While most government workers know about the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan or the FEHB for short, many don’t quite understand their other insurance, namely vision and dental, which is covered under the FEDVIP or the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program, nor do they know the process of carrying those benefits with them into retirement the same way they do with their normal health insurance.
So how does the FEDVIP differ from employees other health insurance?
First, there is the period in which you can even enroll in the program, which is within the first two months of your hiring, after a significant life change like a marriage (to cover your new spouse,) or yearly, during November and December. FEDVIP is available to all working and retired federal employees, their spouses, and their children until age 22.
The cost is the second thing to take note of, which shifts if you continue coverage past retirement. While you’re working your premiums are paid before taxes are taken out of your paycheck, but after you retire, you will be taxed on your money before you can use it to pay for FEDVIP premiums.
There is also a difference in cost between vision and dental premiums too. Vision premiums are determined by the plan you have opted into, while dental premiums can vary and are based on your plan, and also where you live.
Lastly, there is the process of continuing your FEDVIP coverage as you retire. With the FEHB you have to be employed and covered for at least five years before your retirement date, but with the FEDVIP no such restrictions exist. You can also enroll in the FEDVIP after you retire, even if you hadn’t while you were working, which you are not allowed to do with the FEHB.
Eligibility depends on a few factors, the first of which is how you retire, which must be with an immediate annuity. People with deferred annuities will not be able to continue FEDVIP coverage. You are also eligible if you have retired with a postponed annuity under MRA+10 provision.