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2023 FEHB Open Season: Tips for Preparing

Pay & Benefits

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4 min Category: Pay & Benefits

Each year, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) offers an annual Open Season period for Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB). During this time, you may evaluate your benefits and make any necessary changes.

Each year brings plenty of change – including for you and your family. Consider any life-changing events in the last year, such as a marriage or the birth of a child. These changes may require new levels of coverage. Open Season is the best opportunity to compare different plans and choose what best fits your needs.

When Is FEHB Open Season?

This year, Open Season runs from Friday, November 14, 2022 through Monday, December 12, 2022. Changes go into effect on January 1, 2023. During this period, active Federal employees can do the following:

  • Enroll in a Federal Employees Health Benefits plan for the first time
  • Change health plans or options within a program
  • Opt-out of a plan in which you’re enrolled
  • Change your enrollment type (self-only, self plus one, or family coverage)
  • Adjust contributions to your Federal Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for dependent care or health care

Retirees cannot enroll in a medical plan for the first time, but they can make changes to their current enrollments.

What’s New for OPM Open Season this year?

Federal employees and retirees will experience, on average, an 8.7% increase in their health care premiums in 2023. The government’s share of the cost will also increase, by 6.6%. This increase is the largest in more than a decade; more than double last year’s 3.8% increase.

The FEHB premium rates are calculated each year by OPM and are based on how federal employees and retirees used their health care plans during the previous year.

Additional changes in 2023

  • There will be 271 FEHB plans available, four fewer than 2022.
  • FEDVIP premiums have also changed – dental plans will increase by 0.21% while vision plans will decrease by 0.41%

What If I Do Nothing?

Your current coverage will automatically continue. If you are satisfied with your current FEHB plan, you do not need to take any action.

What About Benefits Other Than the Medical Plan?

Open Season includes the Federal Dental and Vision Insurance Program, flexible spending accounts, and life insurance.

Dental and Vision

The Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program offers eligible participants a choice between 12 dental and 5 vision carriers.

FSA (Flexible Spending Account)

During Open Season, active employees can sign up for health care, a dependent care flexible spending account (FSA), or both. Medical, dental, and vision enrollments roll over unless you make changes, but you must re-enroll every year to keep your FSA contributions going.

Life Insurance

The Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program and the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) do not participate in Open Season. While life insurance is not part of Open Season, you can still apply for Group Term Life Insurance from WAEPA at any time during the year. Open Season is an excellent time to do an annual review of your life insurance needs.

How Do I Determine What’s Best for My Situation?

OPM provides an online tool to compare the available plans/rates. You can search for available options based on location or employee type and you can review changes to your existing plan.

The most important step is to carefully assess your own medical and financial situation. Here are some questions to help you get started:

Existing Medical Conditions

Do you or any covered family member have a medical condition that will require extensive treatment in 2023? If so, it may be worth purchasing a plan that pays out more on your claims.

Minimal Medical Needs

If you have a healthy family and only anticipate minor illnesses, a less expensive plan can help you build up your savings account. Consult with a trusted benefits advisor or your HR department for more information.

Compare Your Spouse’s Medical Plan

If you are married, compare your coverage with the options offered by your spouse’s employer. The FEHB program often provides better coverage at a lower cost, so switching plans can help save money without sacrificing benefits.

Open Season provides the opportunity to review your medical, dental, vision, life insurance, and FSA options. Life-changing events can influence your benefit choices, but when it comes to life insurance, don’t assume Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) is the best option. Worldwide Assurance for Employees of Public Agencies (WAEPA) offers life insurance For Feds, By Feds. Coverage from WAEPA can serve as an economical supplement or replacement for FEGLI. On average, members who switched from FEGLI to WAEPA saved over $300 a year. WAEPA also offers exclusive member benefits tailored specifically to Civilian Feds and their families, including free financial planning, premium refunds,** scholarships, and more. Learn more about WAEPA today.

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