2011 Federal Benefits Open Season
November 23, 2011
The 2011 Federal Benefits Open Season runs from 14 November to 12 December 2011.
Open Season is the time for you to think about your health, dental, vision, and tax-saving needs and to make changes to, or enroll in one of the Programs.
The Programs that participate in the annual Open Season are the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), and Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS).
Open Season is the time to make elections you usually cannot make any other time of the year. All health or dental or vision plans are not alike. Open Season is about exercising your right of choice. Failure to consider your health plan choices could leave you without the healthcare services or supplies you need or with a premium you can't afford; dental and/or vision coverage can fill in the gaps of any coverage you now have or pay for services you now don't get; and a flexible spending account lets you save money and pay less tax.
FEHBP and FEDVIP enrollments will continue automatically if you are already enrolled in those programs. However, benefits and premiums may change. Also, be sure to check that your plan is still participating. If you do make changes to these programs during this Open Season, you cannot cancel or change your enrollment until the next Open Season or qualifying event.
An FSAFEDS account does not continue automatically even if you already have an FSAFEDS account. You must reenroll.
Some things to think about this Open Season are as follows:
• You must be covered by the Program for the five years of service before retiring to continue FEHBP coverage into retirement.
• There are no waiting periods and no pre-existing condition limitations under FEHBP, even if you change plans.
• There are many choices under FEHBP and FEDVIP to meet your needs.
• You may enroll in FEDVIP and/or FSAFEDS even if you are already enrolled in FEHBP.
Your coverage will continue into retirement automatically, without a five year enrollment requirement, if you retire on an immediate annuity. Participating dental and vision providers may be different from your health plan's providers. You can cancel your coverage only during Open Season, or deployment to active military duty. FEDVIP always pays benefits secondarily to your FEHBP insurance. You can submit copays and deductibles to your FSA account.
There are three accounts from which to choose - a dependent care account, a health care account, and a limited expense health care account. Participating lowers your taxable income. You can pay for your FEHBP and FEDVIP copays and deductibles. This Program is not open to retirees.
• Cost of the Programs
2012 health insurance rates at www.opm.gov/insure/health/rates
2012 dental rates at www.opm.gov/insure/dental/rates
2012 vision rates at www.opm.gov/insure/vision/rates
To see how much you may contribute for FSAFEDS go to www.FSAFEDS.com
For more detail on the choices that are available to you, go to the following links or call the telephone number provided below:
• For FEHBP information, 2012 Guide to Federal Benefits, or 2012 Plan brochures go to www.opm.gov/insure/health.
• For FEDVIP information go to www.opm.gov/insure/dental/index.asp or for the 2012 Guide to Federal Benefits, or the 2012 Plan brochures go to www.opm.gov/insure/vision/index.asp.
• For FSAFEDS go to www.FSAFEDS.com/call 1-877-372-3337, the 2012 Guide to Federal Benefits or the FSAFEDS Program Brochure.
• For additional information, visit www.opm.gov/insure.
Army Guide to making an Open Season election follows:
• Two ways for you to make an FEHB open season change:
-- Use the Employee Benefits Information System (EBIS). Access EBIS through the Army Benefits Center-Civilian (ABC-C) website at https://www.abc.army.mil, which is available 24/7. Once you are in EBIS, click on the "Transactions" button to make your FEHB open season change.
-- Contact the ABC-C at 1-877-276-9287, and have a benefits counselor provide assistance in navigating EBIS. Counselors are available from 0600 to 1800 hours Central Time.
• The instructions for the automated telephone system are available at the ABC-C website at https://www.abc.army.mil, on the right side, under "How Do I Access the ABC-C?"
Air Force Guide to making an Open Season election follows:
• FEHBP: use the Air Force online self-service system; AFPC Secure - EBIS (Emp Benefits and Information System) https://w20.afpc.randolph.af.mil/afpcsecurenet20/CheckPortal.aspx
• Opt out of FEHB premium conversion (pay FEHB premiums pre-tax) at AFPC Secure - EBIS (Emp Benefits and Information System)https://w20.afpc.randolph.af.mil/afpcsecurenet20/CheckPortal.aspx. Employees are automatically under premium conversion, unless they elect to waive it when first hired or during an Open Season.
Air Force and Army Guide to making an Open Season election follows:
• Dental or vision under FEDVIP: go to www.BENEFEDS.com or call 1-877-888-3337, TTY 1-877-889-5680.
• Flexible spending accounts under FSAFEDS go to www.FSAFEDS.com or call 1-877-372-3337, TTY 1-800-952-0450.