Like many health insurance plans, there are only certain times you can make changes to your FEDVIP health-care plans and coverage outside of the annual enrollment period known as "open season." These times usually correspond to life events or changes in your situation or family; they are known as "Qualifying Life Events" (QLEs).
Depending on your eligibility, a QLE may let you enroll in a new insurance plan or change your coverage.
While Tricare allows 90 days following the QLE for any changes, the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) uses different date parameters. FEDVIP's QLE rules say that you can ask for a QLE change, such as dropping or adding a family member from your current plan, 31 days before to 60 days after the qualifying event. With limited exceptions, you cannot ask to be newly enrolled in FEDVIP based on a QLE before it happens. In most cases, those new enrollments must be done within 60 days of the event.
What Is a Qualifying Life Event for FEDVIP?
For both Tricare and FEDVIP, the following are the only things that count as QLEs. As such, these are the only times you can make changes to your coverage outside of open season:
- Activating or deactivating for reserve and guard service
- Deploying or mobilizing
- Being injured on active duty
- Getting married
- Having a baby or adopting a child
- Children going to college
- Children becoming adults
- Death in the family
- Returning from leave without pay
- Retirement pay or military pay restored
Each of these QLEs have specific rules about how soon you can apply for or change coverage before or after the event. Visit the FEDVIP website for more information.
Special Qualifying Life Events for FEDVIP
When you retire from the military, you are eligible to enroll in FEDVIP dental coverage and, if enrolled in a Tricare health plan, FEDVIP vision coverage. But retirement is not considered a QLE for FEDVIP.
You are considered newly eligible for the program and have 60 days from the date you became eligible to enroll in a FEDVIP dental and/or vision plan. If you miss your 60-day enrollment period, then you must wait until the next open season.
If you are already retired from the uniformed services and you are now leaving or retiring from private sector employment, you can enroll in FEDVIP if you experienced a FEDVIP qualifying life event (QLE).
For instance, if you lost insurance as part of leaving the private sector, then you are eligible to enroll in FEDVIP within 31 days prior to and 60 days after the date of the QLE. However, if you are only canceling insurance with your employer but it is still available to you, then you must wait until the next open season to enroll.
How to Make Changes to Your FEDVIP Coverage Due to a Qualifying Life Event
If you experience a QLE that allows you to enroll, log into your BENEFEDS account and select "Enroll" for dental or vision coverage on your dashboard. The website will ask for your QLE type and the date of the event as part of the enrollment process.
If you experience a QLE that allows you to change your existing coverage, log into your My BENEFEDS account and select "Plan Overview" for your dental or vision coverage on your dashboard. Then select "Submit QLE."
If you experience a QLE that allows you to cancel your coverage, you must call BENEFEDS Customer Service.
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