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Adding a Family Member

Adding a new member to your family is a time of joy and anticipation. Let us help you with this transition by providing you with the resources you need to plan for the arrival of your new child, and for your return to work after the baby arrives.

We can also provide guidance and support to employees who are adding a new stepchild to their family through marriage or who are welcoming a new child through adoption.

Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program

Adding a new dependent to your health insurance is simple, as long as you already have a self-and-family plan. If you already have a self-and-family plan, you will need to notify the health carrier that you wish to enroll your new child. The health carrier may require that you submit a copy of child's birth certificate or adoption paperwork.

If you are changing your coverage from self only, you may increase to self-plus-one or to self-and-family coverage by completing and submitting the Health Benefits Election Form (SF-2809) (PDF, 17 pages, 868 KB) and a copy of your child's birth certificate or adoption paperwork to your Human Resources office.

NOTE: You will have the period beginning 31 days before and ending 60 days after the date of birth or adoption to change your FEHB enrollment.

Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)

If you are enrolled under the Self Only FEDVIP plan, you may increase to self-plus-one or to self-and-family coverage. You must change your enrollment on-line at: or by calling (877) 888-3337.

You will have the period beginning 31 days before and ending 60 days after the date of the qualifying life event to make your change.

Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS)

You may be able to enroll in an FSAFEDS health care flexible spending account and/or dependent care account or change your current election(s) from 31 days before the event to 60 days after the event. For the health care account, you must also be eligible to enroll in the FEHB Program. Your requested change must be consistent with the event and you cannot enroll or increase your election(s) after October 1st (you have to wait until the annual Federal Benefits Open Season).

To enroll or change your enrollment, contact FSAFEDS at: (877) 372-3337, or visit the FSAFEDS website.

Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program

You may elect to increase your FEGLI coverage and/or elect coverage under the Family Option, because of a qualifying life event. If you currently have Basic coverage, you may elect Option B; you may add as many multiples as additional family members (spouse and eligible children) that you have resulting from the marriage up to five multiples. Under Option C, you may designate from one to five multiples, regardless of the number of eligible family members you have.

You must submit the Life Insurance Election Form (SF-2817) (PDF, 6 pages, 101 KB) along with a copy of your marriage certificate to your human resources office.

NOTE: You will have the period beginning 31 days before and ending 60 days after the date of the event to submit this form.

Beneficiary Forms

Any time you are adding a new family member, you should take the opportunity to review your Electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF) for any current Designation of Beneficiary Forms that you may have on file. If there are none and you do not complete any new forms, upon your death all of your Federal benefits would go, by law, to your surviving spouse, unless you have designated other beneficiaries. If you previously filed Designation of Beneficiary Forms and named one or more beneficiaries, you will need to review the forms to determine whether you wish to make any changes. If you revise any beneficiary forms, the original forms should be sent to your human resources office. The designations are not valid until received and certified. Please visit OPM for more information about updating beneficiary forms.

Employee Support Programs

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides a number of resources for employees who are greeting a new family member. Contact your EAP for assistance with any of the following:

  • Adoption Support- including information on the process and referrals to adoption agencies
  • Child care search- including verified availability
  • Lactation support – including discounts and information

Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides employees and their eligible family members with up no cost counseling and legal and financial consultation. All services are confidential. View contact information for your component EAP.

Last Published Date: March 7, 2019

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