Adding wife to BCBS


Q: I have been on the phone on several occasions talking to BCBS customer service people and all seem to be at a loss and I never get the same answer to what I believe should be a simple question. I am a federal employee currently covered by BCBS under the standard program self only. My wife arrived in country this past March and now that open season is here I want to add her to my policy. I know I have to upgrade to the family plan; I am all for that. Please tell me what I must do to make this happen. Please do not refer me to customer service as they have no idea how to get this accomplished. Trust me on this. I am sure that my recent marriage is not the first one to happen with BCBS so why can I not be given simple instructions on how to get this completed. My wife needs to see a doctor; I do not need this aggravation any longer. I would think this would be a simple thing to accomplish but for me it has been like a quest for the Holy Grail.

A: The health benefits open season began on Nov. 8 and runs through Dec. 13. You should have already received notice of that and information about your current enrollment and options. Whether you have or haven’t, your personnel office or joint servicing center can help you change your coverage from self only to self and family. That change would be effective Jan. 1, 2011.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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