Reg Jones Expert's View

As I mentioned last week, the self plus one option in the FEHB program is now a reality and will be available during this year’s open season for the 2016 plan year. To prepare you for the launching of this new option, I’ve prepared a few Q&As that may be helpful.

When is this year’s Open Season? It will run from November 9 through December 14.

Who is an eligible family member for self plus one coverage?

  • your spouse, including a valid common law marriage
  • your child under age 26, including
    – a recognized natural child
    – a legally adopted child
    – a stepchild, including the child of same-sex domestic partners
    – a child age 26 or older who is incapable of self-support because of a mental of physical disability that existed before age 26
    – a foster child who meets certain requirements, with your signed certification

How can I elect the self plus one option? You can do that by filling out a Standard Form 2809, available from your personnel office, or online at

When can I elect the self plus one option? During any FEHB open season or if you meet one of the qualifying life events that allow you to make a change outside of open season. For example, if you are a single parent who covered one of your children and that child loses coverage when he or she turns 26, you could elect to cover another of your children. On the other hand, if you and your spouse were enrolled in the self plus one option and had a child, you wouldn’t be able to drop your spouse in order to cover the child. To cover all three of you, you’d be allowed to switch to self and family coverage.

Will my agency automatically change my enrollment to self plus one if my self and family enrollment only covers me and one other eligible family member? No. You have to elect that coverage.

If my spouse and I are covered under individual self only enrollments, can one of us elect self plus one coverage to include an eligible child? Yes, because there wouldn’t be any dual enrollments, which are prohibited.

I know you have more questions than I have answered here.

To help you fully understand this new benefit for the upcoming FEHB open season, FEDweek is holding a live webinar on this very topic, including the new self plus one option. For more information on this upcoming live webinar go to