Most permanent Federal employees are eligible to elect health insurance. Participation in FEHB is voluntary and you must make an election to be covered.
If you are a part-time career employee, the Government contribution toward your health benefits is prorated in proportion to the percentage of full-time service you are regularly scheduled to perform. Contact the Benefits Line for specific information about the cost of your health insurance, depending on your work schedule.
If you are on a temporary not-to-exceed appointment, you are eligible to enroll in FEHB after you have completed 1 year of continuous employment. If you elect to enroll, you must pay both the employee and the Government shares of the premium.
The following resources will help you elect a health insurance plan:
Once you enroll in a health insurance plan, your enrollment automatically continues each year, as long as you remain eligible for the program. You do not have to reenroll each year. However, if you would like to make a change in your health insurance, you may do so during the Benefits Open Season or in conjunction with a qualifying life event.
If you enroll in health insurance, premiums are automatically withheld from your salary on a pre-tax basis, which reduces your taxable income and income taxes. This is called Federal Employees Health Benefits Premium Conversion (FEHB-PC). If you participate in FEHB-PC:
- You do not have the flexibility to cancel your health insurance coverage or change to a self-only enrollment from a family enrollment any time. You will be able to make these changes only during the Benefits Open Season or in conjunction with a qualifying life event.
- Your earnings reported to the Social Security Administration will be less since you will pay health insurance premiums with pre-tax money. This may result in a somewhat lower Social Security benefit when you retire.
- You are not able to deduct health insurance premiums as an itemized medical deduction on your income tax return.
If you want health insurance premiums withheld on an after-tax basis, at the time you enroll in health insurance you must sign a waiver form electing not to participate in FEHB-PC. After the initial opportunity to waive FEHB-PC as a new employee, you will be able to change whether you participate in FEHB-PC only during the Benefits Open Season or in conjunction with a qualifying life event.