OPM: Special Insurance Information for Oklahoma Tornado

OPM has provided some special insurance information with regard to how the recent tornado in Oklahoma may affect various benefit programs.

Our hearts go out to those affected by the Oklahoma tornado.  Here’s a quick update on how this disaster may affect our various benefit programs.

Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI)

The Office of Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI) has already instituted its expedited payment procedures.

What Is the First Step for the Agency?

If your agency receives information that one of your insured employees and/or insured family members was killed or accidentally dismembered as a result of the tornado, please let us know by emailing fegli@opm.gov with whatever details you may have, including the enrollee’s name, even if you don’t yet have all the information to certify the coverage.

What Are the FEGLI Program’s Expedited Procedures?

We are waiving the requirement for a death certificate for deaths in this situation. OFEGLI will accept a written statement from the agency that the insured was in the area affected by the tornado when the death occurred or, to the best of their knowledge, the insured is missing and presumed (or confirmed) dead.

If such a statement is not available, OFEGLI will consider whatever information is available, including newspaper accounts or information from other reliable sources, including reliable sites on the Internet.

Should Agencies Annotate FEGLI Claim Forms?

Yes, this will help immensely.  Please indicate on the envelope and any claim forms and certification forms sent to OFEGLI that such an incident is an Oklahoma Claim. That will help OFEGLI know that special expedited procedures should be followed.

Where Should Agencies Send the FEGLI Claim Forms and Certifications?

Please send such claims to the street address used for other FEGLI claims:  OFEGLI, 5950 Airport Road, Oriskany, NY 13424-3926 (phone 1-800-633-4542) and write “Oklahoma Tornado Claim” on the front of the envelope. You also can use this address if you wish to send the claims via an overnight service or, you can fax the claims forms, certifications, and all other FEGLI-related documentation to 1-570-558-8659, ATTN: Oklahoma Tornado Claim.

Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)

FLTCIP enrollees who live in the affected areas and miss premium payments during this time of crisis will not have their coverage cancelled.  Long Term Care Partners will work with these enrollees at a later time to bring their accounts up to date.

Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS)

No further funds would be contributed to an FSA if an FSAFEDS enrollee dies. Claims will be accepted for expenses paid on behalf of any surviving spouse and dependents until all previously allotted funds are reimbursed, per IRS regulations.

Please contact us at fsa@opm.gov if there are any issues with FSAFEDS allotments or claims that are causing a hardship on affected employees and their families.

Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB)

We have contacted FEHB carriers to ask them to demonstrate maximum flexibility under their OPM contract, including the following:

  • We expect fee-for-service carriers to relax certain provisions such as their pre-certification requirement that the plan must be notified within two business days of an emergency admission.
  • We expect fee-for-service and HMOs to relax requirements about notification and levels of benefit payment if members are taken to non-plan and/or non-PPO hospitals or other treatment centers
  • We expect plans to make certain that FEHB members get additional supplies of medications as backup for emergency situations if necessary.
  • Though charges for work-related injuries sustained by Federal workers are payable by the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP), we are encouraging FEHB plans to provide immediate payment and seek subsequent reimbursement from OWCP.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.