Enrollment-Blue Cross and Blue Shield's Federal Employee Program

FAQs

Frequently asked enrollment and benefit questions.

Enrollment & Benefits

Enrollment

I’m already a member, do I need to re-enroll every year?

If you are already enrolled in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Service Benefit Plan Option that is right for you, you don’t have to do anything. Your coverage will automatically continue into the following year.

How can I enroll in the Service Benefit Plan?

If you are new to the Program or need to make changes to your current Plan, follow these steps to get started.

1. Select the Service Benefit Plan Option that you would like to participate in.

2. Confirm your desired family status (Self Only, Self Plus One or Self & Family) and the Option of your choice. Make note of the corresponding Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program enrollment code:


Self Self + One Self & Family
Standard Option 104 106 105
Basic Option 111 113 112
3. Enroll online using your agency’s preferred method:

Employee Express:
See a list of agencies participating in Employee Express

Department of Defense:
DoD automated enrollment systems

U.S. Postal Service:
PostalEASE system or the telephone enrollment system

Department of Energy:
DOE automated systems

Health and Human Services and Environmental Protection: 
MyPay

Employees of agencies paid through the National Finance Center: 
Employee Personal Page

4. Or, fill out the SF 2809 Form and submit a copy to your Human Resource office.

I’m a retired federal employee (annuitant), how can I enroll in the Service Benefit Plan or make enrollment changes?

During Open Season:

  • Use OPM’s Open Season Online system
  • Call Open Season Express at 1-800-332-9798
  • Send regular mail to:
    Office of Personnel Management
    Open Season Processing Center
    P.O. Box 5000
    Lawrence, KS 66046-0500

Outside of Open Season:

  • Call the OPM Retirement Information Center at 1-888-767-6738
    (TTY: 1-800-878-5707 or DC local 202-606-0551)
  • Send an email to retire@opm.gov

For more information or if you receive an annuity from another program, visit opm.gov.

How do I continue coverage in an FEHB Plan?

Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) allows former employees to continue their healthcare coverage for up to 18 months and eligible family members to continue their healthcare coverage for up to 36 months. Members enrolling in TCC are responsible for both the employee and employer share of the premium, plus an additional 2% administrative fee. 

TCC is available to: 

  • Employees and/or their eligible family members when the employee separates from federal service, except an involuntary separation due to gross misconduct 
  • Individuals who experience a change in circumstance that results in their being ineligible to be considered a dependent (e.g., divorce or annulment from federal employee or children who reach 26) 

Spouse Equity allows certain former spouses of civil service employees, former employees and annuitants to continue coverage. Unlike TCC, there is no time limit on the length of enrollment. Coverage remains in effect as long as the former spouse is eligible. Former spouses are responsible for both the employee and employer share of the premium with no administrative fee. 

Spouse Equity is available to: 

  • Former spouses who do not remarry before age 55 
  • Former spouses who were enrolled as a dependent any time during the 18 months preceding the divorce 
  • Former spouse who currently receives, or has future title to receive a portion of the annuity payable to the employee upon retirement 

To verify eligibility and enroll, members electing TCC or Spouse Equity must contact their or the contract holder’s employing agency (or OPM for annuitants).

How do I continue coverage with my local Blue Cross and Blue Shield company?

This Plan no longer offers its own non-FEHB plan for conversion purposes. If you would like to purchase health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace, please visit www.healthcare.gov. This is a website provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that provides up-to-date information on the Marketplace.

Although we no longer offer conversion coverage, we will help you find replacement coverage inside or outside the Marketplace. For assistance, please call your local Blue Cross and Blue Shield company at the number found here or on the back of your member ID card.

Note: We do not determine who is eligible to purchase health benefits coverage inside the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace. These rules are established by the federal government agencies that have responsibility for implementing the Affordable Care Act and by the Marketplace.

I'm a tribal employee, am I eligible for an FEHB Plan?

Can same-sex spouses be covered through FEHB Plans?

Yes, legally married same-sex spouses of federal employees and retirees are eligible for healthcare coverage through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), regardless of where they live. Children and stepchildren of same-sex spouses are eligible as well.

What is Self Plus One?

Self Plus One is an enrollment type that allows you to cover yourself and one eligible family member. This is in addition to Self Only and Self and Family enrollment types available under both Standard and Basic Option.

Your eligible family member can include either a spouse OR a child up to age 26. A child age 26 or over who is incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability that existed before age 26 is also an eligible family member.

To learn more about Self Plus One, download this quick reference quide or visit www.opm.gov/selfplusone.

What is the difference between the three enrollment types?

No matter which enrollment type you choose you receive the same benefits, coverage and overall value. The only difference in the enrollment types is the amount of people eligible to be covered under each one.

  • Self Only covers only one person, the federal employee eligible to participate in the FEHBP.
  • Self Plus One covers the federal employee and one eligible dependent, such as a spouse or one child up to age 26.
  • Self and Family is for the federal employee and multiple eligible dependents.

Benefits

What is the difference between Standard Option and Basic Option?

While both Options offer comprehensive benefits for you and your family, they are structured differently to complement different healthcare needs. Under Basic Option, you must use Preferred providers to provide all the medical care you and your family need. You pay a copayment for most services, and there is no deductible. Standard Option provides benefits regardless of whether you use a Preferred or Non-preferred provider; however, your out-of-pocket expenses will likely be lower if you choose a Preferred provider. 

For more information about the differences between the two Options, you can:

Whether you decide to enroll in Standard Option or Basic Option, please be sure to use the appropriate enrollment code: 


Self Only Self + One Self & Family
Standard Option 104 106 105
Basic Option 111 113 112

Does the Service Benefit Plan offer dental benefits?

Yes, both Standard Option and Basic Option offer some level of dental benefits. Basic Option provides coverage for preventive dental care services only, while Standard Option provides coverage for preventive dental care and some other non-routine services. Additional information is available in the Compare Benefit Options page or consult the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Service Benefit Plan brochure for more details.

Does Standard Option or Basic Option provide overseas coverage?

Yes, the Service Benefit Plan provides overseas coverage for you and your covered family members. Physician care and care by other covered professional providers performed outside the U.S. are paid at the Preferred level using an Overseas Fee Schedule or a provider negotiated amount. Under both options, you pay the difference between our payment and the amount billed, in addition to any applicable coinsurance, copayment and/or deductible amounts. For more information, please visit the Overseas Benefits page or consult the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Service Benefit Plan brochure.

When is Open Season?

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) holds Open Season each year from the Monday of the second full workweek in November through the Monday of the second full workweek in December. Your Open Season election generally will take effect the following January. Please contact your employing office’s Health Benefits Officer (HBO) for additional information.

Who can I call to get information about the Service Benefit Plan?

For more information, call the National Information Center at 1-800-411-BLUE (2583) weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time. You may also contact your local Blue Cross and Blue Shield company for information about the Service Benefit Plan. To locate the contact information for your local BCBS company, please visit the Contact Us section of this website. For current members, you can also find the phone number on the back of your member identification card.