Federal Benefits Open Season is Upon Us

Nov 29, 2017

federalThe Federal Benefits Open Season is in full swing. This is the time of year federal employees and retirees can review their health, dental, vision, and tax saving needs and make changes to, or enroll in, the right plan for your current situation. You may make changes until December 11.

Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB)

The FEHB Program covers over 8.2 million federal employees, retirees, and their families.

In 2018, there will be 262 health plan choices available, with 15 available nationwide to choose from during open season. If currently enrolled in “Self and Family” but you only have 1 eligible family member, you may want to change to “Self Plus One”. This could save you money.

On OPM’s Quality Page, you can also check out plans in your zip code to see how they compare to your current plan. OPM selects the most relevant measures available, including prenatal care, blood pressure control, timeliness of processing claims, and overall plan satisfaction.

Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)

In 2018, FEDVIP will offer 10 dental plans, 6 of which are nationwide.

Four vision plans are offered, all available nationwide during open season.

Some highlights of these plans include FEDVIP offering adult orthodontia and in-network Class A dental services (oral exams, prophylaxis, topical application of fluoride) for free. You can enroll in a “Self Only” vision plan for under $4 a pay period.

Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS)

Most employees are eligible to enroll in FSAFEDS; however, retirees are not. For those that are eligible, FSAFEDS offers 3 accounts to choose from—a healthcare account, a limited expense health care account, and a dependent care account. Participation in these accounts allows you to lower your taxable income by setting aside pre-tax money to pay for eligible health, dental, vision, and dependent care expenses such as copays, prescription drug costs, orthodontics, eyeglasses, and child/elder care.

There is also now a “carry over” where enrollees can carry over up to $500 of unused Healthcare FSA money into the following year. To take advantage of the carryover of 2017 funds, you must re-enroll for 2018.

FSAFEDS also offers paperless reimbursement for your Healthcare FSA through many of the FEHB and FEDVIP plans. Meaning when you file claims with your FEHB or FEDVIP plan, FSAFEDS will automatically reimburse your eligible out-of-pocket expenses. Almost no paperwork is involved and in many cases, you receive your reimbursement before your bill is due.

If you are a disabled federal employee with questions about your insurance after Federal Disability Retirement, contact our firm today.

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