With the new self plus one option available for the first time in 2016 under the Federal Employees Health Insurance Program (FEHB), the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is anticipating a much higher number of subscribers to this program making a change than is usually the case. (See Winners and Losers Under New Health Insurance Premium Options)
Open season to change your health insurance plan starts on November 9, 2015 and ends on December 14, 2015. However, “Given that the addition of a new enrollment type is a change of unprecedented proportion in the FEHB Program,” OPM has announced an additional limited enrollment period early in 2016.
While this additional period is being announced because of the self plus one changes occurring for the first time, anyone who intends to change to this new self plus one program should still do so during the normal open season. There are restrictions to the limited enrollment period and it would be unwise to wait to make the change.
The limited enrollment period that will run from February 1, 2016 until February 29, 2016. Federal employees who miss the open season for some reason, but still want to change their enrollment from Self and Family to Self Plus One, can still make the change during this additional time period.
Note that this does not apply to annuitants and other individuals who do not participate in premium conversion because they may decrease their enrollment at any time.
Here are the restrictions for this Limited Enrollment Period according to the OPM announcement:
- It is limited to employees enrolled in the Self and Family option of the FEHB.
- Only those who participate in premium conversion will be allowed to decrease enrollment to Self Plus One (others may decrease enrollment at any time) using the Limited Enrollment Period.
- Decreases in enrollment to Self Plus One will be the only allowed enrollment changes.
- No changes in plans, no option changes, no increases or other decreases in enrollment will be allowed.
- All enrollment changes will be prospective to the first day of the first pay period following the one in which the change is requested.