Federal employee health benefits applications are now being accepted for Reservists!
FEHB for Reservist Employees:
Reservists are eligible to enroll in FEHB when they deploy to a disaster and FEMA has the expectation they will work at least 130 hours in a calendar month. If they wish to enroll in FEHB, they must do so within 60 days of entering into pay status. If they fail to enroll within 60 days but have not demobilized from their deployment, they may enroll at a later date if they have experienced a qualifying life event or during the federal government’s open season. If they fail to enroll within 60 days and have demobilized from their deployment, they will be ineligible to enroll in FEHB until they next deploy to a disaster and FEMA expects they will work at least 130 hours in a calendar month.
Each time Reservists who have enrolled in FEHB demobilize and enter into non-pay status, they will be given the opportunity to continue their health benefits. Any time this occurs, FEMA will issue the Reservist written notification. Reservists must notify FEMA of their decision to continue their FEHB enrollment, in writing, within 31 days after receiving the notice. If the Reservist fails to inform FEMA of their desire to continue their FEHB enrollment, their FEHB enrollment will terminate at the end of the last pay period they were in pay status. They will then have a 31-day extension of coverage (at no cost to them), during which time they may convert to a private policy with the plan they were enrolled in. They may also elect to visit the health insurance marketplace to review marketplace coverage options at www.healthcare.gov.
If the Reservist chooses to maintain their FEHB coverage when in non-pay status they may do so for up to 365 days from the day they demobilized. Reservists are responsible for the employee share of the premiums whether they are in pay status or not (these are automatically deducted when in pay status), and the agency will continue to pay the government share of the premium. Their FEHB coverage will terminate the last day of the pay period in which the Reservist reached the 366th day of non-pay status, or the Reservist separates from the agency.
FEHB Carried Over from PFT or CORE Employment:
If a reservist was covered by FEHB as a previous Permanent Full Time (PFT) Employee or Cadre of on Call Response and Recovery Employee employment (CORE), or from a non-FEMA position that was FEHB eligible, OPM regulations do not allow the reservist to remain enrolled in FEHB when in non-pay status for more than 365 days. If the Reservist is still in non-pay status on the 366th day, enrollment in FEHB will terminate, effective on the last day of that pay period. If this occurs, the Reservist will be entitled to a 31-day extension of coverage during which he or she may exercise the right to convert to an individual health insurance policy. He or she will be offered an opportunity to re-enroll under the same rules that apply to all other Reservists outlined above. The 365 day clock only resets after a Reservist acquires at least four consecutive months in pay status, meaning any four-month period during which the Reservist is in pay status for at least a part of each pay period. Participation in training or any deployment of fewer than four months will pause, but not reset, the 365 day clock.
To enroll, please complete and return a signed Health Benefits Election Form (SF-2809), located at http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/sf2809.pdf, to FEMA-HC-Reservists-Benefits@fema.dhs.gov, or fax your enrollment to 540-504-2144 ATTN: Reservist Benefits. If you send your completed form by email, be sure to password-protect the form, as it will contain sensitive information (Social Security number, date of birth, etc.).
To learn more about current FEHB plan information, visit http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/planinfo/index.asp.