Posted on Sunday, 23rd June 2013 by

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Recently, due to budget cuts, OPM reduced their call-center’s hours and they are now open from 7:40 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time. To talk to a retirement consultant, report an annuitant’s death, request a duplicate 1099 R or other issues call their toll free number at 1-888-767-6738. For those in the DC area call 202-606-0500. You will also find other web based options for contacting OPM and reporting deaths on our updated Retiree’s Master Contact List that you can download and keep with your retirement paperwork.  

Retirement claims processing has improved dramatically this year with outstanding retirement processing claims dropping over 50% since January. Even with reduced hours and the sequestration OPM has been able to streamline the process and expedite approvals to reduce the backlog.  

FEHB Changes and Proposals

Next year OPM will have more vendors to choose from, a total of 10 for the dental program and 4 for vision.  The approved vendors are listed below and rates will be published this fall.

Dental Care Vendors:

  • Aetna
  • MetLife
  • United Concordia
  • GEHA
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Delta Dental
  • Triple S
  • Dominion Dental
  • Humana
  • Emblem Health

Approved Vision Plan Vendors:

  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • VSP
  • United Healthcare

A major change to the FEHB rate structure is being supported by OPM according to Mike Causey, host of the Federal News Radio Show.  OPM is now supporting the self-plus-one FEHB subscription plan similar to how the dental care program now works. This would provide considerable savings to retirees who would be able to reduce their coverage cost from family to self-plus-one.  This would also make it easier for retirees to select and pay for Medicare Part B.  Many retirees already pay for higher cost family coverage and are hesitant to take on another $100 a month or more to pay for Part B.  


Cynthia Compton-Conley, Ph.D. contacted me last week concerning my New and Bigger Isn’t Always Better article that discusses the problem I have hearing TV program and movie audio.  Cynthia is retired CSRS and an audiologist and former professor at Gallaudet. She works with hearing loss and developed a comprehensive website with tutorials on room acoustics and hearing loss along with other very helpful information and links. If you too are having hearing problems, Cynthia states that one in 10 Americans have hearing loss, visit her web site at I took their free hearing assessment inventory and found the information very helpful.  She was also able to explain why I’m having this problem and proposed suitable remedies tailored to my personal situation.

FREE Career Planning Guide for federal Employees

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

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The information provided may not cover all aspect of unique or special circumstances, federal regulations, and financial information is subject to change. To ensure the accuracy of this information, contact your benefits coordinator 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 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.

Last 5 posts by Dennis Damp


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