While the Federal Employee Health Benefits program and the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program are both forms of health insurance, their eligibility rules differ in substantial ways.
Like the FEHB program, in FEDVIP:
• eligible individuals can enroll during any open season or from their first opportunity to enroll,
• there are no pre-existing condition limitations;
• enrollment changes are allowed at life events such as marriage or the birth or adoption of a child, and
• employees – but not retirees – are able to pay their premiums on a pre-tax basis (in fact, they must).
Unlike the FEHB program, in FEDVIP:
• enrollees pay the entire premium cost of the coverage,
• there isn’t any “five-year” rule for eligibility as a retiree,
• children are covered only to age 22 (not 26) and further must be unmarried and dependent on the enrollee, and
• employees who retire on an immediate annuity can enroll after they retire and can move in and out of the program in retirement if they wish.
Note: Under both FEDVIP and FEHB, there is an exception to the age cutoff for children disabled before the ages that otherwise apply.