FEHB Open Season

Now is the time to review your federal health insurance coverage, enroll in insurance plans, and make sure all of your benefits are in order. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has set the dates for the 2018 Federal Benefits Open Season (FEHB Open Season), which allows employees to enroll in 2019 benefits programs.

Enrollment dates: Monday, November 12, 2018 to Monday, December 10, 2018.

During FEHB Open Season, workers can enroll, cancel, or change their health insurance plans for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) or the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). The time to review your benefits starts now, so you’re ready to make the necessary changes to your account when the time comes.

At MyFEDBenefits, our benefits specialists are trained to help you make the most out of your federal benefits. Contact us today for help preparing for the 2018 Open Season!

What Federal Health Insurance Tools Are Available?

The OPM has multiple tools you can use to compare plans are learn about your benefits. Before the FEHB Open Season, take advantage of these resources to make sure you’re enrolled in the best plan possible. The OPM website is a good place to start this process as it allows you to sort options based on your employee status, pay frequency, and zip code. You can also select your current plan to compare it to the new ones.

The OPM website is also where you go to enroll in federal health insurance plans as there are guides that will take you to the right page based off of your department.

The team at MyFEDBenefits and the OPM want you to be as informed as possible about your healthcare options before the start of the FEHB Open Season. By making the tools and resources available in October, you can research now and be ready to act in November. 

Who Is Eligible to Enroll During FEHB Open Season?

The OPM has clear guidelines for who is allowed to sign up for federal health insurance when the season begins. However, this office is clear to explain that there are specific provisions for each department, agency, and even position. Even if you’re not sure whether or not you have healthcare coverage, talk to your direct report to see if this option is available to you.

Most current federal employees qualify for healthcare coverage. However, there are others who also have FEHB plans available to them. These people are: 

  • Federal retirees and their surviving spouses
  • Spouses and other dependents, including children under the age of 26
  • Certain former spouses of federal employees or former employees
  • Temporary, seasonal, and intermittent employees who are expected to work 130 hours per month or more for at least 90 days

Check the OPM Handbook for detailed guidelines for what you need in order to receive coverage.

What Can You Expect From This Year’s Federal Health Insurance Rates?

There is good news and bad news in regard to what federal employees will be expected to pay in their health insurance premiums this year. The bad news in regard to FEHB changes is that rates are expected to rise by an average of 1.5% across the board. The good news is that this increase is significantly lower than those of previous years, according to Fedweek.

That being said, a 1.5% average does not mean that everyone will experience that amount. Some plans have much higher increases this year, while others remain flat or even decrease.

Meanwhile, dental plans are expected to increase by 1.2% while vision plans are expected to decrease by 2.8%. Many of these plans are small enough that minor changes won’t really be felt by those who invest in them. 

FEHB rates are expected to rise by an average of 1.5% across the board in 2019, a significantly lower increase for federal employees than those of previous years.Click To Tweet

What Happens to Your Coverage if You Do Nothing?

If you are already enrolled with a federal health insurance plan like FEHB or FEDVIP, and you do not participate in the FEHB Open Season, then your plan will continue as it is throughout the next year. If you are happy with your current plan or nothing has changed in the past year, then you can move through the deadline without making any changes.

However, if you are part of the Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS), you will need to re-enroll or else your coverage will not automatically continue. You may want to use this period to consider enrolling in another plan or make sure the flexible options are still best for your needs.

Review Your Options With MyFEDBenefits

If you haven’t considered your healthcare options or reviewed your federal benefits in a year or more, contact MyFEDBenefits today. We can help you perform an annual audit of your benefits to make sure you’re getting from what you put in. Start by requesting your benefits workbook to get a clear picture of your health coverage, retirement savings, and investment plans.

We hope you stay healthy through 2019 and beyond, but want to prepare you with the best health insurance options in the even in you need coverage. Contact us today to make sure you and your family are fully covered and ready for the 2018 Open Season.

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