Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program Selects Four Vision Plans for 2014

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) selected insurance carriers who will offer benefits under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). OPM offered three contracts for vision and seven for dental in 2013 and will increase that to four for vision and 10 for dental in 2013, the first expansion since the program was created in 2006. For 2014, OPM will award contracts for vision plans to Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealthcare and VSP. (Vision plans offered in 2013 were Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealthcare and VSP, according to an OPM spokesperson). The dental plans selected for 2014 are Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Delta Dental, Dominion Dental, Emblem Health, GEHA, Human, MetLife, Triple S and United Concordia.

Vision plans cover costs such as annual exams, lenses and frames. In the FEDVIP program, federal employees and retirees can purchase one or the other type of coverage or both, and can cover certain family members. It is separate from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, and unlike in the FEHBP, there is no government contribution toward premiums. The law requires that the contracts under the FEDVIP program be available for seven years. However, premium rates and benefits packages are negotiated on an annual basis under the terms of the contracts. This is the first time since 2006 that OPM has opened the program up for new contracts and reviewed new company applications. OPM announces specifics of coverage and premium rates each fall for the following calendar year, and there is an open season from early November to early December for eligible persons to join or make enrollment changes.

“Over the last six and a half years, the FEDVIP program has allowed Federal employees, retirees, and their families to access quality vision and dental coverage,” said OPM acting director Elaine Kaplan. “I am pleased that we were able to increase the number of carriers participating in the program, and now we will be offering more choices and flexibility for enrollees to select insurance coverage. We will be announcing the premium rates and benefits coverage later this year before open season begins.”