Open season is just around the corner.
That means federal workers, like you, may enroll in a federally-sponsored healthcare plan, change your plan, tune it more to your liking, or cancel it.
All these changes can be made during what the federal government calls open season. This year, it runs from Monday, November 9 through Monday, December 14.
Millions of federal workers like yourself will be hunkering down and picking through the finer points of your Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program plans over the coming weeks to see if you have sufficient coverage or to see if you need to make any changes to improve your coverage.
Any changes made during the open season period, however, will not be effective until January 1, 2016, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
Also bear in mind that whatever plan you pick, that plan won’t be responsible for providing coverage until after the “effective date of your enrollment change which for most employees is the first day of the first full pay period in January,” according to an OPM FAQ on federal healthcare and open season posted on the agency’s website.
Also if you are a new federal employee, you can enroll outside open season usually within 60 days of becoming eligible for FEHB coverage.
In addition, there are several other situations that may make you eligible to enroll outside open season: if you experienced a change in family status (marriage, birth, divorce), a change in employment status (pay increases, restored to a civilian position after serving in the uniformed services), or if you or your family loses FEHB or other healthcare coverage.
This page on OPM’s website provides an extensive list covering most, if not all, of the enrollment eligibility scenarios outside open season.
Also don’t forget for the first time this open season, OPM is allowing federal workers to enroll in a “self plus one” healthcare plan. Currently, federal workers can only choose between two plans: individual and family. However the newly added “self plus one” option will allow federal workers to add a spouse or a child. For more information on self plus one, check out this blog post we recently published.
We can help you with open season. Please Request your Personal Workbook today.
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