Limited Federal Employees Health Benefits Opportunities by Dan HartensteinFebruary 25, 2016 / by Dan Hartenstein
FEHB Opportunities to consider from Dan Hartenstein
If you obtain your health insurance coverage through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB), then you may have some considering to do regarding how you move forward with your coverage.
This is because back in 2013, the Bipartisan Budget Act established a new enrollment type in the FEHB called the “Self Plus One” that became available in January 2016, with the opportunity to enroll that started in November of 2015.
If you missed the chance to go with the Self Plus One at that time, and it may have been a viable option for you, then there’s good news, because throughout the month of February, members of the FEHB program have the chance to adjust their plan via a limited enrollment period.
Items to Consider for Enrollment
If you’re still are considering going with the Self Plus One, but aren’t completely sure if it’s the right move for you, there are some questions that you can ask in order to help you narrow down your options.
First, as compared to your current plan, will the Self Plus One premium be lower? If so, then this could be a good alternative to the family plan. This is because the Self Plus One will cover the employee, along with one eligible family member. If, however, the premium is the same or higher on the Self Plus One plan, then it likely makes sense to remain in your current plan.
Also, are you a just an FEHB plan member or an annuitant? It you are an annuitant, then you won’t have to make your decision about enrollment right away. Annuitants are actually allowed to decrease enrollment at any time throughout the year, so if you need more time to decide, you won’t need to do so prior to February 29.
It is important to note, though, that if you have just a self-only enrollment, then you will need to have experienced what is regarded as a “qualifying life event” in order for you to switch over to the Self Plus One plan outside of the Open Enrollment season. Common qualifying life events include a change in family status (such as marriage or divorce, or the birth of a child), as well as a change in your employment status, and / or a loss in your health insurance coverage.
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