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Federal Long Term Care Insurance
The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP), a benefit authorized by Congress in September 2000 to help federal employees, including military, defray the rising costs of long term care, helps pay for services such as home care, nursing home care, or assisted living facilities for people no longer able to perform the normal daily activities of living because of chronic mental or physical conditions.
Regulated by the Office of Personnel Management, starting in 2009 OPM selected John Hancock Life and Health Insurance Company (John Hancock) to provide the group policy for the FLTCIP’s second 7-year contract term. Long Term Care Partners, LLC, administers the FLTCIP on behalf of John Hancock Life & Health Insurance Company.
Federal civilian employees are eligible to apply for FLTCIP coverage if you are in a position that conveys eligibility for the Federal Employees’ Health Benefits Program (FEHB). You do not need to be enrolled in the FEHB program, just eligible to enroll. Federal and U.S. Postal Service annuitants, active and retired members of the uniformed services, and qualified relatives are also eligible to apply for coverage under the FLTCIP.
Premiums for long-term care insurance are based on age when the application is received and the benefits chosen.
You are encouraged to take the time to educate yourself on this insurance program. According to published statistics, more than 40% of people needing long-term care are between the ages of 18 and 64.
To obtain more information on the program and family members who are eligible to apply, individuals must contact the LTC Partners directly by calling the LTC Partners at (800) LTC-FEDS or (800) 582-3337 or TDD call (800) 843-3557. Employees and eligible family members may also obtain information online at The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program. To obtain information regarding eligibility based upon eligibility to enroll in FEHB only, contact your local Human Resources Representative or the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Benefits Team at DHRC-DDoDHRBENEFITS@dla.mil or call the Benefits Team Line at 1-866-378-1171 (toll-free) 614-692-0233 (direct dial).
Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) Qualified Relatives now include Same-Sex Partners
On September 13, 2009, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a proposed regulation to allow same-sex domestic partners to apply for coverage under the FLTCIP. OPM has announced in BAL 10-901 the final regulation was published in the Federal Register June 1, 2010, adding a new section (5 CFR 875.213) expanding the definition of “qualified relative” to include same-sex domestic partners of eligible Federal and U.S. Postal Service employees and annuitants. Like all “qualified relatives,” same-sex domestic partners will be subject to full underwriting.
To apply for FLTCIP coverage, a same-sex domestic partner must indicate on the FLTCIP application that documentation of the domestic partnership has been submitted to the employee/annuitant’s agency/retirement system.
This only applies to coverage under the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program. It does not apply to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB), Federal Employees Life Insurance Program (FEGLI), Federal Dental and Vision Program (FEDVIP) or the Flexible Spending Accounting Program (FSAFEDS).
Eligible employees or their same-sex domestic partner will need to provide documentation (a “declaration”) that they meet the definition of “domestic partnership.” Employees or their same-sex domestic partner must file the declaration with their employing agency. Annuitants or their same-sex domestic partner must file their declaration with their retirement system (OPM for most annuitants).
No documentation other than the Declaration form is required. Agencies do not have to ask for proof of the partnership. Agencies must annotate receipt on the form, provide a copy to the employee and file the form in the employee’s Official Personnel Folder (OPF) or its equivalent. Agencies should not send the form to the FLTCIP insurer or administrator nor will the insurer typically request information that the form is on file.
Note: Employees or their same sex partner cannot submit proof of a same-sex marriage or civil union from recognizable states in place of the Declaration form. OPM’s regulation allows for domestic partners to be eligible to apply for Federal long term care insurance as qualified relatives. Therefore, OPM’s requirement is based on a uniform set of criteria that all eligible employees, retirees and their same-sex domestic partners must meet. The employee/partner must provide all of the information that is requested on the attached Declaration form.
Requirements for a Same-Sex Domestic Partnership
The term “domestic partnership” is defined as a committed relationship between two adults, of the same sex, in which the partners—
- Are each other’s sole domestic partner and intend to remain so indefinitely;
- Have a common residence, and intend to continue the arrangement indefinitely;
- Are at least 18 years of age;
- Share responsibility for a significant measure of each other’s financial obligations;
- Are not married to anyone else;
- Are not a domestic partner of anyone else; and
- Are not related in a way that, if they were of opposite sex, would prohibit legal marriage in the State in which they reside.
- Will certify they understand that willful falsification of information within the documentation may lead to disciplinary action, loss of insurance coverage and/or the recovery of the cost of benefits received related to such falsification and may constitute a criminal violation under 18 U.S.C. 1001.
Same-sex domestic partners can apply for coverage under the FLTCIP on/after the date the final regulation is effective, which is 30 days after the date it is published.
How to Apply
A Same-sex domestic partner must submit the attached Declaration of Domestic Partnership form to the DoDEA Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) servicing Benefits Team. The form can be emailed to DHRC-DDoDHRBENEFITS@dla.mil or faxed to Benefits Team Fax – 614-693-1674.
The form can also be mailed to:
Defense Logistics Agency
DHRC-D; ATTN: Dawn Burton
3990 E. Broad Street, Bldg 306
Columbus, OH 43213
The Declaration should only be mailed in cases where a same-sex domestic partner intends to apply for long term care insurance under the FLTCIP. Once the form is received, the DLA Benefits Team will provide a receipted copy to the employee and file the form in the employee’s OPF or its equivalent.
Once the copy has been received from DLA the same-sex domestic partner should apply for the FLTCIP at http://www.ltcfeds.com/apply/index.html. A same-sex domestic partner must check a box on the FLTCIP Full Underwriting Application certifying that documentation of the domestic partnership has been submitted to the employee/annuitant’s agency or retirement system, as applicable.
Points of Contact
Questions pertaining to submission of declaration form should be directed to the DoDEA DLA Benefits Team at 1-866-378-1171 (toll-free) 614-692-0233 (direct dial.
Questions regarding the application should be referred to Long Term Care Partners by calling 1-800-582-3337.
Questions regarding this bulletin should be directed to the DoDEA HQ Benefits Unit at 703-588-3981.