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Employee Insurance Open Season Dates Changed

By Douglas J. Gillert
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 6, 1999 – The Federal Employees Group Life Insurance program enrollment open season will be from April 24 to June 30, Office of Personnel Management officials recently said.

OPM changed the open season dates for the second time to give agencies enough time to reprogram their computers to handle employees' new insurance options. DoD officials also pointed out the open season is a one-time offer -- not an annual one, as reported Dec. 16 by the American Forces Press Service.

During the open season you can stop, start or change your life insurance coverage freely -- changes normally are allowed only at certain milestones, such as marriage and retirement. Changes made during the season will take effect on the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after April 23, 2000.

OPM began phasing in other new insurance options in November. It eliminated caps on the basic term insurance and Option B additional insurance you can purchase.

Additional changes on tap for 1999 allow you to choose unreduced Option B coverage when you retire or to retain Option B coverage if you separate from the civil service or are in a nonpay status that runs out. Option C family coverage also will change, allowing you to elect coverage in multiples up to five times the current amounts of $5,000 for spouses and $2,500 for each eligible child.

The government contributes only to employees' basic term insurance premiums. Employees pay the full premiums for options, which are offered only along with basic term coverage. Option A -- a flat extra $10,000 in coverage -- is unchanged.

Forms and information about the insurance program are available on the Internet at http://www.opm.gov/insure/life/76-21-1.htm. Because the program is complex, however, defense personnel officials advise employees to get help from local civilian personnel benefits counselors.

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