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FEMA may offer intermittent employees FEHB coverage

The Office of Personnel Management issued an interim final rule last week to change Federal Employees Health Benefits Program regulations to make “certain employees who work on intermittent schedules” eligible to enroll an FEHB health benefits plan.

The Office of Personnel Management issued an interim final rule last week to change Federal Employees Health Benefits Program regulations to make “certain employees who work on intermittent schedules” eligible to enroll an FEHB health benefits plan.

The rule was aimed at opening coverage to part-time employees deployed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to aid in Super Storm Sandy emergency response operations.

Under the Administrative Procedure Act, OPM was able to issue the rule quickly, without first publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking, because OPM determined “for good cause, that notice and public comment are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.”

The interim final rule, which opens the door for FEMA to apply to OPM for authorization to offer FEHB to the workers, became effective Nov. 9. OPM issued a similar regulation in July that opened FEHB coverage to temporary wildland firefighters and fire protection personnel.

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