Are You Ready for Open Season?

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By on November 13, 2017 in Pay & Benefits with 0 Comments

Door with open sign hanging on it next to the words '2017 federal benefits open season'

With the 2017 Open Season for the Federal Employees Health Benefits program just getting underway, do you have all the information you need to make your health benefits decisions?

Open Season runs this year from Monday November 13 to Monday December 11. This is the time of year to ensure that you have the right health, dental or vision insurance coverage for you and your family. It is also time to consider the money you can save on your out-of-pocket medical and dependent care expenses for 2017.

The Office of Personnel Management has provided information which may help you as you consider these decisions, highlights of which are included below.

Has anything changed with my plan?

Find out if your health plan is one of the plans leaving the FEHB in 2018. For dental and vision plans, no plans are leaving the program or changing service areas.

What happens if I do nothing during Open Season?

Unless your plan is leaving the FEHB, you will continue to be covered by your current health plan, but the premium may change. You will continue to be covered by your present dental and/or vision insurance plan. If you already have an FSAFEDS account, it will not continue automatically; you must reenroll. You can not enroll, change your enrollment, or cancel your coverage in these programs outside the Open Season unless you experience a Qualifying Life Event.

What will my plan cost?

The average increase in the employee share of FEHB premiums in 2018 is 6.1%. Keep in mind this is just the average, so some will be more and some will be less than that. You can see a listing of all of the plans and their monthly premiums at FedsDataCenter.com.

Where can I find information on the various plans?

OPM provides a plan comparison tool based on your location that you may find helpful, and you can browse plans available in each state.

Where can I go in my agency if I need more information?

If you need assistance or have more questions, contact your human resources office or your agency’s shared service center. Your agency should have provided you contact information.

If after contacting your human resources office or shared service center you still need assistance, contact your agency’s headquarters level agency Benefit Officer.

Other resources

OPM also has provided the following documents with information and frequently asked questions about open season:

The list of articles from FedSmith authors included below also provides valuable federal benefits information which you may find helpful.

© 2017 Ian Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ian Smith.

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About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.

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