Self plus one for FEHB?


Q. Why doesn’t the Federal Employees Health Benefits program offer a self-plus-one option for health insurance like the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program? The cost should not be the same for one plus a spouse as it is for a whole family. I would rather pay two self-only premiums than that for self plus family. The difference between self only and self plus family is staggering.

A. The FEHB law doesn’t provide for that option, and serious consideration has never been given to changing it.


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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


  1. James & Glenna Reynolds on

    I am very frustrated. I had to stay on hold on the phone in attempts to reach a number given to check into the “Self plus One”. I am interested in transferring. After 50 minutes of holding I finally got an answer. There is a very SLIGHT savings which I do not understand. We are having to pay a premium for a family for only two people. Since it is supplemental, not primary, the figure should be a great savings for only two.

    After getting through on the number 50 minutes later, I was told I had to call another number as the person trying to assist could only go so far. She could not get my husband enrolled, although he is already enrolled. I attempted 17 times to call this number and it is always busy. It doesn’t even give the courtesy of saying “your hold time is approximately 60 minutes”. There is NO REPLY at all.

    When I try to go through the recommended area on the computer, it will not accept my e-mail address. I would assume this would be the short cut if there is any.


  2. I would like to change our insurance to the “Self Plus One” Can you help me? I have been calling for several days and I just get a busy signal. Attempting to do this on the computer was no help. Please help me make the changes. PLEASE !!!

    • During the annual FEHB Open Season, anyone eligible to participate in the FEHB Program may change health plans or options, cancel or suspend their FEHB enrollment, and request plan brochures and information. Annuitants can do the above actions by:

      Using OPM’s Open Season Online system.
      Using Open Season Express by calling 1-800-332-9798.
      Sending regular mail to:
      Office of Personnel Management
      Open Season Processing Center
      P.O. Box 5000
      Lawrence, KS 66046-0500

    • Self Plus One has nothing to do with it. If that supply isn’t covered by your plan, it wouldn’t covered for Self Only or Self and Family enrollees either. You’ll have to check with your plan to find out why they don’t cover it. Then you’d need to check with other plans to see if non-coverage is unique to yours or whether other plans exclude it, too.

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