Retirement & Financial Planning Report

Several special considerations apply regarding enrollments in the FLTCIP long-term care insurance program that might drive a decision regarding whether to enroll as an active employee or as a retiree.

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. That policy also applies as a general matter within 60 days after the hiring, even outside the open season.

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The effective date of enrollment in most cases is the first of the month after an application is approved—not after it is submitted. Someone who applies for coverage as an active employee but who retires before the coverage is effective would have to reapply as a retiree.

Parents of active employees are eligible to enroll but parents of retirees aren’t. Thus, if you want your parents to enroll, they would have to do it before you retire, unless they would be otherwise eligible.

Those who take out the coverage and then separate without eligibility for an immediate annuity can continue their coverage—although they could not use payroll withholding for premiums but instead would have to make payments directly or arrange automatic deductions from a financial institution account. But they no longer would have the option of enrolling for the first time unless they are otherwise eligible.

Eligible family members can continue coverage after the individual separates from service if they already had coverage (even if the employed person didn’t elect coverage) but they could not enroll for the first time.

In order for a surviving spouse of a federal employee or a surviving spouse of a federal annuitant to be eligible to apply for this insurance, he/she must be eligible for a federal survivor annuity (although if the survivor had previously enrolled the coverage would continue as long as premiums were paid).