New Postal Reform Bill
The Postal Service Reform Act of 2021 (H.R.3076), was introduced May 11th by the
House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-NY.
The bill would create a new Postal Service Health Benefits (PSHB) program
beginning in January 2023, and would provide separate health plans for postal
employees and retirees, parallel to current FEHB plans. For example, there would
be a Blue Cross/Blue Shield Standard plan for Feds and a separate one for postal
employees and retirees. The bill requires coverage in each to be “actuarially
equivalent”, so that each plan covers a similar amount of expected costs.
The good news is that this bill would preserve the choice for postal retirees regarding Medicare Part B enrollment. However, choosing not to enroll in Medicare
would require current postal retirees to remain in the FEHB program. If a postal
retiree enrolls in the PSHB program, that retiree must enroll in Medicare Part B. For
those ages 65 or older without Medicare, the bill also provides a new opportunity
to enroll in Medicare Part B without a late penalty. Postal retirees younger than 65
would have the option to enroll in either a FEHB or PSHB plan. But once a retiree
is eligible for Medicare (age 65), enrollment in Medicare would be required upon
enrollment in a PSHB plan, and that retiree cannot go back to an FEHB plan. Current
employees would be required to enroll in Medicare once they turn age 65 and are retired.
Mandatory Stand-Up Talk
Verify Eligible Family Member Enrollments for FEHB
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management is requiring all federal agencies to
verify eligible family members, who are enrolled in the Federal Employees Health
Benefits Program, also known as FEHB.
This means that the Postal Service, the Office of Personnel Management, and insurance companies that offer FEHB plans can request proof of family member eligibility
from an employee at any time for existing self plus one and self and family enrollments.
To comply with this regulation, postal service employees who are currently enrolled in FEHB coverage must take the time to verify the eligibility for any or all family
members covered under their FEHB enrollment. Eligible family members include your
current spouse, your children under age 26, including adopted children, stepchildren
and foster children under certain circumstances, and adult children incapable of self
support because of a mental or physical disability that existed before age 26.
Any changes in the status of eligible family members must be done using the
PostalEaseFEHB worksheet (USPS-24).
The updated form must be mailed or faxed to the USPS Human Resources
Shared Service Center by August 31st at this address: HRSSC/Benefits, PO Box
970400, Greensboro, NC 27497-0400.
The completed form can also be faxed to 651-994-3543. If you have questions,
call the HRSSC at 877-477-3273.
Thank you for the great job you do every day.