ATTENION FEDERAL EMPLOYEES:OPM Announces Belated Open Season for Enrollment in Federal Employee Health Benefit Program

This week,the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced that federal employees will be granted a belated enrollment period for choosing a health benefit provider past the original deadline of December 8, 2008 through January, 2009. OPM made the announcement after concerns were raised over little-known changes to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Standard program that would have required enrollees to pay up to $7500 out of pocket for out-of-network surgical procedures. As a result, OPM has asked all participating insurance providers to re-evaluate their benefits for out-of-network surgeries by December 8, and will follow up with a Benefits Administration Letter this month.  Read Notice to Employees.

Choosing a health insurance provider is a very important decision, and OPM made the right decision in allowing a belated enrollment option so that employees can be confident in their coverage. While employees should not expect major changes to health plans, they should take this opportunity to review their insurance options and look closely at the terms and costs.

OPM notes that because “a change in FEHB enrollment may affect decisions regarding enrollment in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program and the Federal Flexible Spending Account Programs Employees, employees may continue to make enrollment choices for these programs through January, using the Open Season websites and call centers.”

Employees who want to change plans after December 8 should contact their agency's human resources office and request a “belated open season enrollment/change.” Retirees must go through OPM. OPM also notes that if employees make a belated change to be aware that changes will take effect depending on the timing of changes and employee pay periods. More information can be found at OPM’s website:

Additional Information


BAL 08-406 Federal Benefits: Belated Enrollment Opportunity
Notice to Employees
The Open Season Fast Facts 


As always, thank you for allowing me to share this update with you. If there is anything you wish to bring to my attention, please do not hesitate to contact my office.


Sincerely yours,

Steny H. Hoyer