The Federal Benefits Open Season is just round the corner (Nov 9-Dec 14) and is your one and only annual opportunity to enroll or make changes to your health, dental, vision, and tax-saving needs.
There are three federal benefits programs that participate in the annual Open Season event. They are the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program, Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), and the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS).
This is your chance to make elections for these programs that you aren’t allowed to do during the rest of the year, unless you can come up with a qualifying life event (QLE).
For the record, your FEHB and FEDVIP enrollments will continue automatically even if you ignore the Open Season event and make no changes. Existing FSAFEDS accounts, however, do not continue automatically, so you are required to re-enroll.
What Changes Can you Do To Your Federal Benefits During Open Season?
The changes to federal benefits you can make vary based on the program. For FSAFEDS, you can choose from three accounts – a dependent care account, a health care account, and a limited expense health care account. Participating in this program reduces your taxable income. To make an FSAFEDS election, call 1-877-372-3337 or TTY 1-800-952-0450, or do it online at www.FSAFEDS.com.
You can enroll into FEDVIP to fill the gaps in your existing dental and/or vision coverage. For those already enrolled, Open Season is the only time you can cancel FEDVIP enrollment. To make a FEDVIP election, call 1-877-888-3337, TTY 1-877-889-5680, or do it online at www.BENEFEDS.com.
As for FEHB, eligible employees can enroll, change from one health plan to another, and cancel their health benefits enrollment. You can also change participation in premium conversion. One important change this year is the new “Self plus one” enrollment type. Those enrolled in “Self and Family” with only one covered family member can elect to switch to the Self plus one plan.
For making FEHB elections during Open Season, federal employees should use the Health Benefits Election Form (SF 2809) or use an online self-service system. Federal retirees can call Open Season Express at 1-800-332-9798, TTY 1-855-887-4957, or do it online on the OPM Retirement website at retireefehb.opm.gov.