Navigating the 2024 Open Season: Essential Insights for Federal Employees

Nov 14, 2023

2024 open season FEHB changes

Do you know if your insurance benefits are the best option for you and your family? Open Season is a period each year when Federal employees can enroll in or make changes to their insurance elections. This year, Open Season will run from November 13 – December 11, 2023.

This is the time to determine whether or not your current health, dental, and vision insurance coverage is meeting your needs. Open season can be a complex process so it’s important for employees to understand the different plans and options available.

2024 Changes

One notable change in the Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) programs for 2024 is the reduction in the number of plan options available to federal employees. For 2024, 68 carriers will offer a total of 158 plan choices, which is down from 271 in 2023. While this may limit choices to some extent, it is important to understand that the focus has shifted towards improving the coverage provided by available plans.

Among the changes, there is an emphasis on expanding coverage for certain medical services. For instance, there will be an increase in fertility coverage, with broader coverage of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) related services. This shows a significant step in providing federal employees with comprehensive healthcare options that meet their unique needs.

According to the OPM, health insurance premiums will increase an average of 7.7%. Increases in rates are caused by a variety of factors, such as-

  • changes in medical inflation (health care services cost more)
  • demographics (aging population)
  • changes in benefits
  • technology
  • utilization

How to Choose a Plan

Choosing which plan is right for you can be a daunting task. Luckily, the OPM provides a comparison tool for you to easily determine the difference between plans– the FEHB Plan Comparison Tool and the FEDVIP Plan Comparison Tool.

The FEHB Plan Comparison Tool allows you to compare plans side-by-side. You can easily differentiate between premiums, deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses, and more.

The Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) Plan Comparison Tool allows you to search for dental and vision coverage. Keep in mind that even if you are not enrolled in an FEHB plan, you can still enroll in FEDVIP.

If your current plan is ending and you do not choose a new plan, you will be automatically enrolled in the least expensive national PPO plan, GEHA Elevate. Please note that FEHB Humana plans will be terminating in 2024.

Take Action

The changes made to the FEHB programs in 2024 for federal employees highlight a shift towards providing more focused comprehensive care, despite the reduction in plan options. While increased premiums can be concerning, it’s important to understand that the cost of medical care is not likely to reduce, and access to quality healthcare is crucial.

This Open Season, consider whether your current health status and future prognosis might warrant a review of not just your insurance coverage, but also your long-term employment and retirement plans. Remember, proactive planning can offer peace of mind and financial security when facing uncertainty.

If you are struggling with an injury or illness in your federal job, you may qualify for Federal Disability Retirement. This benefit is often unknown to federal employees and can help you retire early while maintaining your federal benefits. Schedule a FREE consultation today to learn more and see if you qualify!

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