FEHB for Federal Civilian Employees who Return from Active Military Duty
Q. I have just returned from active military duty. My FEHB enrollment terminated during my military service. Can I get my FEHB back?
A. Yes. FEHB regulations provide that an employee’s FEHB is automatically reinstated upon return to employment following active duty. An annuitant’s FEHB is automatically reinstated on the day of separation from the uniformed services.
Q.I have returned from active military duty, and I heard about the TAMP. What is the TAMP, and how does it affect me?
A. The TAMP is the Transitional Assistance Management Program, and it offers transitional TRICARE eligibility to certain separating active duty members and their eligible family members for 180 days. Your human resources office can assist you in determining if you are eligible for transitional TRICARE under the TAMP.
Q. Since I am covered under transitional TRICARE for 180 days after my discharge, I don’t need my FEHB coverage reinstated right now. Must my agency reinstate it immediately?
A. No. Your agency can postpone automatic reinstatement of your FEHB until your transitional TRICARE ends if you sign a Waiver of Immediate Reinstatement of FEHB, which is available through your human resources office.
Q.How will my agency know when my transitional TRICARE ends?
A. If your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD Form 214) shows your transitional TRICARE eligibility period, bring it to your human resources office to postpone immediate reinstatement of your FEHB. If your DD Form 214 does not show this information, your human resources office must determine the ending date by counting 180 days from midnight of your discharge date.
Q.I did not realize my FEHB had been automatically reinstated until I saw the premium deduction on my first leave and earnings statement after returning from active military duty. Since I have transitional TRICARE, I do not need my FEHB. What should I do?
A. If you report this by the end of the pay period following the one in which you received your first leave and earnings statement after your return from active duty, your agency may void the Notice of Change in Health Benefits Enrollment (Standard Form 2810) that reinstated your enrollment. You must then sign a Waiver of Immediate Reinstatement of FEHB to postpone your coverage.
Q.What happens if I transfer to another Federal agency while my FEHB is postponed?
A. Your former human resources office should send the new agency your Waiver of Immediate Reinstatement of FEHB along with your FEHB records, so that your postponement may continue. Your new agency should reinstate your FEHB and transfer it in to their payroll office on the date you requested by using the Notice of Change in Health Benefits Enrollment (Standard Form 2810). It is important that you check your leave and earnings statement to be sure that your FEHB is reinstated on the date you requested.
Q.What if I separate from my employment while my FEHB is postponed and I want to qualify for temporary continuation of coverage (TCC) or to convert to an individual policy with my FEHB insurance carrier?
A. You must inform your human resources office that you want to revoke your waiver during your final pay period. Your human resources office will then reinstate your FEHB so that you will have an enrollment to continue under TCC or convert. If your leave and earnings statement for your final pay period does not show a withholding for an FEHB premium, contact your human resources office immediately.
Q. If I sign a waiver to postpone automatic reinstatement of my FEHB because of transitional TRICARE, how will this affect my eligibility to continue my enrollment into retirement?
A. While you may count the time you are covered under transitional TRICARE toward meeting the 5 year/initial opportunity requirement to continue your FEHB into retirement, you must be covered under FEHB on the day you retire. If you plan to retire during your transitional TRICARE period, you must reinstate your FEHB before your retirement date. Your human resources office can assist you.
Q.If I sign a Waiver of Immediate Reinstatement of FEHB to postpone automatic reinstatement of my FEHB, will my survivors be able to continue FEHB coverage if I die?
A. If you die, the Waiver of Immediate Reinstatement of FEHB automatically terminates. If you postponed reinstatement of a self and family enrollment, and your survivors are eligible for a survivor annuity, their FEHB coverage will begin the day after your death.
Q. May I revoke my Waiver of Immediate Reinstatement of FEHB at any time?
A. Yes. You will need to sign the revocation request at the bottom of the Waiver of Immediate Reinstatement of FEHB form and submit it to your human resources office so that they can resume your coverage immediately.
Q. What date will my postponed FEHB be reinstated once my transitional TRICARE ends?
A. We have advised Federal agencies that you may ask them to postpone reinstatement of your FEHB from the date you are restored to your civilian position until the day after your transitional TRICARE ends, or any date within this timeframe. You should check your leave and earnings statement for that pay period to be sure that your agency reinstated your FEHB and deducted premiums. Contact your human resources office immediately if this has not been done.
Q. My FEHB enrollment will soon be reinstated because my transitional TRICARE coverage is about to end. May I make an FEHB enrollment change at this time?
A. Yes. The loss of your transitional TRICARE is a Qualifying Life Event and you may request an enrollment change from 31 days before to 60 days after you lose your TRICARE. See Code 1M on Health Benefits Election Form, SF 2809, at http://www.opm.gov/Forms/html/sf.asp. Once your agency reinstates your enrollment on the Notice of Change in Health Benefits Enrollment (Standard Form 2810), they should immediately process your request to change your enrollment.
Q. My FEHB enrollment terminated during military service. I have been restored to a civilian position but want to postpone immediate reinstatement of my FEHB because I have transitional TRICARE. Please summarize how this postponement may affect me.
A. Following is a summary of the effects of postponing immediate reinstatement of FEHB:
Q. I have just returned from active military duty and am still enrolled in my FEHB plan. I am also covered under transitional TRICARE for 180 days after my discharge. May I cancel my FEHB coverage?
A. If you are under premium conversion (see http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/pretaxfehb/qanda/index.asp), IRS rules govern when you may cancel your FEHB. You may cancel within 60 days of the date you are restored to a civilian position or have another Qualifying Life Event that permits cancellation (see Health Benefits Election Form, SF 2809, at http://www.opm.gov/Forms/html/sf.asp), or during the next FEHB open season. If you are not under premium conversion, you may cancel at any time. In either case, you should be aware of the consequences of cancellation as described in the following question.
Q. What happens if I cancel my FEHB because I have transitional TRICARE?
A. If you cancel your FEHB, you need to be aware of the following consequences that apply to all employees who cancel their FEHB, including:
Note: Your agency may ask you to sign a statement stating that you understand these consequences.
Q. What happens if my FEHB plan discontinued during my military service and I cannot be reinstated into this plan?
A. If you were unable to choose another plan during military service, your human resources office should reinstate your old enrollment code (for enrollment history purposes only), give you an opportunity to change to another plan, and immediately process your change. To avoid any break in coverage, they should make your new enrollment effective on the date they would have reinstated your old enrollment.