The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program can help you and your family meet your health care needs. Federal employees, retirees and their survivors enjoy the widest selection of health plans in the country. You can choose from among consumer-driven and high deductible plans that offer catastrophic risk protection with higher deductibles, health savings/reimbursable accounts and lower premiums, or fee-for-service plans, and their Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), or Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) if you live (or sometimes if you work) within the area serviced by the plan.
Federal Employee Health Benefits Overview
Who Can Enroll?
- Most federal employees are eligible
- Annuitants may be eligible to continue their FEHB coverage into retirement if they meet certain requirements
- Check with your Human Resources Office if you are unsure
When Can I Enroll?
- During your first 60 days as a newly eligible employee
- During the Federal Benefits Open Season (mid-November to mid-December)
- When you have a qualifying life event such as marriage, divorce, or birth
How Much Does It Cost?
- It depends on what plan you select
- Each pay period, you pay about 30% of the premium and your agency pays about 70%
- Generally you also pay part of the cost for any service you receive
How Do I Enroll?
- Generally, you will make your election to enroll or not to enroll with the Processing and Servicing Center during your onboarding process.
- After your first 60 days of employment, complete and submit SF- 2809 (FEHB – Health Benefits Election Form) to the Retirement and Benefits Portal or mail original to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Retirement and Benefits Advisory Services (RABAS), 90K Street NE, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20229, Mail Stop 1400.
Note: Annuitants not currently enrolled in FEHB cannot enroll after retirement.
Why Should You Enroll?
- Guaranteed coverage
- No medical examination
- No restrictions due to pre-existing conditions
- Government contributions to the cost
- Employees pay premiums with pre-tax dollars
- Retirees pay premiums with after-tax dollars unless they are a retired public safety officer
- High deductible health plans available with a health savings account or health reimbursement arrangement
- Continued coverage after retirement
- Continued coverage for survivor annuitants
Requirements for Continuing FEHB into Retirement
You must be covered under FEHB program as an employee or under spouse's family enrollment or Self Plus One enrollment if he/she is a federal employee for the five years of service immediately preceding retirement or since first opportunity to enroll AND you must be entitled to retire on an immediate annuity.
If an employees under the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) separates and postpones annuity commencing date:
- FEHB terminates at separation
- The FERS employee can elect Temporary Continuation of Coverage or convert to an individual health insurance policy upon separation
- The FERS employee may re-enroll in the FEHB program when the postponed annuity commences based on eligibility at separation
Exceptions are made for retired military or their spouse with the following conditions:
- Coverage under the military health plan counts toward the 5-year requirement
- Must be enrolled in a FEHB plan prior to retirement
Note: OPM has the authority to waive the 5-year rule.