Open season for the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Program (FEDVIP) runs through Dec. 9. If you’re eligible for FEDVIP (find out here), this marks the one time you can change your 2020 coverage without undergoing a qualifying life event.
MOAA reached out to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which oversees the program, to get some advice for members who’ll be entering the program for the first time or updating their existing coverage. Check out these basic tips, as well as more advice and the BENEFEDS website for further details.
1. Avoid the rush. If you’ve decided to change coverage, but you’re not up for the online process, pick your spots when calling 1-877-888-FEDS (3337) for assistance. This week will be one of the busiest times for customer call centers, a senior OPM official told MOAA, second only to just before the Dec. 9 open season wrap-up. Things generally slow down in late November, with the week of Thanksgiving being a low-traffic time.
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2. Do your homework. The FEDVIP plan comparison tool has been online here since before open season. With a few button clicks and your ZIP code, you can have full access to plan details as you decide whether to change your enrollment. Remember: If you want to keep the plan you’re on, no action is required during open season.
3. Find the source. FEDVIP representatives can answer many questions about the enrollment process itself, but they can’t tell you which plan to select or dive deep into the specifics of each carrier’s offering. While you can request contact information from 1-877-888-FEDS, you can also contact carriers directly:
- Aetna Dental: 1-800-554-2042
- Delta Dental: 1-855-410-3255
- FEP BlueDental: 1-855-504-2583
- GEHA Connection Dental Federal: 1-877-434-2336
- MetLife Dental Plan: 1-888-865-6854
- United Concordia Dental: 1-877-438-8224
- Dominion Dental: 1-855-836-6337
- EmblemHealth Dental: 1-800-624-2414
- Triple-S Salud: 1-800-716-6081; TTY 1-787-792-1370
- Aetna Vision Preferred: 1-855-347-6899
- FEP BlueVision: 1-888-550-2583
- UnitedHealthcare Vision: 1-866-249-1999
- VSP Vision Care: 1-800-807-0764
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4. Overcome online fears. OPM said 83% of former TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) beneficiaries who moved to FEDVIP last year used the online portal to enroll. Of those, 30% did so via a mobile device. The process takes about 15 minutes, but you won’t “time out” of the system, and you can save your progress and return to the application at a later date.
5. About that extension. Many military retirees were eligible to apply outside of open season last year after OPM allowed for belated enrollment. Will enrollment deadlines extend again in 2019? No decision has been made yet, the official said. Wait times, online registration concerns, and other factors could sway the decision, but you can’t count on it. If you are unable to enroll during open season for any reason, you can reach out via BENEFEDS.com or 1-877-888-FEDS to request belated enrollment; your request will be decided by OPM officials on a case-by-case basis.