Individuals eligible to apply for Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program coverage are:
- Federal employees and members of the uniformed services. This includes employees of the U.S. Postal Service and Tennessee Valley Authority, but does not include employees of the District of Columbia government. For federal and postal employees, in general if you are in a position eligible for FEHB coverage, you are eligible for this program (whether enrolled in FEHB or not — the key is eligibility).
- Federal annuitants, surviving spouses of deceased federal or postal employees or annuitants who are receiving a federal survivor annuity or who separated and who will be eligible for a deferred annuity, individuals receiving compensation from the Department of Labor who are separated from the federal service, members or former members of the uniformed services entitled to retired or retainer pay, and retired military reservists before or at the time they qualify for an annuity.
- Current spouses of employees and annuitants (including surviving spouses of members and retired members of the uniformed services who are receiving a survivor annuity).
- Adult children (at least 18 years old, including adopted children and stepchildren) of living employees and annuitants.
Parents, parents-in-law, and stepparents of living employees (but not of annuitants).
The law gives the Office of Personnel Management authority to issue regulations to cover other relatives. However, for now OPM has not added any eligible persons to the list mandated by law.
Newly hired employees and their spouses may apply for the program using the “abbreviated” application within 60 days of becoming eligible (this could be a consideration for annuitants who are rehired into federal jobs). After that time, they can still apply, but will have to use the “full” application form. Eligible employees and spouses not enrolling during the 2002 enrollment opportunities may enroll afterward but have to undergo full underwriting.
Note: There may be future open seasons during which employees and spouses not enrolling during the 2002 initial early enrollment or open season periods would be able to sign up and be subject only to abbreviated underwriting. These opportunities will be determined by OPM.
The effective date of enrollment in most cases is the first of the month after an application is approved — not after it is submitted. Generally, if you leave the eligible group during this time period, your insurance will not become effective.
However, if you apply as an employee and are involuntarily separated from your federal job (other than for gross misconduct) after your application is approved but before your coverage effective date, your coverage will still become effective. Also, if you apply as a qualified relative and the eligible person that you are related to either dies or is involuntarily separated from federal service after your application is approved but before your coverage effective date, your coverage will still become effective.
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.
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.
For an enrollment kit, contact your personnel office or call 1-800-582-3337 (TDD 1-800-843-3557).