Policy Changes to FEHB
The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) policy changes may impact you or someone you know. In accordance with Section 3 of the Defense Marriage Act (DOMA), if you already have Self and Family election, your legally married same-sex spouse and your eligible children, including stepchildren, under age 26 are covered effective immediately upon notification from the covered employee to his or her Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) carrier of the newly eligible family member(s).
If you are not enrolled or if you elected FEHB ‘Self Only’ or you wanted to change coverage options altogether you can make the changes as a FEHB Qualifying Life Event, whereby you have 60 days from the effective date of the policy change to do so. The coverage change includes your same-sex spouse, your children – including stepchildren who are under 26 years of age.
This policy change actually became effective June 26, 2013, as such the effective date for a newly eligible child would be the beginning of the pay period for the qualifying life event (QLE). The effective date of coverage could not have been prior to June 26, 2014, and is applicable to employees who already had Self and Family election.
For Postal Employees, enrollment changes are effective the first day of the first pay period after PostalEASE FEHB worksheets are received by the Shared Service Center in the Office of Human Resources (Access your LifeBlue account HERE). Postal employees desiring to make enrollment changes must always complete the PostalEASE FEHB worksheet which can be found on LiteBlue or you can notify the Shared Service Center via phone on 877-477-3273; TTY 866-260-7507.
It is important that we revisit policy changes in our benefits so that we will have a clear understanding of the extent of coverage both to ourselves and our families. The most important aspect of the policy change to remember is that the changes don’t just happen automatically, the covered employee must initiate the change to cover eligible family members. If you are not sure when changes to your coverage can be made contact your Human Resources Office for guidance. Also remember, any changes to your benefits coverage can always be made during Open Season.
P.S. Always Remember to Share What You Know.