Updates from OPM
Excepted employees, you have options to take annual or sick leave during the government shutdown. From updated OPM guidance:
Excepted employees can request time and take approved leave as you normally would. Time will be charged from your personal leave banks, and you will not be paid for those hours, until after the shutdown ends.
As an alternative, excepted employees may take approved “default furlough status” for the hours or days that would otherwise be charged leave. Those taking “furlough status” will be paid after the shutdown ends, and will not be charged leave.
OPM says those who fail to show up for work during the shutdown without approval from their supervisors will be considered “absent without leave” (AWOL) for that time.
Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) coverage continues. Contributions toward your health premiums accumulate and are withheld until the government reopens and impacted employees receive back pay.
Any changes you may have made during open season should have gone into effect Jan. 1, regardless of the current shutdown.
Any new enrollments or changes because of a ‘qualifying life event’ generally will not go into effect until that employee returns to pay status. According to OPM, the birth or addition of a child is the exception.
Dental and Vision
Coverage under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Program (FEDVIP) continued during the first two consecutive pay periods. As employees are about to miss their second paycheck, OPM has suggested BENFEDS will begin mailing you directly, requesting your premiums out of pocket.
Group Life Insurance
Coverage under the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) continues for up to a year under non-pay status and only collects premiums if employees are receiving pay.