§ 892.211What options are available to me if I go on a period of leave without pay (LWOP) or other types of non-pay status?
(a) Your commencement of a period of LWOP is a qualifying life event as described in § 892.101. You may change your premium conversion election (waive if you now participate, or participate if you now waive).
(1) You may continue your FEHB coverage by agreeing in advance of LWOP to one of the payment options described in paragraph (b)(2), (b)(3), or (b)(4) of this section.
(2)Pre-pay. Prior to commencement of your LWOP you may allot through payroll deduction the amount that will be due for your share of your FEHB premium during your LWOP period, if your employing agency, at its discretion, allows you to do so. Contributions under the pre-pay option may be made through premium conversion on a pre-tax basis. Alternatively, you may pre-pay premiums for the LWOP period on an after-tax basis.
(3)Direct pay. Under the direct pay option, you may pay your share of your FEHB premium on the same schedule of payments that would be made if you were not on LWOP, as described in § 890.502(b) of this chapter. You must make the premium payments directly to your employing agency. The payments you make under the direct pay option are not subject to premium conversion, and are made on an after-tax basis.
(4)Catch-up. Under the catch-up option, you must agree in advance of the LWOP period that: you will continue FEHB coverage while on LWOP; your employer will advance your share of your FEHB premium during your LWOP period; and you will repay the advanced amounts when you return from LWOP. (Described in § 890.502(b) of this chapter.) Your catch-up contributions may be made through premium conversion.
(5) If you remain in FEHB upon your return from LWOP, your catch-up premiums and current premiums will be paid at the same time.
(c) Your return from LWOP constitutes a qualifying life event as described in § 892.101. You may change your premium conversion election (waive if you now participate, or participate if you now waive). The election you choose upon return from LWOP will apply to your current as well as your catch-up premiums.