There are about a dozen plan options leaving the federal government’s health insurance program in 2024, meaning employees should check up on their coverage.
In any given year, plans can change by leaving the program, reducing service areas, eliminating a particular type of option or expanding.
This year, Humana’s exit from the program is one of the more sweeping changes affecting a handful of states and just under 10,000 subscribers. It’s also partly the reason there are fewer choices available to enrollees this year. For 2024, there 67 participating carriers offering a total of 157 plan choices, down from 271 last year.
Other plans options that will be unavailable beginning in 2024 include certain United Healthcare plan options in Florida and Georgia; the Indiana University Health Plan; Aetna Open Access in the Kansas, City, area; and AultCare in Ohio.
Two plans are also reducing coverage for certain geographic areas. United Healthcare is dropping the entire state of Kentucky and Iowa from its high-deductible health plan coverage.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of California and Kaiser Permanente Colorado are dropping certain counties.
See exactly how your plan is changing and what locations are affected in this chart.
Expansions and new options for 2024
On the other hand, there are some newly available choices that may apply to you this year.
While Kaiser Permanente in Colorado is eliminating certain counties from coverage, it’s also adding some.
New counties are also coming under Florida’s Capital Health Plan, Michigan’s Health Alliance and South Dakota’s Health Partners.
Compass Rose added a nationwide standard option and expanded enrollment criteria to include all employees and retirees of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Note that this plan is exclusive to workers employed by the intelligence community, Department of State, Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security.
Sentara Health Plans, previously Optima Health, is a newcomer to the FEHB program and will offer a high plan option to beneficiaries in 11 northern Virginia counties.
No matter where you live, OPM says you’ll have at least 17 nationwide fee-for-service plan options open to you, according to OPM.
What happens if I let my carrier lapse?
So you realized your carrier is leaving you out of coverage next year. Don’t panic.
Even if you decide to do nothing, you’ll still have health care because you will automatically be placed into the lowest cost plan as determined by OPM.
That is GEHA’s indemnity benefit plan, elevate option. Now, that might not be what you want, so you can also make a voluntary selection during open enrollment, which begins Nov. 13.
There’s an exception for those who are currently pregnant or are seeing a specialist for a chronic condition. They can continue whatever treatments they’re on through postpartum or for up to 90 days after a health plan has stated they’re leaving the program.
When do these changes take effect?
New health care coverage kicks in on the first day of the pay period beginning on or after Jan. 1.
That means for most employees, they’ll have activated coverage on Jan. 14. Your previous coverage will remain in effect until your new plan takes over.
Open enrollment ends Dec. 11.
Molly Weisner is a staff reporter for Federal Times where she covers labor, policy and contracting pertaining to the government workforce. She made previous stops at USA Today and McClatchy as a digital producer, and worked at The New York Times as a copy editor. Molly majored in journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.