OPM Reacts to the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006

President Bush signed the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 yesterday (see 12/20 FEHBlog entry) and in response the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is allowing the following actions that are permitted under this law:

  • Agencies may accept belated Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) open season enrollments in a [High Deductible Health Plan] HDHP with a [Health Savings Account] HSA through December 31, 2006, for employees who are otherwise eligible for an HSA. [The regular Open Season closed on December 11.] Contact your agency Human Resources office for instructions.
  • SHPS, the FSAFEDS administrator, will allow FSAFEDS enrollees to revoke their HCFSA or change their HCFSA to a Limited Expense HCFSA (LEX HCFSA) for 2007, so that they may enroll in an HDHP with an HSA. Anyone enrolling in an HDHP may also elect a LEX HCFSA [an FSA limited to dental and vision expenses]. Enrollees should go to www.fsafeds.gov for instructions. >THIS CHANGE MUST BE MADE ON OR BEFORE DECEMBER 31, 2006.
  • Current FEHB Program HDHP enrollees with a [Health Reimbursement Arrangement] HRA may make a one-time transfer of the HRA balance to an HSA if they are otherwise eligible for an HSA in 2007.
  • FEHB Program enrollees who choose HDHP coverage for 2007 may make a one-time balance transfer from a 2006 HCFSA [Health Care FSA] to an HSA. Anyone who enrolls now or enrolled in an HDHP during Open Season will have to transfer any remaining HCFSA funds to be eligible to have an HSA.
  • For FSAFEDS enrollees wishing to make such a transfer, there may be a small processing fee for the transfer. FSAFEDS will notify participants regarding of any fee. The transfer will be made after the payment is received.