Those who wish to have a dependent care and/or health care FSA in 2024 must make a new election during the open season. Image: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com

While most of the attention focuses on the FEHB health insurance program during the annual benefits open season—this year November 13-December 11—the open season also provides federal employees and retirees the opportunity to elect or change vision and/or dental coverage in the FEDVIP program, and for employees to begin or renew flexible spending accounts for the new year.

In FEDVIP, premiums will be essentially flat for 2024 with no changes in the plans available. All vision plans are national while some of the dental plans are national and others regional.

As with the FEHB program, in FEDVIP an existing enrollment will continue next year unless changed, subject to the new premium rates and any changes in benefits. But unlike FEHB, retirees who are not already enrolled can elect vision, dental or both types of coverage under FEDVIP.

Those who wish to have a dependent care and/or health care flexible spending account in 2024 must make a new election during the open season. The IRS has not yet announced the 2024 maximums, but for a health care account it likely will be something above this year’s figure of $3,050 individually, due to an inflation adjustment, while the maximum for dependent care accounts is expected to remain $5,000, individually or for a couple.

Both are “use or lose” although for dependent care accounts there is a grace period of 10 weeks into the following year to use the designated money, and in health care accounts up to $610 of unspent 2023 money can be carried over into 2024. The individual must have an account in the following year to use those features.

The open season does not apply to the other two federal insurance programs, the FEGLI life insurance program and the FLTCIP long-term care insurance program. FEGLI conducts open seasons only rarely, although new enrollments or coverage changes are allowed in certain circumstances at other times. The FLTCIP is not accepting new applications for enrollment or changes in existing enrollment through the end of 2024.

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2024 Federal Employees Handbook