date for FEHB Open Season changes is January 7, 2018*. Use Employee Express online at www.employeeexpress.gov from November 13 through December 11, 2017. This includes FEHB plan enrollment, change or cancellation, and FEHB Premium Conversion coverage changes. Contact the Employee Express helpdesk by email at EEXHelp@opm.gov for assistance with access. The email should include your name, daytime phone number, and a detailed description of the request. Do not include your Social Security Number, Login ID, or Password in the description.

Retiring?
If you will be retiring anytime between November 13, 2017 – January 7, 2018, and you are making an Open Season FEHB change, do not make your election using Employee Express. Instead, submit an SF 2809, Health Benefits Election form  with your retirement application.  Your change will be processed by OPM after your retirement since you will be retired on the date the new coverage will be effective. Consult with your Benefits Specialist  for assistance.

Another Effective Date Required?
*If you need to have your coverage effective January 1, 2018, to coincide with another change you are making with your family, then a change may be made as a qualifying life event (QLE). A number of QLEs are allowed in Employee Express using “FEHB Qualifying Life Event.” The effective date will be the next pay period after you make the change on employee express. You will need to complete the Health Benefits Election Form, only if you are not able to complete in Employee Express, and email to your Benefits Specialist no later than December 23, 2017.

Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) Resources
The following resources provide guidance and tools to find what will meet your needs for the upcoming year:

Federal Employees Dental and Vision Program (FEDVIP)

Save Money using FEDVIP & FSAFEDS — Flyer

The Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) provide comprehensive dental and vision insurance with competitive premiums and no pre-existing condition limitations. FEDVIP is a separate program from FEHB and provides supplemental dental and vision coverage in addition to any coverage you may receive under your FEHB plan.  Most FEHB plans do not offer much in the way of coverage, so you may want to consider this supplemental option.

The FEDVIP offers dental and vision preferred provider organization plans from which to choose, including regional, national, and international coverage.  For program information, go online to www.BENEFEDS.com.

FEDVIP enrollments automatically continue from year to year, even into retirement.  If you are happy with your current coverage and do not wish to make any changes, no action is required.

If you are going to cancel your Dental and/or Vision coverage, you must do so during Open Season. Other opportunities to change are under extremely limited circumstances. No longer being able to afford premiums or because you retire or change your mind are not qualifying life events that allow you to make a change outside of Open Season.

How to enroll, cancel, or make changes
The effective date for FEDVIP Open Season changes is January 1, 2018. From November 13 through December 11, 2017, employees who wish to enroll, change, or cancel their enrollment in a FEDVIP plan must do so by visiting the website at www.BENEFEDS.com or by calling 1-877-888-3337  (TTY 1-877-889-5680) Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAFEDS)

This valuable benefit allows you to save tax dollars on expenses you already pay! Use the tax savings calculator to see how much you can save per year by using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA).

If you are currently enrolled and want to participate for 2018, you must reenroll. Coverage does not automatically continue for FSA accounts.

The FSAFEDS program is available to employees who are eligible for FEHB (this includes most temporary employees). FSAFEDS allows you to set aside up to $2,650 in pre-tax dollars to reimburse you for eligible expenses using a health care account or dependent care account for $100 to $5000.

How to enroll, cancel, or make changes
The effective date for FSA Open Season changes is January 1, 2018. From November 13 through December 11, 2017, employees who wish to enroll in the FSAFEDS program must do so by visiting www.FSAFEDS.com or by speaking to an FSAFEDS customer service representative at 1-877-372-3337 (TTY 1-800-952-0450), Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST.

Federal Employees Group Life insurance (FEGLI) and Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)

The FEGLI program does not participate with the annual Open Season. You can decrease your life insurance coverage at anytime. You may increase coverage due to a qualifying life event or by having a medical exam.

The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) accepts long form underwriting applications throughout the year. Go to the FLTCIP site for additional information.

Additional Resources

The Pay and Benefits site is a resource on your benefits. This link is on the internet so you may share with your family or view from home. Contact your Benefits Specialist if you have any questions regarding the information.


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Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 08-Nov-2017 14:20:16 EST