The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently announced that this year’s “open season” for health benefits, dental and vision insurance, and flexible spending accounts will run from Nov. 8 through Dec. 13, 2010.
Open season is an opportunity for CIVMARS and other federal workers (as well as retirees) to select their respective insurance coverage for the following calendar year. It’s also the time when employees who are not enrolled, but are eligible to participate, may elect coverage.
According to the OPM, no action is required of individuals who want to continue their current enrollment (unless their plan is dropping out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, abbreviated as FEHB). The agency further reported that as of January 2011, it is expected that more than 200 health plan options will be available through the FEHB Program.
Detailed information about open season is available online at: http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/
All SIU CIVMARS are urged to be aware of plan benefits and check carefully to make sure their health plan meets their needs and those of their families.
Meanwhile, the OPM indicated that it expects the enrollee share of premiums for next year’s FEHB Program to increase by an average of 7.2 percent. According to the agency, individual FEHB enrollees pay an average of 30 percent of the total cost of the plan’s premium.
Additionally, under the stipulations of the Affordable Care Act, preventive care and screenings will be available with no out-of-pocket costs and enrollees may add their children younger than age 26 to their family health plan.
OPM Director John Berry stated, “The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program has important features, including a wide choice of health plans and competitive benefit packages as well as no pre-existing condition limitations or waiting periods. Now, for 2011, we have eliminated enrollee cost sharing for preventive care services, added incentives for tobacco cessation, and, in accordance with the Affordable Care Act, added coverage for dependents up to age 26. Even with these new benefits, premiums will rise less this year than they did last year.”