Open season changes announced

The Postal Service wants employees to know about some important changes concerning the open season benefits enrollment period that began this week.

Here’s a rundown:

• The U.S. Office of Personnel Management recently announced that the average total premiums for individuals enrolled in plans under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) will increase by 3.6 percent for 2021.

This means premiums could increase as much as $1,000 a year for some plans.

You can use Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees, an online tool available on LiteBlue, to review your insurance rates for 2021. Because rates are increasing, USPS is encouraging you to compare plans and ensure you aren’t overspending on health care.

• Participants in the FSAFEDS flexible spending account (FSA) programs will be able to carry over $550 of unused amounts into 2021 if they reenroll for the 2021 plan year. Beginning this year, FSAs cover over-the-counter drugs and menstrual care products.

Employees must reenroll in FSAs every year during open season. You can go to the FSAFEDS website to learn more about signing up for FSAs.

Given the amount of changes taking place during open season this year, the Postal Service is encouraging employees to go to the Open Season LiteBlue page, which provides information on premiums, virtual benefits fair information, helpful videos on choosing the right plan and access to Checkbook’s Guide to Heath Plans.

Open season, the once-a-year opportunity for Postal Service employees to make changes to their health coverage or choose a new plan, runs through Dec. 14.


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