The U.S. Office of Personnel Management is revamping the Federal Employees Health Benefits program.
According to a notice published in the Federal Register on September 17, federal workers will be able to select a “self plus one” healthcare plan.
Currently, federal workers can only choose between two plans: individual and family. The “self plus one” option will allow them to add a spouse or a child.
By picking that option, they can avoid paying for full family coverage — thus potentially lowering their monthly premiums.
In other words, their premium cost will better reflect the number of individuals that need to be covered rather than paying a family premium, an expense that reflects the cost of providing healthcare coverage for married couples and their children.
However coverage under that option will not be extended to everyone. For example, a domestic partner of a federal worker is not eligible.
“Domestic partners, cohabitating (unmarried) couples, and siblings are not considered eligible family members under the law at this time,” according to the notice.
Federal workers that are entitled to Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) will be able to select this option during 2015 open enrollment (also known as open season).
If selected, “self plus one” will be effective beginning January 1, 2016, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
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