Posted on Friday, 6th October 2023 by

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Each year OPM announces changes to the Federal Employee’s Health Benefit (FEHB) plans. This year is no exception, and there are a number of significant improvements to our health benefits program coming next year.

These changes include expanded coverage for fertility, including broader coverage of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) related services, gender affirming care, prevention and treatment of obesity, mental health and substance use disorder, telehealth, antibiotic stewardship, and maternal health.

Participating Carriers

For 2024, the FEHB Program has 69 participating carriers offering a total of 159 plan choices (in 2023, there were 271 plans to choose from). The reduction in health plan choices is attributed mainly to the exit of one carrier, Humana.

All FEHB enrollees have a choice of 17 nationwide fee-for-service plan options open to all and there are 5 additional nationwide fee-for-service options for those eligible to enroll in Compass Rose, Foreign Service Benefit Plan, Rural Carriers Benefit Plan, and the Panama Canal Area Benefit Plans. There are 137 Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan options in 2024. The number of local or community-based HMOs varies by area.

You will also find 16 High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) and 8 Consumer Driven Health Plans (CDHPs) offered in 2024, 4 of which are nationwide.

Postal Service Employees and Annuitants

Postal Service employees, annuitants, and eligible family members may continue to participate in the FEHB Program through December 31, 2024. The first opportunity to select a Postal Service Health Benefit (PSHB) plan will take place during Open Season in late 2024, and coverage under the PSHB health benefits program will begin January 1, 2025.

Postal Service employees and Postal Service annuitants enrolled in FEHB plans on December 31, 2024, who did not enroll in a new PSHB plan during Open Season in 2024 will automatically be enrolled in a PSHB plan.

FEHB & Medicare Part B

Many retirees enrolled in Medicare pay part B premiums. A number of FEHB plans are offering partial to full reimbursement of part B premiums if you enroll in their plan. Use the provider lists in this article, that offers this benefit, to narrow your search.

Should You Change to a Lower Cost FEHB Plan When You Sign Up for Medicare?

The CDPHP Universal Benefits Inc. (Standard Option) that serves upstate, Hudson Valley, and Central New York will be offering full reimbursement of Part B premiums next year.

The following six FEHB plans offering a total of seven options continue to provide Part B reimbursement if you are enrolled in Parts A and B: (Two of these six already have their 2024 guidance available, I’ve linked to both.)

There are 29 FEHB plans offering a total of 38 options that continue to reimburse some or all of the Part B premium for members enrolled in the Plan’s Medicare Advantage Plan and Medicare Part B:

  • Aetna Advantage (Advantage Option)
  • Aetna Direct (Consumer Option)
  • APWU (High Option)
  • Compass Rose (High Option)
  • Foreign Service Benefit Plan (High Option)
  • Health Alliance HMO (Standard Option)
  • HealthPartners (High Option)
  • Kaiser Permanente – Colorado (High & Standard Options)
  • Kaiser Permanente – Georgia (High & Standard Options)
  • Kaiser Permanente – Hawaii (High Option)
  • Kaiser Permanente – Mid-Atlantic States (High & Standard Options)
  • Kaiser Permanente – Fresno, California (High & Standard Options)
  • Kaiser Permanente – Northern California (High & Standard Options)
  • Kaiser Permanente – Southern California (High & Standard Options)
  • Kaiser Permanente – Northwest (High & Standard Options)
  • Kaiser Permanente – Washington Core (High & Standard Options)
  • MHBP (Standard Option)
  • MD I.P.A. (High Option)
  • NALC Health Benefit Plan (High Option)
  • Rural Carrier Benefit Plan (High Option)
  • SAMBA Health Benefit Plan (High and Standard Options)
  • UnitedHealthcare Choice Open Access HMO (High Option)
  • UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus Advanced (Tampa, Orlando, Miami, and Atlanta)
  • Value Option)
  • UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus Advanced (Chicago, San Antonio, DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland) (Value Option)
  • UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus Primary – East Region (High Option)
  • UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus Primary – West Region (High Option)
  • UnitedHealthcare Choice Primary – East Region (High Option)
  • UnitedHealthcare Choice Primary – West Region (High Option)
  • UPMC Health Plan (Standard Option)


With the expanded coverage now offered, explore each plan carefully to ensure they cover what you need at a cost you can afford. Compare plans using OPM’s Online Comparison Tool and offers a comprehensive online comparison tool and/or a paperback book version. They will be available when Open Season starts on November 13.

For retirees, Checkbook’s Guide provides a yearly cost estimate for every FEHB plan with Medicare Part A only and a separate estimate with Medicare parts A and B. This allows users to see which plans coordinate best with Medicare, the cost reduction of adding Medicare Part B, and whether the FEHB plan offers Medicare Part B premium rebates. They also review FEHB Medicare Advantage plan options which can be less expensive for many retirees.

Order Checkbook’s guide at and save 20% by entering promo code FEDRETIRE at checkout. The Guide will be released online no later than the first day of Open Season. Print books will be mailed the week prior to the start of Open Season.

With the continued increases across the board in everything this year, I’ll be looking closely at plans that pay partial to full part B premium reimbursements. More to come on FEHB Medicare Advantage Plans in an upcoming article that I’ll coauthor with Kevin Moss, a senior editor with Consumers’ Checkbook.

The 2024 provider plan booklets should be available by mid to late October. You will be able to download copies on OPM’s site or you can request hard copies from providers. Retirees can have brochures sent to them by Connecting to FEHB Open Season Online when open season starts. I typically request several brochures through this service each year.

Helpful Retirement Planning Tools

Disclaimer: The information provided may not cover all aspect of unique or special circumstances, federal regulations, medical procedures, and benefit information are subject to change. To ensure the accuracy of this information, contact relevant parties for assistance including OPM’s retirement center. 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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2 Responses to “2024 FEHB Open Season Changes Plus Expanded Services”

  1. Andrew M Eschen Says:

    do you have the compare tool for 2004 FEHB policies? I’m curious if there has been a change in catastrophic limits especially for Aetna polcies.

  2. Dennis Damp Says:

    Yes, you can use OPM’s comparison tool that will be available after the 2024 brochures and information is posted. You can also use Consumers’ Checkbook 2023 Guide to Health Plans that helps active and retired federal employees find a FEHB plan that meets their needs at a cost they can afford. Federal Retirement readers can pre-order Checkbook’s guide at and save 20% by entering promo code FEDRETIRE at checkout. The Guide will be released online no later than the first day of Open Season. Print books will be mailed the week prior to the start of Open Season.