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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Open Season - its time to review your health insurance plan

Even though you may be out of work receiving workers compensation from OWCP, you still need to stay on top of your health insurance enrollment. OWCP, and the federal government in general, no longer mail out brochures. You need to research any changes you might need to make and get your forms from the OPM website. A good place to start is here:

Please keep in mind that if you become eligible for Medicare, that is now considered your primary insurance and you need to change to a version of your health insurance plan that takes into account that you have Medicare as primary and health insurance as secondary. Otherwise you are paying too much for your health insurance. I have a client who reduced her health insurance premium from $800 per month to $200 per month by making this change. This is not a change that is limited only to Open Season. Becoming eligible for Medicare is an event that allows you to immediately change your health insurance enrollment without waiting for Open Season. The OPM website explains:

Can I Change My FEHB Enrollment When I Become Eligible for Medicare? 
Yes, you may change your FEHB enrollment to any available plan or option at any time beginning 30 days before you become eligible for Medicare. You may use this enrollment change opportunity only once. You may also change your enrollment during the annual Open Season, or because of another event that permits enrollment changes (such as a change in family status).

Another change is that beginning this coming year every plan must include an option for self plus one in addition to the previous choices of individual and family; this includes dental insurance.

Note that if your agency transferred your health insurance enrollment responsibility to OWCP,  you must send your completed SF2809 to the OWCP District Office handling your case. If you are not sure, send it to both your agency and OWCP.

Be sure to go to the OPM website to get started: