USPS: Policies Set on Automatic Enrollment in New Postal Health Plan

July 9, 2024
OPM has issued guidance on automatic enrollment in the Postal Service Health Benefits program for 2025 if U.S. Postal Service employees and retirees currently covered by the FEHB do not specifically elect an insurance plan in that new program during the open season this fall.

Guidance recently posted by OPM, although dated in May, is designed to “coordinate a smooth transition” to the PSHB, which will replace the FEHB for those employees and retirees starting in January. OPM in March conditionally approved 32 carriers for the new program, well below the 158 plan choices in the FEHB.

However, among the plans are offerings from carriers that make up the large majority of FEHB enrollees—of whom the postal population constitutes about a fifth—including seven national fee-for-service plans and HMO plans available in many major city areas.

Under the 2022 law creating the PSHB, enrollees whose current FEHB plan is not in the PSHB may choose to enroll in a new plan in this fall’s open season for 2025 coverage. If they make no choice, they will be enrolled by default.

Says the guidance, “OPM will determine which of the Carrier’s FEHB and PSHB plans are equivalent, and where no equivalent PSHB plan is available, enrollees will be auto-enrolled in the lowest-cost nationwide plan that is not a high deductible health plan and does not charge an association or membership fee, or an alternate plan, designated by OPM.”

The guidance lays out a series of steps and deadlines for carriers to follow, adding that they “are expected to end FEHB coverage effective December 31, 2024, for any PSHB enrollees whose FEHB coverage was not terminated during auto-enrollment.”

Source: FedWeek

See: Postal Service Health Benefits (PSHB) Program – OPM.gov

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