FEHB Open Season
Federal regulations require an annual Open Season to be held each year from the Monday of the second full workweek in November through the Monday of the second full workweek in December. This year the 2017 Open Season runs from November 14th through December 12th. This years increase of an average of 4.4 percent is less than anticipated. The 2016 year's average increase was 6.4%. You must submit your Open Season enrollment change before midnight, Eastern Standard Time, on the last day of Open Season to be considered timely filed. Open Season enrollment changes take effect the first day of your first full pay period in January of the following year. Certain life events also provide an opportunity to change plans such as marriage, birth of a child, a move out of the service area of your plan and other qualifying events.
Many federal annuitants select a lower cost FEHB plan when they reach age 65 after they sign up for Medicare. Medicare A is free for most however Medicare Part B does charge a monthly premium that was $104.90 for most in 2016. The actual premium was raised to $121.80 however due to the hold harmless clause, and the fact we didn't receive a COLA increase in 20-16, most still paid the lower $104.90 rate.
The premiums are income adjusted as well and joint income taxes filers who choose to work in retirement or have other income paid as high as $389.80 a month in 2016 for Medicare Part B coverage. Review your Medicare and FEHB options when you turn 65.
New Coverage starting in 2017 - FEHB carriers now offer ABA benefits for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. All plans will offer clinically appropriate and medically necessary treatment for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2017.
OPM announced that the 2017 FEHB premiums will increase an average of 4.4 percent.
The FEHB Open Season, which begins November 14th and runs through December 12th, will give Federal employees and retirees the opportunity to review the 2017 rates and benefits and change their health care coverage if they wish. The upcoming Open Season will also give employees and retirees the chance to select supplemental dental and/or vision coverage. In addition, Federal employees can elect to participate in a tax-deferred Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for health care and/or dependent care.
The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program has important features, including a wide choice of health plans and competitive benefit packages as well as no health insurance pre existing conditions limitations or waiting periods.
2016 Open Season (November 14, 2016 through December 12, 2016)
You are now able to manage your FEHB account online. To register you will need your Annuity Claim Number and they will ask you to enter a unique user name and password to activate your account. You must register again for each new open season even though you registered for the previous year. I annotated the web site address, user name, and password in the "Federal Retirement Benefits" booklet that I received when I first retired for future reference. Go to https://retireefehb.opm.gov to register and view your options. This service allows you to change enrollment, view transaction history, change or add dependent information, and request health care plan brochures.