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2008 Federal Benefits Open Season

The 2008 Federal Benefits Open Season is here! (November 10 – December 8, 2008)

What is Open Season? This is the time for you to think about your health, dental, vision, and tax-saving needs and to make changes to or enroll in one of the Programs. The Programs that participate in the annual Open Season are the:

* Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP),

* Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), and

* Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS).

Why should you care? This is the time to make elections you usually can’t make any other time of the year. All health or dental or vision plans are not alike. Open Season is about exercising your right of choice. Failure to consider your health plan choices could leave you without the healthcare services or supplies you need or with a premium you can’t afford; dental and/or vision coverage can fill in the gaps of any coverage you now have or pay for services you now don’t get; and a flexible spending account lets you save money and pay less tax.

Can you sit out this Open Season and do nothing?

  • If you are already enrolled in FEHBP and FEDVIP, those enrollments will continue automatically (although benefits and premiums may change. Also, be sure to check that your plan is still participating.) If you do nothing this Open Season and are later unhappy with your 2009 benefits or premiums, you cannot cancel or change your enrollment until the next Open Season.

  • If you already have an FSAFEDS account, it will not continue automatically; you must reenroll.

What are some things you should think about this Open Season?


  • You must be covered by the Program for the five years of service before retiring to continue coverage into retirement;
  • There are no waiting periods and no pre-existing condition limitations, even if you change plans;
  • There are lots of plans from which to choose;
  • You can have FEDVIP and FSAFEDS with your FEHBP insurance.


  • You may continue coverage into retirement without a five year enrollment requirement;
  • Participating dental and vision providers may be different from your health plan’s providers;
  • You can cancel your coverage only during Open Season or deployment to active military duty;
  • FEDVIP always pays benefits secondarily to your FEHBP insurance;
  • You can submit co-pays and deductibles to your FSA account.


  • There are three accounts from which to choose - a dependent care account, a health care account, and a limited expense health care account;
  • Participating lowers your taxable income;
  • You can pay for your FEHB and FEDVIP copays and deductibles.
  • Not open to retirees.

How much do these Programs cost?

Where can you go for more detail on the choices available to you?

Additional details can be found at www.opm.gov/insure or see your Servicing Human Resources Office for more information.