The open season in the FLTCIP long-term care insurance program April 4-May 27 applies only to active, not retired, federal employees and their spouses and qualifying domestic partners.

The open season, the first since the program first became available in 2002, will allow active employees, spouses and same-sex domestic partners who meet certain standards to enter the program using only an “abbreviated” application form. The open season was ordered due to a recent change in policy making those domestic partners eligible.

Eligible persons can join the program at any time. Newly hired employees and their spouses, along with newly acquired spouses of current employees, and similarly situated domestic partners, may apply for the program using the abbreviated application within 60 days of becoming eligible. Otherwise, outside of an open season, full underwriting applies.

However, individuals eligible for the coverage in more than one category can choose the status from which to apply. For example, a retiree who is reemployed in a federal job that conveys eligibility for FLTCIP (as most do) could apply as a newly hired active employee, not as a retiree, and be subject only to abbreviated underwriting during the 60 days after the hiring.