The Office of Personnel Management has proposed a new rule that would prevent a gap in coverage for employees who fail to enroll in a new health plan when employees’ previous Federal Employees Health Benefits plans or options terminate.
While OPM already provides enrollees of defunct plans or options a period in which they may elect to enroll in a new one, the proposed rule lays out actions OPM and agencies may take if an enrollee fails to do so within the allotted time period.
Under current regulation, an employee’s FEHB enrollment ends if he or she fails to make an enrollment election during the grace period following a plan termination. The proposed rule, which was published in the Jan. 7 Federal Register, amends the current regulation to require the employing office to automatically enroll these employees into the lowest-cost nationwide plan option based on the enrollee share of the cost of a self only enrollment.
Under the proposal, a plan will not be considered the “lowest-cost nationwide plan option” if it is a high deductible health plan (HDHP) or if it requires a membership fee or an association fee.
The proposal also contains new provisions for annuitants who fail to sign up within the re-enrollment time window.