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Open season for federal employees

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --  Andre Davis, a health insurance company representative, answers questions about the current health care plans available to federal employees here Monday, Nov. 18. (Courtesy Photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Andre Davis, a health insurance company representative, answers questions about the current health care plans available to federal employees here Monday, Nov. 18. (Courtesy Photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Tammy Martin, a Vandenberg AFB federal employee, talks with health insurance company representative Janice Abercrombie about current health care plan options during a health fair event here Monday, Nov. 18. (Courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Tammy Martin, a Vandenberg AFB federal employee, talks with health insurance company representative Janice Abercrombie about current health care plan options during a health fair event here Monday, Nov. 18. (Courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- "Open season is a time for appropriated fund employees and retirees to enroll, change, or cancel their Federal Employee Health Benefits," said Nancy Lawrence, 30th Force Support Squadron
Labor and Employee Relations chief. "Employees can also enroll in Dental & Vision and elect to enroll in a Flexible Spending Account. The open season for 2013 is Nov. 11 through Dec. 9."

To publicize the open season, the annual health fair was held Nov. 18, with more than 150 participants. The health fair had more than 10 representatives from a variety of health plans, as well as Vandenberg's Health and Wellness Center and Fitness Center representatives, to answer questions for current and retired civilian employees.

"Open season is a time for employees to make changes they would not normally be allowed to make the rest of the year, unless there was a significant life event," said Lawrence. "As an example, when premiums change or co-payments change to a higher rate, employees and retirees can change to another health plan during open season that better fits their needs. For the Flexible Spending Accounts, employees must re-enroll every year during open season, as their needs may change from year to year."

Personnel also have access to a series of informational webcasts covering the changes they can make during open season. Webcasts can be accessed at http://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/open-season/resources/informational- webcasts.

"Making sure one's health benefits cover each individual's specific needs should be a priority," said Lawrence. "It's important for employees and retirees to do their research prior to making FEHB changes."