5 CFR § 890.401 - Temporary extension of coverage and conversion.
(a)Thirty-one day extension and conversion.
(1) An enrollee whose enrollment is terminated other than by cancellation of the enrollment or discontinuance of the plan, in whole or part, and a covered family member whose coverage is terminated other than by cancellation of the enrollment or discontinuance of the plan, in whole or in part, is entitled to a 31-day extension of coverage for self only, self plus one, or self and family, as the case may be, without contributions by the enrollee or the Government, during which period he or she is entitled to exercise the right of conversion provided for by this part. The 31-day extension of coverage and the right of conversion for any person ends on the effective date of a new enrollment under this part covering the person.
(b)Continuation of benefits.
(1) Any person who has been granted a 31-day extension of coverage in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section and who is confined in a hospital or other institution for care or treatment on the 31st day of the temporary extension is entitled to continuation of the benefits of the plan during the continuance of the confinement but not beyond the 60th day after the end of the temporary extension.
(2) Except when a plan is discontinued in whole or in part or the Associate Director for Retirement and Insurance orders an enrollment change, a person whose enrollment has been changed from one plan to another, or from one option of a plan to the other option of that plan, and who is confined to a hospital or other institution for care or treatment on the last day of enrollment under the prior plan or option, is entitled to continuation of the benefits of the prior plan or option during the continuance of the confinement. Continuation of benefits shall not extend beyond the 91st day after the last day of enrollment in the prior plan or option. The plan or option to which enrollment has been changed shall not pay benefits with respect to that person while he or she is entitled to any inpatient benefits under the prior plan or option. The gaining plan or option shall begin coverage according to the limits of its FEHB Program contract on the day after the day all inpatient benefits have been exhausted under the prior plan or option or the 92nd day after the last day of enrollment in the prior plan or option, whichever is earlier. For the purposes of this paragraph, “exhausted” means paid or provided to the maximum benefit available under the contract.
(3)Exception. The limit on the number of confinement days allowed to be covered under the continuation of benefits specified by paragraph (b)(2) of this subpart does not apply to confinements in a hospital or other institution when the charges and benefit payments for the services provided are covered by the limit specified in subpart I of this part. In these cases, the benefits continue until the end of the confinement.
(2) The individual whose enrollment terminates must request conversion information from the losing carrier within 31 days of the date of the agency notice of the termination of the enrollment and of the right to convert.
(3) When an agency fails to provide the notification required in paragraph (c)(1) of this section within 60 days of the date the enrollment terminates, or the individual fails for other reasons beyond his or her control to request conversion as required in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, he or she may request conversion to an individual policy by writing directly to the carrier. Such a request must be filed within 6 months after the individual became eligible to convert his or her group coverage and must be accompanied by verification of termination of the enrollment; e.g., an SF 50, showing the individual's separation from the service. In addition, the individual must show that he or she was not notified of the termination of the enrollment and of the right to convert, and was not otherwise aware of it, or that he or she was unable, for cause beyond his or her control, to convert. The carrier will determine if the individual is eligible to convert; and when the determination is affirmative, the individual may convert within 31 days of the determination. If the determination by the carrier is negative, the individual may request a review of the carrier's determination from OPM.
(4) When an individual converts his or her coverage anytime after the group coverage has ended, the individual plan coverage is retroactive to the day following the day the temporary extension of group coverage ended. The individual must pay the premiums due for the retroactive period.
(5) An individual who fails to exercise his or her rights to convert to an individual policy within 31 days after receiving notice of the right to convert from the carrier is deemed to have declined the right to convert unless the carrier, or, upon review, OPM determines the failure was for cause beyond his or her control.