Open Season ...

Open Season Guide for Benefit-Year 2020

Open Season 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 the upcoming year.

Open Season will run from November 11 thru December 9, 2019.  Watch for Open Season Health Fairs near you on our Facebook page "Events" tab.​

 

If you participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), then you're eligible to change your coverage during the open season.  Including changes to your FEDVIP dental and vision coverages.

​The vast majority of enrollees will keep the coverage they have -- from year to year.  If you do nothing during the open season, your plan will continue into the coming benefit-year.  However, it's a safe bet that your plan will make changes to your premium, deductibles, copays, benefits, and services that you need to be aware of.

 

At a minimum, everyone should check the new rates and benefits before the end of the open season. There is no substitute for due diligence.

 

First, get a copy of the official plan brochure.  To download a copy of a plan brochure just visit the OPM Plan Information Webpage.  Plan brochures and rates for benefit-year 2020 will be available by mid-October.

Here's how to read the most important sections of all FEHB official plan brochures.

OPM 1 888-767-

The front page of the official plan brochure will look like this.

 

We'used the Blue Cross Blue Shield 2019 brochure as an example.  We could have used any FEHB plan, as they are all set up in the same format.

The red highlighted section gives you a clue about where to find some very important information.  One more note, the official plan brochure is the contract that the carrier has with OPM.

Section 2 is where you can learn what changes will be made to the plan in the upcoming benefit-year.

Near the back of the brochure, you'll find the plan's Summary of Benefits.  You may find it helpful to get the brochures of 2 or 3 plans, place them side-by-side and use this page to compare benefits and services.

On the back cover of the brochure is where you will find the premiums for the upcoming benefit-year.

Changes outside of the open season can be made when you have a "qualifying life event" (QLE) that allows such action.  QLEs are listed in the Table of Permissible Changes for Retirees.  For retirees, changes based on a QLE must be made using OPM Form 2809.

Finally, if you're nearing age 65 or retirement, and you want to know how the plan coordinates with Medicare, Section 9 is a must-read!

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