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Federal Benefits Open Season

OPM announces the 2015 Federal Benefits Open Season will run November 9 – December 14, 2015


The 2015 Federal Benefits Open Season for the 2016 plan enrollments in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program, Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) and Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS) will run from Monday, November 9, 2015 through Monday, December 14, 2015.

Review the FEHB 2016 plan brochures by states before enrolling. The OPM website has additional information regarding healthcare. Employees are encouraged to visit the OPM Healtcare website for more complete and comprehensive information regarding the open season.

During the open season, eligible employees may make any of the following four benefit choices:

  1. Enroll in or change an existing enrollment in a health insurance plan under the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. FEHB open season elections are effective January 10, 2016.
  2. Sign up for a flexible spending account for health or dependent care under the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSA) or by contacting a FSAFEDS Benefits Counselor. FSA enrollments are effective January 1, 2016. Enrollments in FSAFEDS cannot be cancelled or changed after their effective date, unless the employee experiences a qualified status change (QSC). FSA enrollments also do not carry over from year to year; employees must make a positive enrollment each calendar year.
  3. Enroll in or change an existing enrollment in a dental plan under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) .
  4. Enroll in or change an existing enrollment in a vision plan under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) . FEDVIP enrollments are effective January 1, 2016. Premium deductions will start with the first full pay period beginning on/after January 1, 2016. You can use your benefits as soon as your enrollment is confirmed.

  5. NEW For 2016

    • SELF PLUS ONE FOR FEHB: As a result of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, Self Plus One enrollment will be available beginning in January 2016. The first opportunity to enroll in Self Plus One will be during the annual Federal Benefits Open Season, which runs from Monday, November 9, 2015 through Monday, December 14, 2015.
    • Self Plus One is a new enrollment type in the FEHB Program that allows enrollees to cover themselves and one eligible family member they designate to be covered. Family member eligibility for a Self Plus One enrollment is the same as for a Self and Family enrollment. A family member eligible to be covered under a Self Plus One enrollment includes either a spouse OR a child under age 26. A child age 26 or over who is deemed incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability that existed before age 26 is also an eligible family member.
    • GUIDE TO FEDERAL BENEFITS: OPM is no longer producing the Guide to Federal Benefits (Guide) beginning with the 2016 benefit year. This will include both the printed and online versions of the Guide. OPM has determined that it is no longer cost effective to produce the Guide, and due to the implementation of the Going Green Initiative in 2010, an increasing number of agencies are turning toward online resources for information about the federal benefits programs instead of ordering printed copies of the Guide.
    • OPM will provide additional online materials, such as FASTFACTS and premium charts for Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) enrollees and former spouses enrolled under Spouse Equity.

    • New Tax Reporting Requirement for 2015: Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Federal government, state governments, insurers, employers, and individuals are given shared responsibility to reform and improve the availability, quality, and affordability of health insurance coverage in the United States.
    • The individual shared responsibility (ISR) provision calls for each individual to have qualifying health care coverage (known as minimum essential coverage (MEC)) for each month of the year, qualify for an exemption, or make a payment when filing his or her federal income tax return. The provision applies to individuals of all ages, including children. Individuals who do not have qualifying minimum essential coverage and who do not qualify for an exemption will need to make an individual shared responsibility payment for each month they do not have adequate coverage. The fee will be collected when tax returns are filed.

    • For the 2015 tax year, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) agency is required to furnish a Form 1095-C to each employee. MyPay has been updated to allow you to elect to receive this tax form electronically. Electronic delivery is the fastest and most secure method to receive your 1095-C once it becomes available in January of 2016.

    • Civilian employees are highly encouraged to log into MyPay to turn on electronic delivery. Go to MyPay and from the main menu of MyPay, select "Turn On/Off Hard Copy of IRS Form 1095." Please opt in to receive an electronic copy no later than December 31, 2015. For more information on the ACA and tax reporting requirements visit the IRS website. For additional details tax information visit DFAS website .

    • If you have questions about logging into MyPay and/or making changes to your electronic elections in MyPay, contact the DFAS Centralized Customer Support Unit at 1-888-DFAS411 or 1-888-332-7411 and select option #5.

    • All FEHB plans are eligible employer-sponsored plans and provide minimum essential coverage (MEC).


    FEHB PROGRAM OVERVIEW AND HIGHLIGHTS

    Participation in the FEHB program is voluntary. The FEHB Program provides comprehensive health insurance. Employees can choose from a variety of plan types such as:

    • fee-for-service plans
    • health maintenance organizations
    • consumer-driven health plans
    • high deductible health plans

    Feel free to view the Individual plan brochures at the OPM site. If you have specific benefits questions not answered by the individual plan brochure you should contact the plan directly. Feel free to review Information about FEHB premiums.


    Premium Conversion/Pre-Tax Premiums:

    Premium Conversion is a tax benefit that reduces taxable income by allowing you to pay for health insurance on a pre-tax basis. Instead of deducting your insurance premium from your salary, that portion of your salary is used to purchase the benefit thereby reducing an employee's taxable income by the amount of the health insurance premium. This is called FEHB Premium Conversion (FEHB-PC). If you are participating in FEHB-PC, the remarks section of your biweekly Leave and Earnings Statement will include the statement "Pretax FEHB exclusion $XXX.XX."

    During Open Season eligible employees may also elect to waive participation or begin participation in Premium Conversion. Employees who enroll in FEHB will automatically be covered by FEHB-PC unless participation is waived. Employees who elect to participate in Premium Conversion may only make changes or cancel coverage during the Federal Benefits Open Season or upon a qualifying life event.


    FEHB PROGRAM WILL RISES BY AN AVERAGE OF 6.4%

    The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced that premiums for the 2016 Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program will rise by an average of 6.4 percent.

    CONTACT THE DODEA HQ BENEFITS BRANCH

    Questions pertaining to this information should be emailed to the DoDEA .

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