FEHB refund?


Q. I have always been a single person without any dependents, but for several years I was enrolled in the Kaiser Permanente family health plan instead of the Kaiser self-only plan. After realizing this, I changed to the Kaiser self-only plan in early 2011.

Since there is nobody past or present who could legally use my health benefits other than me, can I get a refund for the difference in premiums paid over the past years?

A. According to the Office of Personnel Management, “It is up to the employing agency whether or not to make a retroactive correction from self-and-family to self only and refund any excess premiums.

“FEHB regulations at 5 CFR 890.301(e)(2) provide that at the request of the employee, and a satisfactory showing to the agency that there was no family member eligible for coverage under the self and family enrollment, an agency may make a change to self only retroactive to the first day of the pay period following the one in which there was no family member.

“So it is up to the agency, and if it is their policy not to make these adjustments, OPM cannot require them to do so. If the employee is having difficulty with his/her HR office in explaining his situation, he should contact the agency HQ Benefits officer who can contact us if they have concerns. Here is the link: http://apps.opm.gov/abo.”


About Author

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

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