Posted on Wednesday, 12th November 2014 by

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Each year I connect to OPM’s Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) online services at https://retireefehb.opm.gov/Annuitant/. This service is devoted to Federal Retirees, Survivor Annuitants, or Former Spouse Annuitants. Annuitants can get a head start on open season and even print out their personal Open Season Health Benefits Guide long before receiving a mailed copy. Users can request copies of health plans of interest or you can view them online. I always request hard copies of the top 2 or 3 plans that I’m considering so I can sit down and review them at my leisure. In most cases you receive the copies in less than a week.

You must register and then login in at the beginning of each open season. The second year I used this service I tried to log in with my previous years user name and password. That doesn’t work; each year you must register to access this information and you will need your “CSA” or “CSF” claim number to sign up.

Open Season Online allows you to:

  • Chat with a Customer Service Representative using Live Help.
  • Send a webmail message which will be answered by a Customer Service Representative.
  • Review health plan brochures
  • Change FEHB plans
  • Connect to OPM Retirement Services Online to find out how to receive your IRS1099R, annual mailer, and other informational alerts electronically.
  • Go to https://retireefehb.opm.gov/mobile to access Open Season information via your mobile device.

This service provides all of the information you will need to make informed decisions and make changes to your primary FEHB coverage. During Open Season, go to www.BENEFEDS.com to enroll or change enrollment in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). BENEFEDS is a secure enrollment website sponsored by OPM. If you do not have access to a computer, call BENEFEDS at 1-877-888-FEDS (1-877-888-3337), TTY number 1-877-889-5680.

Logging On (Registration):

When you first register to access FEHB Open Season Online, you must enter your CSA or CSF claim number’s seven characters. Refer to the Annuitant’s Guide that you received from OPM shortly after retiring if you don’t know your claim number. Your claim number would also be listed on your Retirement Services Reference Card that OPM is suppose to send out shortly after retiring. If you haven’t received this card you can request a copy from OPM. The claim number on the card begins with an “A” and ends with a zero “0”. A surviving spouse’s claim number begins with an “F” and ends with a “W”. Don’t use the suffix and prefix when registering for this service. Unlike OPM’s Retirement Services Online that Herb Casey discussed in a previous column you don’t use the prefix and suffix to register for FEHB Online.

You will then be asked for the last four digits of your SSN and to establish a user name and password that will be good for the current open season. Your password must have at least one capital and lower case letter plus one of 4 characters. You must register again for each new open season.

Please note: If you do not know your annuity claim number it may be possible for you to register with your email address that is on file with OPM.

Main Menu:

The main menu provides the annuitant’s FEHB Profile, a list of twelve menu selections, and they ask you to verify your address, birth date, phone number, and email address. You can make changes to your profile and there is a “Change Plan” button that you can use to change to another plan.

Under the FEHB Profile, you can review the effective date of your 2015 plan, the plan name, enrollment code, coverage, and the 2014 and 2015 monthly rates for comparison. They also caution you that if you perform a health benefits enrollment change, your new health benefits coverage information will not be immediately updated on this page. The information will be displayed when OPM reports your enrollment change to your new health benefits provider.

Caution: If you are not making an enrollment change but need to update your dependent information, please contact your Health Benefit Plan Provider to make this change.

Site Features:

Once you register or sign in, you can select from the following:

  • Make an enrollment change or reenroll
  • Review Dependent Information
  • Review health plan brochures
  • Review information on canceling/suspending your enrollment
  • Review information on paying your health benefit premiums directly to OPM
  • Review the Open Season Guide to Federal Benefits (RI 70-9)
  • Perform an address change
  • Provide or Update your email address
  • View frequently asked questions
  • Review an Open Season Health Benefits Guide
  • Review the Health Benefits Election Form
  • Review the Open Season Guide to Federal Benefits for Former Spouses (RI 70-5)
  • View Transaction History
  • Go to OPM’s Comparison Tool
  • Log Off

I’ve used this service since its inception and it makes it easy to compare costs and change plans if desired. It is actually easier for me as a retiree to get plan brochures and information than when I was working full time.

Forward this article to others that you know who will benefit from this information and print a copy for you FEHB file.

Learn more about your benefitsemployment, and financial planning issues on our site and visit our Blog frequently at http://fedretire.net to read all forum articles.

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The information provided may not cover all aspect of unique or special circumstances, federal regulations, medical procedures, and financial information are subject to change. To ensure the accuracy of this information, contact relevant parties and ask them to review your official personnel file and circumstances concerning this issue. Retirees can contact the OPM retirement center. Our article is not intended nor should it be considered investment advice and our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic economic factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM or any federal entity. You should consult with a financial, medical or human resource professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

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