MOAA recently received a briefing on FEDVIP's Open Season from Office of Personnel Management (OPM) officials, who said that overall, they are happy with the FEDVIP enrollment response.
They had 102,000 dental plan enrollments and 42,000 vision plan enrollments in the first two days of Open Season, officials said, with 90 percent being electronic enrollments. OPM reports the Benefeds platform is working well, with no capacity issues.
However, OPM is not satisfied with the increased wait times beneficiaries are experiencing to get plan information and to enroll by phone. Currently, OPM says, average wait times are 20-25 minutes -- a wait consistent with what MOAA members have reported. OPM has indicated this is not acceptable, and they are working on bringing more capacity into the phone centers.
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In the meantime, what can you do to mitigate long phone wait times?
- Try the new call-in number: (877) 888-FEDS (3337).
- Call before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. Eastern time. Regular hours for Benefeds are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern.
- Call anytime during Thanksgiving week. Historically, this is a lull time.
Beneficiaries can request to have paper information mailed to them and get rate quotes by phone. So far, only 1 percent have requested paper details.
An important note for beneficiaries in California, the Gulf Coast, and elsewhere: If you have experienced a natural disaster (fires or a hurricane, for example) and cannot enroll or miss the open season, you will be exempted and can be enrolled outside of the open season time period. Essentially, the disaster will be treated as a qualifying life event.
As changes to the TRICARE program are implemented, MOAA will continue to monitor Open Season and FEDVIP enrollment, in support of our members and all TRICARE beneficiaries.