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Open season changes announced

Several changes have occurred that could affect USPS employees’ benefits selections during this year’s open season.

The Postal Service wants employees to know about some important changes concerning the open season benefits enrollment period that began this week.

Here’s a rundown:

• The U.S. Office of Personnel Management recently announced that the average total premiums for individuals enrolled in plans under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) will increase 4 percent for 2020.

This means premiums could increase as much as $1,000 a year for some plans.

You can use Checkbooks’ Guide to Health Plans, an online tool available on LiteBlue, to review your insurance rates for 2020. Because rates are increasing, USPS is encouraging you to compare plans and ensure you aren’t overspending on health care.

• There are new pre-tax limits for flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).

The FSA health care expense cap for 2020 is $2,750 and the TSP cap is $19,500, while the TSP cap for “catch-up contributions” is $6,500.

You can go to the FSAFEDS site to learn more about flexible spending accounts and to enroll, and you can use LiteBlue to makes changes to your TSP contributions.

You can make TSP changes at any time.

Given the amount of changes taking place during open season this year, the Postal Service is encouraging employees to visit the Open Season LiteBlue page, which provides information on premiums, virtual benefits fair information, helpful videos on choosing the right plan and access to Checkbook’s Guide to Heath Plans.

Open season, the once-a-year opportunity for Postal Service employees to make changes to their health coverage or choose a new plan, began Nov. 11 and runs through Dec. 9.

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