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Benefits and Insurance Programs
Federal employees are offered a generous benefits package. A brief description of each benefit program is shown below. Many of the benefits programs are administered for the entire Federal government by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and other organizations. For additional links and information to OPM's and other external organizations' websites, click on one of the "Resources" links to the right.
If you are a new NIST employee and need to complete your benefits elections, click here.
Benefit Program Descriptions
The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program provides Federal employees with many choices of health insurance coverage. Some are open to all eligible employees; some are open only to members of labor organizations; and some depend on the area of residence. They differ in cost and benefits, and employees should study carefully the brochures on all the plans available before selecting coverage. Employees need to consider their family's health care needs, the specific benefits and costs of each plan, and what they can afford to pay. The cost of premiums is shared by the Federal government and the employee. The government pays about 70% of the average premium costs. The FEHB Program is administered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has awarded contracts to insurance carriers that will offer supplemental dental and vision benefits under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). Following an extensive review, OPM has selected the Aetna Life Insurance Company, Government Employees Hospital Association, Inc. (GEHA), MetLife Inc., United Concordia Companies, Inc., Group Health, Inc., CompBenefits, and Triple-S, Inc., to offer dental benefits, and the BlueCross BlueShield Association, Spectera, Inc., and Vision Service Plan (VSP) to offer vision benefits.
Through the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI), NIST employees may be eligible for low-cost term life insurance. Participation is voluntary and the amount of life insurance available is based on the employee's salary. Premiums are conveniently paid through payroll deductions.
The cost of life insurance premiums is shared by the Federal government and the employee, with the government contributing 1/3 of the cost. Accidental death and dismemberment benefits are an added feature at no extra cost. Employees may also buy life insurance coverage for family members at competitive group rates; however, employees pay the full cost of that insurance should they choose to purchase it. The FEGLI Program is administered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are part of the Federal Flexible Benefits Program (or "FedFlex"). FSAs are basically medical savings accounts that allow you to set aside pre-tax money from your paychecks to pay for a variety of eligible expenses associated with medical care and dependent care.
The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) began in January 2003. This insurance is offered to provide an alternative for long term care when an employee is not able to care for him/herself. This care includes, but is not limited to, nursing home care, assisted living facility care, formal and informal in-home care, hospice care, and respite care. This insurance is available to Federal employees, annuitants, current spouses, adult children, parents, parents-in-law, and step-parents of living employees.
Through this program, employees have an opportunity to design their own long term care insurance plan. Premiums are based on the employee's age at the time the insurance is purchased as well as the choices made about the amount of the benefit, length of the policy, the waiting period, and the type of inflation protection selected. Employees pay 100% o the premiums. Coverage is guaranteed renewable and is fully portable.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) contracted with John Hancock and Met Life to provide this insurance. They formed a company called Long Term Care Partners, LLC, to administer the Program. For assistance by phone: