Did You Know?...
By Charles H. Palmer, Jr.
Post '56 Military Service Deposits
Did you know that if you performed active duty military service after 1956 (after June 30, 1960, in the Commissioned Corps), you may need to pay a deposit (including interest) to DHHS in order to receive retirement credit for the military service (FERS employees) at the time of retirement or to retain the credit when you reach age 62 and become eligible for Social Security benefits (CSRS employees)? See your personnel office for details.
Temporary Continuation of Health Benefits Coverage
Did you know that when your child reaches age 22 (or marries before age 22) he or she is no longer eligible to be covered under your health benefits enrollment? This is true even if your child is still in school. You have 60 days from the date he/she gets married or turns age 22 (whichever occurs first) to notify your personnel office. That office will give you information on how your child may enroll in his/her own right for temporary continuation of coverage (TCC). The enrollment will be for up to 36 months and the child will have to pay the full premium (no government contribution), plus a 2 percent administrative charge.
TCC enrollments are also available to you should you leave the government (coverage is for up to 18 months) and for a former spouse should you get divorced (coverage is for up to 36 months). See your personnel office for details.
Changes You May Make in Health Benefits Enrollment
Outside of the annual open season there are only certain events (such as marriage, birth of a child) which allow you to make a change in your health benefits enrollment. Did you know that you may change your enrollment from family to self-only coverage at any time? This is of particular importance to you when the last member of your family ceases to be eligible for coverage under your plan (for instance, when your youngest child turns age 22 and you are divorced or widowed). See your personnel office for details.
Changes You May Make in Your Life Insurance Coverage
Did you know that you may elect or increase your option B - Additional coverage if you marry or acquire a child? You may also elect option C - Family coverage if one of these events occurs. If you already have option C coverage and your last family member ceases to be eligible for coverage (youngest child turns age 22, etc.) you should complete an SF 2817 declining option C coverage. See your personnel office for details.
Election of Living Benefits, Assignment of Life Insurance
Did you know that if you are diagnosed as having a terminal illness you may be eligible to elect living benefits? This would allow you to receive up to the full amount of your basic life insurance coverage while you are still alive instead of payment going to your survivors after your death. You may, instead, assign all of your life insurance coverage to a viatical settlement firm in return for a payment equal to a portion of your coverage (usually 50-80 percent, depending on life expectancy). That firm would then be paid your life insurance after your death.
You may also assign your life insurance to another person or persons, including an individual, a corporation or an irrevocable trust in order to satisfy the requirements of a court order upon divorce, for inheritance tax purposes, or to satisfy a debt. See your personnel office for details.
Designations of Beneficiary
Did you know that you may complete a Designation of Beneficiary form for Unpaid Compensation, Life Insurance, Retirement, and the Thrift Savings Plan if you want the payment upon your death to go to someone other than the person(s) entitled under the normal Order of Precedence? Do you know if your designations are up to date? Did you know that a designation may still be valid, even if your family situation has changed? For instance, if you designated your spouse and you have since gotten divorced, your former spouse is still your beneficiary unless you file a new Designation of Beneficiary, either canceling the previous one or designating someone else. If you are not sure of the status of your Designations of Beneficiary, see your personnel office.
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