Blogging Employee Benefits

March 7, 2006

Emergency Continuation Coverage for Federal Employees

Filed under: Federal employees, Healthcare — Fuguerre @ 8:31 am

If a FEHB health plan temporarily or permanently becomes incapable of providing services because of a Katrina-like disaster, federal employees will be granted the right to change health plan enrollment within 60 days of an emergency announcement by the Office of Personnel Management, under regulatory amendments proposed by OPM. [5 CFR 890, 71 FR 11287] Designation of a disaster that would trigger the special open period will be at OPM’s discretion.

If an enrollee does not change enrollment within the 60-day period, possibly due to disaster-related communications failures, then the enrollee will be considered automatically enrolled under the standard option of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Service Benefit Plan. The proposed rule does not provide a follow-up special open period for election out of that standard plan after communications have been re-established.

Comments are sought on the proposed changes by May 8, 2006.

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