Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Get a Life!: Open season extended

In case you missed it, the Office of Personnel Management has extended the open season for federal employee health benefits (including health, dental, vision and flexible spending accounts) until the end of January 2009.  The original end date was Dec. 8.

OPM was prodded to do it after the House Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.), held a hearing Dec. 3 on how the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Health Benefit affected federal employees.

Several groups, including the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association and the National Treasury Employees Union, called on Blue Cross/Blue Shield to reverse its decision to require federal employees and retirees enrolled in the “standard option” to pay a $7,500 co-pay for out-of-network non-emergency surgical and maternity services. 

On Dec. 5, OPM reported that the agency has asked all FEHB carriers to re-evaluate their benefits for non-emergency surgeries and has instructed federal agencies to accept Open Season enrollments and changes through January 2009. 

Blue Cross/Blue Shield standard option also included the highest increase in premiums (13 percent) among federal program health insurers for 2009.  OPM’s action does not include any premium change.

Posted by Judith Welles on Dec 09, 2008 at 12:13 PM


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