skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) you may receive from your employees. Email us if you have a question about content on this site or a suggestion on additional FAQs that would be of benefit.

Eligibility

An employee or retiree is not sure if they're eligible. Where can they find out if they're eligible for the FEDVIP?

We've created a FEDVIP fact sheet for you to use to answer questions employees may have about FEDVIP, including eligibility.

An employee/retiree is not sure if their family members are eligible. Where can they find out if they're eligible for the FEDVIP?

Use our FEDVIP fact sheet to assist employees in understanding which family members may be eligible for coverage.

An employee is newly hired or eligible and wants to enroll outside of open season. When will their coverage be effective?

If they are a newly hired or eligible employee, their enrollment is effective the first day of the first pay period following the pay period in which we receive their enrollment.

An employee is newly hired or eligible and they have 60 days to enroll in FEDVIP. If they enroll during those 60 days, can they change their enrollment if the 60 days haven't ended?

No, they can't. They get one opportunity to enroll in a FEDVIP dental plan and one opportunity to enroll in a FEDVIP vision plan during those 60 days. Once they enroll in a plan, their 60 day window for that type of plan ends, even if 60 calendar days haven't yet elapsed.

That means once they have enrolled in either plan, they can't change or cancel that particular plan until the next open season, unless they experience a qualifying life event (QLE) that allows a change or cancellation.

Enrollment

When can an employee or retiree enroll in FEDVIP?

Employees and retirees can enroll in FEDVIP during the annual Federal Benefits Open Season held each fall from the Monday of the second full week in November to the Monday of the second full week in December.

They can also enroll outside of open season if they are a newly hired or eligible employee or they experience a qualifying life event (QLE).

How does an employee enroll using BENEFEDS.com?

Employees can begin enrolling in FEDVIP on BENEFEDS.com by researching FEDVIP plans and rates using our FEDVIP Plan Comparison tool at BENEFEDS.com/rates. Once they've decided on which plans they'd like to enroll in, they can click "Enroll" right from the plan results page to begin enrollment. Or, if they already know which plans they'd like to enroll in, they can simply go to BENEFEDS.com and click "Enroll in a Plan".

The 4-step enrollment process takes less than 5 minutes to complete. A progress bar helps orient them throughout their enrollment, while enhanced tools and helpful tips help them select the plan that meets their needs.

Once they submit their enrollment, they will be able to view and manage their enrollment details any time by logging in to BENEFEDS.com.

Does an employee or retiree have to enroll in the same FEDVIP plan as they have for the FEHB plan?

No, they can choose a different FEDVIP plan than their FEHB plan. They do not have to be the same. They also do not have to enroll in the same enrollment type as their FEHB plan.

How can an employee or retiree research FEDVIP plans and rates?

Employees and retirees can research FEDVIP plans and rates using our FEDVIP Plan Comparison tool atBENEFEDS.com/rates. It allows them to compare up to three plans at once.

Why is an employee's or retiree's Social Security number (SSN) required?

A Social Security number (SSN) is required in order to accurately request premium deductions from their payroll or annuity provider. It is also used to assure that they do not register with BENEFEDS.com more than once or enroll in more than one FEDVIP dental or vision plan.

For security purposes, their SSN is masked during the initial registration process and, once registered, we only display the last four digits.

Why is an employee's or retiree's residential (not mailing) address used to determine the plans they're eligible for and the premiums they'll be charged?

BENEFEDS aligns an enrollee's coverage zip code with their residential zip code, and because their mailing address can be different from their residential address (e.g. those living overseas who maintain a mailing address within the U.S.), it is important for employees and retirees to enter their actual residential address during enrollment to ensure they pay the appropriate premiums.

Once enrolled, the employee or retiree can log in to BENEFEDS.com and update their residential zip code if they move from the initial residential zip code entered during their enrollment. If they and their family live in different areas, they may want to consider enrolling in a nationwide plan that will cover everyone.

Managing Plan / Changes

How do employees or retirees change their FEDVIP dental and/or FEDVIP vision plans?

Non-Open Season
Employees and retirees can make changes to their current year plans if they experience a qualifying life event (QLE) that would allow them to do so. To do this, they must log into BENEFEDS.com. Once they are logged in, they will be taken to their My BENEFEDS dashboard where they can view their plan summary details and submit a QLE.

They can also update their personal and account information, as well as their other non-FEDVIP/non-FEHB dental or vision insurance information, at any time.

Open Season
Employees and retirees can make changes to their future plan year plans during open season by logging into BENEFEDS.com.

Once they are logged in, they will be taken to their My BENEFEDS dashboard where they have the option to change their plans for the next plan year. This includes switching carriers, changing plan options, or adding or removing family members.

If they would like to make changes to their current year plans during open season, they will have to contact BENEFEDS Customer Service.

What if an employee or retiree would like to stay with the same plan for the next plan year?

If they would like to keep the same FEDVIP dental and/or vision plans into the next plan year, they do not have to do anything—their coverage will automatically continue, but they should keep in mind the rates may change.

To research plans and rates for the next plan year, they should use our FEDVIP Plan Comparison tool at www.benefeds.com/rates.

Can an employee or retiree cancel their FEDVIP dental and/or vision plans?

With few exceptions, they can only cancel their FEDVIP plans during open season. They can't cancel their FEDVIP plans due to retirement or the inability to pay premiums.

The only time they can cancel their FEDVIP plans outside of open season is if they or their spouse is deployed to active military duty or if they are an employee and transfer to an agency that offers its own dental and/or vision plan and pays 50% or more of the premiums and they enroll in that agency's plan.

The coverage of any eligible family members also ends upon the effective date of their cancellation. If they don't cancel their coverage when permitted, it automatically continues each year, as long as they remain eligible.

Can an ABO or HR representative talk to BENEFEDS on behalf of an employee regarding their enrollments?

An ABO or HR representative can only talk to BENEFEDS on behalf of an employee regarding their enrollments if the employee has given express written authorization for BENEFEDS to disclose enrollment information to an ABO or HR representative they designate.

The employee must fill out the Third Party Authorization form and send it to the BENEFEDS Correspondence Address before their designated third party can speak with BENEFEDS.

Retirement

An employee is retiring soon. Is there anything they need to do to continue their FEDVIP coverage?

They should not need to take any action with their FEDVIP enrollments when they retire. Most payroll offices inform BENEFEDS when an employee retires. They will receive a letter informing them we have been notified of their retirement and that their FEDVIP plan premiums will be deducted from their annuity once adjudication has been finalized. If they do not receive this letter soon after their last pay period before retirement, they should contact BENEFEDS Customer Service.

During adjudication, they may receive direct bills for their premium. Please note that FEDVIP premiums cannot be withheld from their interim retirement annuity. They need to pay premiums directly during this time in order to keep their coverage active. If this is the case, they will be sent a letter informing them about the direct bill process.

An employee or retiree has received notification that their annuity has been finalized and they also received a direct bill. Should they pay the direct bill?

Anytime they receive a direct bill for their FEDVIP premiums, it is important to pay it in order to keep their coverage active.

Can an employee or retiree cancel their FEDVIP enrollment when they retire?

Upon retirement, their FEDVIP enrollment will automatically continue and payroll deductions will be collected through their annuity. There is not an opportunity to cancel their FEDVIP coverage outside of open season, due to retirement.

Why has an employee's or retiree's FEDVIP premium increased upon their retirement?

Their premium deductions have not increased, but the frequency of deductions is only 12 per year versus 24 or 26. As an employee, they paid their FEDVIP premiums bi-weekly or semi-monthly. Retirees pay their premiums on a monthly basis.

Uniformed Services

Why has FEDVIP eligibility been expanded to include uniformed service members?

On December 31, 2018, the Defense Health Agency’s TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) will end. However, as directed in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017, certain TRICARE-eligible retired uniformed service members and their families, and active duty family members, will now have the opportunity to enroll in FEDVIP. The end of TRDP is part of the historic reforms that began rolling out in the Military Health System on January 1, 2018. The implementation of the provisions under the 2017 NDAA and the beginning of new TRICARE support contracts is meant to improve health and enhance medical readiness for the uniformed services.

What uniformed service members are now eligible for FEDVIP?

In general, retired uniformed service members and their families who were eligible for the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) are eligible for FEDVIP dental coverage and, if enrolled in a TRICARE health plan, FEDVIP vision coverage, beginning in 2019. In addition, family members of active duty uniformed service members who are enrolled in a TRICARE health plan are eligible for FEDVIP vision coverage. Active duty uniformed service members will still have dental and vision coverage through TRICARE and their family members will still be eligible to enroll in the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP).

Are Federal employees and retirees impacted by uniformed service members now being eligible for FEDVIP?

No. Their FEDVIP coverage, if they’re already enrolled, and/or their eligibility to enroll in FEDVIP will not be impacted as a result of this new group. Although rates may be different based on the region where they live or the plan they select, rates will be the same across all eligible groups, including the newly eligible members of the uniformed services. Note: FEDVIP rates are reviewed and updated annually, if necessary.

An employee or retiree is enrolled in both a TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) plan and a FEDVIP plan. What should they do?

No action is required at this time. Their TRDP plan will end on December 31, 2018, and their FEDVIP dental and/or vision plan, if previously enrolled, will continue automatically for the 2019 plan year. If they wish to make changes to their FEDVIP enrollment, they may do so during this year's open season.