Among the optional federal employee benefits, participation rates varied among respondents to this year’s survey, ranging from 96 percent participating in the TSP to only 4 percent in dependent care flexible spending accounts. After the TSP, the highest percentages were enrolled in the FEHB, 84 percent; FEGLI, 78; FEDVIP dental, 61; and FEDVIP vision, 49. Reasons for bypassing optional benefits varied by program: in FLTCIP, for example, the most commonly cited reason was lack of information, in the TSP it was because of lack of money available to invest, and in FEDVIP dental and FEGLI it was because the employee already has similar coverage from another source. That also was the most commonly cited reason for not enrolling in the FEHB, with the most common source of other coverage being the military Tricare program, followed by coverage through a spouse’s employment or retirement benefits. Only 3 percent of those not enrolled in the FEHB cited cost as the main reason.
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