2012 FEHB Open Season Dates, New Info Regarding Affordable Care Act

August 14, 2012
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The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) officially announced the dates for the 2012 FEHB Open Season which will run from Monday, November 12, 2012 through Monday, December 10, 2012.

During the annual open season, employees can take the actions listed below for the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS), Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), and the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program.

  • - Enroll in a flexible spending account -- a health care and/or dependent care account, under the FSAFEDS Program. Unlike with other programs, employees MUST reenroll in FSAFEDS each year to participate. Enrollments DO NOT carry over from year to year.

NOTE:

  • The maximum annual election for a Health Care Flexible Spending Account and the Limited Expense Health Care Flexible Spending Account will change from $5,000 to $2,500 for the 2013 Benefit Period.
  • The maximum annual election for a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account will remain $5,000 for the 2013 Benefit Period.
  • The minimum election for the flexible spending accounts will remain $250.
  • Enroll in, change, or cancel an existing enrollment in a dental plan under the FEDVIP Program.
  • Enroll in, change, or cancel an existing enrollment in a vision plan under the FEDVIP Program.
  • Enroll in, change, or cancel an existing enrollment in a health plan under the FEHB Program.

OPM stated they will provide FEHB and FEDVIP premium rates for 2013 in early October. Participants can find specific Federal Benefits Open Season information on the OPM website (http://www.opm.gov) in late Ocober.

New for 2013 FEHB Open Season:  Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC)

As a result of the Affordable Care Act, FEHB plans will provide a summary document detailing information about health plan benefits and coverage on their websites. This Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) document will help FEHB enrollees better understand their coverage and allow them to easily compare different plans and plan options.

The SBC will include information on the following:

  • cost - deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket limits
  • coverage - covered services, examples of covered services, and excluded services
  • rights -- rights to continue coverage and grievance and appeal rights

The SBC will have a disclaimer indicating that the plan brochure remains the official statement of benefits.

Plans will provide information in their Open Season materials to their enrollees about where to find their SBC on their website as well as how to obtain a paper copy of the SBC. The plans may also have their SBC available at health fairs.

2013 FEHB Plan Brochure Revamp

OPM has revamped the 2013 FEHB health plan brochures in an effort to make the brochure information more concise and easier to understand.

To achieve this goal, OPM states they obtained feedback from Federal employees, benefits officers, and FEHB health plans. We used this information to guide the revamp process.

Highlights of the brochure revamp include the following:

  • adding a mini-text box to the front cover which includes where to find the rates, changes for 2013, and the summary of benefits
  • moving the FEHB Facts (Section 11) to the beginning of the brochure as an unnumbered section
  • adding information on Qualifying Life Events to the FEHB Facts (Section 11)
  • for fee-for-service FEHB plan brochures, combining all Medicare information (except the Part D notice) into Section 9 and renaming the section "Coordinating Benefits with
    Medicare and Other Coverage"