Yesterday, OPM released its annual notice of FEHBP plan changes for 2012. OPM reminds agencies that if an employee is in a plan that is terminating or reducing its service area in a way that affects the employee, then that employee must choose another plan during the Open Season which begins November 12. Annuitants are automatically transferred to another plan if they fail to elect new coverage in this circumstance under an OPM regulation.
OPM further advises that "Coverage under an enrollee’s new health plan will be effective the first day of the pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2012; for most employees this will be Sunday, January 1, 2012." The Open Season change effective date for annuitants is always January 1. The Open Season change date for employees is that first day of their first pay period of the New Year. It's unusual for the first federal employee pay period to begin on New Year's Day. How auspicious!