Changes to the 2017 FEHB: Will You Be Impacted?

By on October 20, 2016 in Pay & Benefits with 0 Comments

Magnifying glass over health insurance policy and piggy bank

There are numerous changes to 2017 FEHB plans. To see if your plan is changing (or going away), check out the tables in this article. If your plan is changing, you may need to decide if you need to make changes for the coming year.

These changes vary widely. In some cases, a plan is expanding its area of coverage or dropping areas of coverage. Other plans are reducing options within their plan.

In some of these cases, you will automatically be enrolled in a plan that is different than your current plan. It will be worth your while to check and see if you will be impacted. If you are impacted, you will want to make sure the health insurance coverage you will have in 2017 is what you really want.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has released information for federal employees to start preparing for the upcoming Federal Benefits Open Season, which runs from Monday, November 14, 2016 through Monday, December 12, 2016. The information summarized below is from OPM.

Health Insurance Plans Leaving the FEHB Program

In the table below is a list of plans leaving the 2017 FEHB program. Readers who are currently enrolled in one of these plans will have to select another plan. If no other selection is made, you will be enrolled in the Standard Option of the GEHA Benefit Plan (the lowest-cost nationwide plan option for 2017 as determined by OPM).

State Plan Name 2016 Enrollment Code Location
Iowa Sanford Health Plan AU1, AU3, AU2, AU4, AU6, AU5 Northwestern Iowa
Michigan Grand Valley Health Plan RL1, RL3, RL2, RL4, RL6, RL5 Grand Rapids Michigan Area
North Dakota Sanford Health Plan C91, C93, C92, C94, C96, C95 North Dakota
South Dakota Sanford Health Plan AU1, AU3, AU2, AU4, AU6, AU5 South Dakota’s Central and Eastern regions and Rapid City Area
Texas FirstCare Health Plan CK1, CK3, CK2 West and Central Texas

Plan Reducing Service Areas And Terminating Enrollment Codes

Additionally, there is a plan that is reducing its service area. If you are enrolled in these terminating enrollment codes, you must choose another 2017 FEHB plan during Open Season. If you do not do so, you will be enrolled in the Standard Option of the GEHA Benefit Plan (the lowest-cost nationwide plan option for 2017 as determined by OPM).

State Plan Name Enrollment Code Areas to be Dropped
Virginia Aetna Whole Health D91, D93,D92

Roanoke area:

Cities of Bedford, Lexington, Martinsville, Radford, Roanoke and Salem

Counties of Bedford, Bland, Botetourt, Carroll, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Henry, Montgomery, Pulaski, Roanoke, Tazewell, and Wythe

Plans Reducing Service Areas Without Terminating Enrollment Codes

If you are enrolled in one of the areas being dropped and do not change health plans during Open Season, you will only have emergency services where you live. You will have to travel to your plan’s remaining service area for medical care to receive full benefits from the plan in 2017.

State Plan Name 2016 Enrollment Code Area Dropped
California Kaiser Northern California, Fresno Region
NZ1, NZ3, NZ2, NZ4, NZ6, NZ5
County of Tulare, zip codes 93238, 93261
Ohio HealthSpan Integrated Care
641, 643, 642, 644, 646, 645
Counties of Adams, Allen, Ashland, Ashtabula, Auglaize, Brown, Butler, Carroll, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Columbiana, Darke, Defiance, Erie, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Highland, Holmes, Huron, Logan, Lucas, Madison, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Ottawa, Paulding, Pike, Preble, Putnam, Ross, Sandusky, Scioto, Seneca, Shelby, Tuscarawas, Union, VanWert, Warren, Williams, Wood

Plans Terminating Option and Enrollment Codes

If you are enrolled in a plan that is terminating an enrollment option, you will be automatically enrolled into the remaining option for this plan unless you enroll in another plan during Open Season.

State Plan Name Terminating Options (end of 2016) Terminating Codes (end of 2016) Remaining Options and Codes for 2017
Arizona Health Net of Arizona High A71, A73 and A72 A74, A76, A75 Standard
Illinois Health Alliance HMO High FX1, FX3, FX2 K84, K85, K86 Standard
Indiana Health Alliance HMO High FX1, FX3, FX2 K84, K85, K86 Standard
Iowa Health Alliance HMO High FX1, FX3, FX2 K84, K85, K86 Standard

Plan Contract and Enrollment Code Merger with Terminating Enrollment Codes

Unless you select another plan during Open Season, your payroll office must automatically move you into your plan’s surviving 2017 codes unless you have selected another health plan during Open Season.

State Plan Terminating Plan Codes (2016) 2017 Surviving Plan 2017 Surviving Codes
Michigan Health Plus X51, X53, X52 Health Alliance Plan (HAP) 521, 523, 522

Plans Adding New Options And Enrollment Codes

State Plan Name New Option 2017 Enrollment Codes Locations
Illinois Blue Preferred Plus POS Standard 9G4, 9G5, 9G6 St. Clair and Madison, IL
Missouri Blue Preferred Plus POS Standard 9G4, 9G5, 9G6 St. Louis, Central and Southwest Missouri
New Mexico New Mexico Blue HMO Preferred Standard Q14, Q15, Q16 All of New Mexico
Oklahoma Global Health, Inc. Standard IM4, IM5, IM6 All of Oklahoma

Additional changes for the 2017 FEHB will be outlined in a second article on this topic.

© 2016 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.

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About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources.

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