FEHB Eligibility and Enrollment

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FEHB Eligibility and Open Season Enrollment Information

FEHB Eligibility

Federal employees, including postal workers and annuitants, are eligible to elect FEHB coverage, unless law or regulation specifically excludes their position. There are also numerous special provisions for people in part-time or intermittent employment, temporary appointments, and specifically named positions.  Federal retirees and their surviving spouses retain their FEHB eligibility at the same cost as current employees.

More specific criteria regarding FEHB eligibility can be found by following the appropriate links below:

FEHB Enrollment

During the annual FEHB “Open Season,” anyone eligible to participate in the FEHB Program may enroll, change health insurance plans or cancel FEHB enrollment altogether. An Open Season enrollment is effective the first day of the first full pay period that begins in January of the following year.  Outside of Open Season, newly eligible employees may enroll within 60 days of meeting FEHB eligibility requirements.  An enrollment based on a Qualifying Life Event (QLE) is generally effective the first day of the first pay period that begins after the enrollment request is received. QLEs are events that may allow you change coverage outside of Open Season.

Federal New Hires

If you are new to federal employment, you generally have 60 days from the date of hire to enroll for health insurance, assuming you are eligible for FEHBP  coverage. Representatives from MHBP attend new employee orientations at federal agencies around the country. During these events, they share important information to help you make informed decisions regarding your FEHB coverage. Information about MHBP benefits and other helpful topics for federal employees are covered.  Should you need help, MHBP is available to answer any questions you have about our health insurance plans 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are a new full-time or part-time federal employee, please visit our Federal New Hires page for more information.

Types of FEHB Enrollment

There are two types of FEHB enrollment: Self Only and Self and Family. A Self Only enrollment provides benefits only for you as the enrollee. You may enroll for Self Only even though you have a family, but your family members will not meet the requirements for FEHB eligibility (even upon your death or disability). A Self and Family FEHB enrollment generally covers you, your spouse and your dependent children under age 26.

Special Circumstances for FEHB Eligibility

  • If you didn’t enroll when first eligible, you may enroll during the annual Open Season (mid-November through mid-December) or upon experiencing a FEHB QLE.
  • When a federal employee is a member of a FEHB health insurance plan offering coverage in one area, but permanently relocates outside of that area, they are immediately eligible to enroll in a different FEHB plan offering coverage for their new location.

There are also a number of other special circumstances, which may affect who satisfies FEHB eligibility requirements and when they are eligible to enroll or change their FEHB coverage outside of FEHB Open Season. OPM will announce such times to those affected when and where applicable.

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