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 2018 Open Season runs from November 12th through December 10th.
(OPM) announced that for plan year 2019, the average total premiums for current non-Postal employees and retirees enrolled in plans under the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program will increase 1.3 percent, which is the lowest increase since the 1996 plan year. Under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), the overall average premium for dental plans will increase by 1.2 percent, while the overall average premium for vision plans will decrease by 2.8 percent.
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 charged a monthly premium of $134.00 (or higher depending on your income) in 2018.
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 428.60 a month in 2018 for Medicare Part B coverage. Review your Medicare and FEHB options when you turn 65.
OPM will announce the 2018 FEHB premiums soon.
The FEHB Open Season will give Federal employees and retirees the opportunity to review the 2019 rates and benefits and change their health care coverage if desired. 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.
2018 Open Season (November 12, 2018 through December 10, 2018)
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.