JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — This year’s Federal Benefits Open Season runs from Nov. 13 through Dec. 11, 2017, and includes the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program and the Federal Flexible Spending Account program.
Open Season gives federal employees and retirees the opportunity to review the 2018 rates and benefits and enroll in or change their health care coverage within the open season dates on the new Government Retirement Benefits platform. Employees also have the opportunity to select supplemental dental and vision coverage as well as elect to participate in a tax-deferred Flexible Spending Account for health care and dependent care.
The Office of Personnel Management announced earlier this year that the overall average increase in total premiums for the 2018 FEHB program would rise by an average of four percent.
OPM encouraged all insurance carriers to evaluate their health plan options to find ways to improve affordability, reduce costs and improve the quality of care and the health of the enrolled population. Negotiations were geared to keep premium increases as low as possible while minimizing changes in out-of-pocket costs, such as for deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance.
OPM encourages all employees to review their coverage during Open Season to decide what coverage and premiums best suit their needs for the upcoming year.
Enrollment for FSAFEDS does not automatically continue from year to year. Employees need to re-enroll every year to participate and can submit their enrollments directly through the FSAFEDS website.
Open Season is the only time to enroll, change enrollment or cancel coverage unless an employee has a qualifying life event. Open Season enrollments or changes will be effective Jan. 1, 2018, for FEDVIP and Jan. 7, 2018 for all other benefits, and will reflect on the pay period ending Jan. 20, 2018.
Detailed information regarding Open Season, including a plan comparison tool, can be found on the OPM website (https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/open-season/).
Established in 1960, the FEHB Program is the largest employer-sponsored health benefits program in the U.S., providing health care benefits for about 8.3 million employees, retirees and family members. Approximately 85 percent of all Federal employees participate in the program.