Federal Employee Health Insurance - Government Worker Benefits

Federal employees often enjoy some of the most extensive and comprehensive benefits available. Learn how government workers get access to healthcare, and try not to get jealous.

FirstQuote Health Staff
Published on
January 4, 2019
Last Updated on
November 8, 2023
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Naturally, many individuals apply for federal civil service jobs in order to enjoy the tremendous benefits. Unlike businesses that might go bankrupt, the federal government has staying power. Generally, its benefits also have automatic cost of living adjustments (COLAs), so you don’t lose any purchasing power due to inflation.

Many of the federal government plans are the best on Planet Earth. Discover which federal employee health benefits (FEHB) might be available to you. Determine when you should sign up for which benefits to optimize their value.

You can also learn about the cost for these benefits, including how much the federal government will contribute. We will give you the dates for the federal employee health insurance open enrollment period for 2020. There are many federal employee benefits, so take advantage of your opportunity to be well-compensated for your public service.

What Are Federal Employee Health Benefits?

In 1960, the present federal healthcare program was established. There were many different labor unions, which had their own plans beforehand. Thus, they tried to ensure that the federal program included plenty of options.

Thankfully, the federal government listened to its employees and created managed competition between several different plans. Competition increases options and lowers prices. In 2010, there were 250 plans that were part of the federal employee health benefits program.

The United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) oversees the federal employee health benefits program. It sets the rules, guidelines, and regulations for qualifying plans. Each plan must adhere to said regulations while tailoring its federal employee health insurance policies to satisfy individual needs.

Fortunately, all employees can choose from healthcare plans from insurance companies, employee associations, labor unions, health maintenance organizations (HMOs) or preferred provider organizations (PPOs). This might also be particularly useful for employees who used to work in the private sector. They might be able to continue coverage with the same healthcare provider.

Cost Of Federal Employee Health Insurance

The federal government will contribute anywhere between 72% and 75% of premiums for a qualifying healthcare plan. The amount calculated is based on the weighted average premium for all federal employee plans. Employees, who are members of labor unions, might have a higher proportion of their healthcare premiums paid by the government due to collective bargaining concessions.

What Is Open Season?

The federal government wants to make the process for enrolling in federal employee health insurance as easy as possible. Therefore, it has created a federal benefits open season or open enrollment. For many benefits, this is the only time when you can make important changes.

If you have an irs qualifying life event - marriage, birth or employment status change - then you can make changes outside this open enrollment period. You can enroll, disenroll or make changes to your policy due to a “qualifying life event.”

When Is Federal Benefits Open Season?

The federal government wants its employees to do their research before enrolling in qualifying federal employee health insurance plans. That is why the open enrollment period is for a full month at the end of the year. Everyone can compare plans and choose which are best.

The federal benefits open season runs from Monday on the second full workweek of November to the Monday on the second full workweek of December. Therefore, the 2020 open season for federal benefits runs from Monday, November 11th, 2019 to Monday, December 9th, 2019.

Do Federal Workers Get Health Insurance After Retirement?

In order to enjoy the best federal employee benefits, you need to plan ahead. For example, you should sign up for the federal employee health insurance program at least five years before retirement, for the best benefits. Unfortunately, you might be required to pay the same monthly amount during retirement that you had been paying while working.

The truth is that federal employees qualify for both FEHB and Medicare. Therefore, they will need to compare the costs and benefits to determine which plan is best. Some might want to coordinate benefits from each.

What Other Benefits Are Available?

Besides, federal employee health insurance, Social Security and Medicare, there are a number of other benefits available. The following benefit plans are specific to federal employees:

  • Federal Employees Dental & Vision Insurance Plan (FEDVIP)
  • Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)
  • Federal Employees Thrift Savings Plan (FETSP)
  • Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS)
  • Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)

The annual open enrollment people does not include FEGLI. But, with a physical examination or qualifying life event, you can change coverage. You can use the savings and spending accounts to pay your healthcare premiums.

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