Life events – Separation, annulment or divorce

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This is the third in a series of articles on life events and how they might affect you. I started with marriage and moved on to children. Now I’m crossing over and writing about what happens if you’re separated or divorced.

FEHB benefits before the end of the marriage
If you are registered for either the self plus one option or the self and family option, your spouse can continue to be covered by your FEHB registration if you are legally separated or if you are in the process of to obtain an annulment or a divorce.

FEHB benefits at the end of the marriage
Without exception, your ex-spouse’s coverage ends at midnight on the day your annulment or divorce becomes final. This is true even if a court order requires this coverage. However, he or she has three options available for continued health benefit coverage: under the Spousal Equity Act, the Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) provision, or by converting to an individual policy with your FEHB insurer. For more information on these options, go to www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/reference-materials/reference/former-spouses.

As for you, if there is no one else covered by your enrollment (note that a court divorce order may require you to maintain coverage for any child or eligible children, for example), you can skip to yourself only. Additionally, you would have the option to upgrade to another plan or option. On the other hand, if you have other family members, you can continue to be registered under the me and family option or, if there is only one eligible member, switch to me plus one. If you make a change, within 60 days of the event, you will need to complete a standard 2809 form and submit it to your agency’s personnel office (or OPM if you are a retiree). You can download a copy of this form from www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/sf2809.pdf.

FEGLI beneficiary designation
If you are enrolled in the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program, you have completed a beneficiary designation form indicating to whom you want to receive your policy proceeds if you die. If you named your spouse, you may want to change that now that you are no longer married. To make this change, you will need to complete a standard form 2823. If you are an employee, you can obtain a copy from your personnel office. Employees and retirees can download a copy at www.opm.gov/Forms/pdf_fill/2823.pdf.
Also note that a divorce order could require you to “assign” your FEGLI benefits to an ex-spouse, in which case you could not change the beneficiary to someone else.

Survivor’s pension
Although the law requires you to provide a survivor’s pension to your spouse, this requirement ends when your annulment or divorce is final. However, to avoid confusion in the future, you should inform your agency (or OPM if you are retired) that you are no longer married.

Federal dental and optical insurance program
In the event of a divorce, you can reduce Federal Dental and Optical Insurance Program coverage from yourself and your family to yourself plus one or to yourself only, or from yourself plus one to yourself. even only. If it is not done between 31 days before and 60 days after the divorce, it must wait until the next opening season of annual benefits and the higher level of premiums will continue during this time. Ex-spouses are not eligible for FEDVIP coverage; there is no spousal asset, temporary extension of coverage or right to convert to an individual policy in FEDVIP. These changes are made through www.benefeds.com.

Federal long-term care insurance program
Anyone enrolled in the federal long-term care insurance program at the time of a divorce can retain this coverage by continuing to pay premiums. However, an ex-spouse not covered at the time of a divorce would not be eligible to initially enroll thereafter.

Flexible Spending Accounts
Divorce or legal separation is an eligible status event that allows for changes in Flexible Spending Account allocations. These changes are made through www.fsafeds.com.

savings savings plan
A judgment of divorce, annulment or legal separation may assign a participant’s TSP account to a person other than the participant, such as a spouse or ex-spouse.

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