[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 73 (Tuesday, April 17, 2007)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 19099-19100]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-7267]


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OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

5 CFR Part 890

RIN 3206-AI62


Waiver of Requirements for Continued Coverage During Retirement

AGENCY: Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: Final Rule.

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SUMMARY: Under current Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program 
regulations, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) may waive the 
eligibility requirements for health benefits coverage as an annuitant 
for an individual when, in its sole discretion, it determines that it 
would be against equity and good conscience not to allow a person to be 
enrolled in the FEHB Program as an annuitant. The regulations state 
that an individual's failure to satisfy eligibility requirements must 
be due to exceptional circumstances. They also list specific situations 
where a waiver will not be granted by OPM such as when an individual's 
retirement is based on a disability or an involuntary separation, or 
when an individual was misadvised by his/her employing office. This 
final regulation eliminates these specific situations from the 
regulation. This final regulation provides OPM with more flexibility 
when granting waivers.

EFFECTIVE DATE: May 17, 2007.

ADDRESSES: This document is available for viewing at the U.S. Office of 
Personnel Management, 1900 E Street, NW., Washington DC 20415. Send all 
comments to Michael Kaszynski, Insurance Policy, U.S. Office of 
Personnel Management, 1900 E Street, NW., Room 3415, Washington DC 
20415.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Kaszynski, Policy Analyst, at 
202-606-0004.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under 5 U.S.C. 8905(b), OPM may waive the 
eligibility requirements for health benefits coverage as an annuitant 
for an individual when, in its sole discretion, it determines that it 
would be against equity and good conscience not to allow a person to be 
enrolled in the FEHB Program as an annuitant. Under 5 CFR 890.108, an 
individual's failure to satisfy eligibility requirements must be due to 
exceptional circumstances. An individual requesting a waiver must 
provide OPM with evidence that (1) the individual intended to have FEHB 
coverage as an annuitant (retiree); (2) the circumstances that 
prevented the individual from meeting the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 
8905(b) were beyond the individual's control; and (3) the individual 
acted reasonably to protect his or her right to continue coverage into 
retirement.
    Section 890.108 lists specific situations where a waiver will not 
be granted by OPM such as when an individual's retirement is based on a 
disability or an involuntary separation, or an individual was 
misadvised by his/her employing office. This final regulation 
eliminates these specific situations from 5 CFR 890.108 to provide more 
flexibility to the waiver process.
    On August 7, 2006, a proposed regulation was published in the 
Federal Register at 71 FR 44592. We received no comments on the 
proposed rule. We have made no changes to this rule from its proposed 
version.

Collection of Information Requirement

    This final rule does not impose information collection and 
recordkeeping requirements that meet the definition of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995's term ``collection of information'' which means 
obtaining, causing to be obtained, soliciting, or requiring the 
disclosure to third parties or the public, of facts or opinions by or 
for an agency, regardless of form or format, calling for either answers 
to identical questions posed to, or identical reporting or 
recordkeeping requirements imposed on ten or more persons, other than 
agencies, instrumentalities, or employees of the United States; or 
answers to questions posed to agencies, instrumentalities, or employees 
of the United States which are to be used for general statistical 
purposes. Consequently, it need not be reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget under the authority of the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires agencies to analyze 
options for regulatory relief of small businesses. For purposes of the 
RFA, small entities include small businesses, nonprofit organizations, 
and government agencies with revenues of $11.5 million or less in any 
one year. This final rulemaking affects FEHB Program health insurance 
eligibility requirements which do not impact the dollar threshold. 
Therefore, I certify that this final regulation will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Regulatory Impact Analysis

    We have examined the impact of this final rule as required by 
Executive Order 12866 (September 1993, Regulatory Planning and Review), 
the RFA (September 16, 1980, Pub. L. 96-354), section 1102(b) of the 
Social Security Act, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, (Pub. L. 
104-4), and Executive Order 13132. Executive Order 12866 (as amended by 
Executive Order 13258, which merely assigns responsibility of duties) 
directs agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available 
regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select 
regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential 
economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive 
impacts, and equity). A regulatory impact analysis must be prepared for 
major rules with economically significant effects ($100 million or more 
in any one year). This rule is not considered a major rule, as defined 
in section 804(2) of title 5, United States Code, because we estimate 
its impact will only affect federal government employment offices. Any 
resulting economic impact would not be expected to exceed the dollar 
threshold.

Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Review

    This final rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and 
Budget in accordance with Executive Order 12866.

[[Page 19100]]

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 890

    Administrative practice and procedure, Government employees, Health 
facilities, Health insurance, Health professionals, Hostages, Iraq, 
Kuwait, Lebanon, Military personnel, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Retirement.

Office of Personnel Management.
Linda M. Springer,
Director.

0
For the reasons set forth in the preamble, OPM is amending 5 CFR part 
890 as follows:

PART 890--FEDERAL EMPLOYEES HEALTH BENEFITS PROGRAM

0
1. The authority citation for part 890 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 8913; Sec.  890.803 also issued under 50 
U.S.C. 403p, 22 U.S.C. 4069c and 4069c-1; subpart L also issued 
under sec. 599C of Pub. L. 101-513, 104 Stat. 2064, as amended; 
Sec.  890.102 also issued under sections 11202(f), 11232(e), 11246 
(b) and (c) of Pub. L. 105-33, 111 Stat. 251; and section 721 of 
Pub. L. 105-261, 112 Stat. 2061, unless otherwise noted.
0
2. Section 890.108 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  890.108  Will OPM waive requirements for continued coverage 
during retirement?

    (a) Under 5 U.S.C. 8905(b), OPM may waive the eligibility 
requirements for health benefits coverage as an annuitant for an 
individual when, in its sole discretion, it determines that due to 
exceptional circumstances it would be against equity and good 
conscience not to allow a person to be enrolled in the FEHB Program as 
an annuitant.
    (b) The individual's failure to satisfy the eligibility 
requirements must be due to exceptional circumstances. An individual 
requesting a waiver must provide OPM with evidence that:
    (1) The individual intended to have FEHB coverage as an annuitant 
(retiree);
    (2) The circumstances that prevented the individual from meeting 
the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 8905(b) were beyond the individual's 
control; and
    (3) The individual acted reasonably to protect his or her right to 
continue coverage into retirement.

[FR Doc. E7-7267 Filed 4-16-07; 8:45 am]
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