Health Benefits

#1
So in the temporary offer letter it mentions benefits while we re waiting for employment. Per the offer letter:

"During this temporary appointment, you will earn annual and sick leave. You will also be eligible for other federal benefits to include; health insurance, life insurance, retirement benefits, as well as participation in the Thrift Savings Plan which is similar to a 401K."

Is this referring to only when you get to the acadmey or are we eligible for these benefits now? Just wanted to clarify in case we are eligible now. The wording was a bit confusing. Thanks.
 

Snow

Developmental
#2
Once you’re appointed meaning your first day you start not now. You start on probationary status hence why it’s a temporary appointment until 1 year and then you’re permanent.
 
#3
Once you’re appointed meaning your first day you start not now. You start on probationary status hence why it’s a temporary appointment until 1 year and then you’re permanent.
Ah, that makes sense. That's what I figured but I thought I'd double check it.
 

GMX

Chow Runner
#5
This is correct. The day you start at the Academy is Day 1, also known as your Service Computation Date (SCD). This date sets all your seniority, retirement dates, vesting, etc. It will stay with you through any and all Federal jobs you may hold, not just the FAA. You'll be on probationary status for a year meaning you can be terminated without "cause".

Also, in regards to the TSP, you may start contributing from day 1 (you will receive an automatic 1% contribution from the agency whether you contribute or not). The agency automatic 1% and any other matching up to 5% is subject to revocation until you are "vested" which is on the 3rd anniversary of your SCD. In other words if one resigns or is terminated before vesting, the gov't takes their TSP money back! Most people do at least a 5% contribution to obtain the maximum 5% matching funds from the gov't.

If you join the TSP your contributions will all go into the Traditional TSP G fund until you change it. The G fund is stable but very little growth, so get with an advisor to assess risk and choose the right funds. Most people at least use the Lifecycle Funds but one can do better with individual funds if they know what they're doing and have a tolerance for risk. The Traditional TSP uses your pre-tax or "tax deferred" dollars to fund it, and the Roth TSP uses after tax dollars to build the account. When you retire you either pay taxes on the traditional version or pay zero taxes on the Roth version. All gov't contributions and matches go into Traditional though. Get your tsp.gov password ASAP and manage your funds! All the data tells us that early and steady investment into retirement accounts (with funds that have a good return) is what makes millionaires and generational wealth.

Sign up for the FEGLI group life insurance day 1 and max out all the categories you can. They have open season VERY rarely...the last 3 were 1999, 2004, and 2016! If you have qualifying life events and are already enrolled you can make changes but it's good to get in on the ground floor. I have everything maxed out and with a wife and kids it's around $600K in coverage for about $35 per paycheck, When one reaches 45 years old though, the benefits start to reduce and the premiums start to become cost prohibitive compared to buying private term life insurance. Before that though, it's a great deal.

If you want to know anything else, just ask. I really like to help people with this type of information.
 
#6
This is correct. The day you start at the Academy is Day 1, also known as your Service Computation Date (SCD). This date sets all your seniority, retirement dates, vesting, etc. It will stay with you through any and all Federal jobs you may hold, not just the FAA. You'll be on probationary status for a year meaning you can be terminated without "cause".

Also, in regards to the TSP, you may start contributing from day 1 (you will receive an automatic 1% contribution from the agency whether you contribute or not). The agency automatic 1% and any other matching up to 5% is subject to revocation until you are "vested" which is on the 3rd anniversary of your SCD. In other words if one resigns or is terminated before vesting, the gov't takes their TSP money back! Most people do at least a 5% contribution to obtain the maximum 5% matching funds from the gov't.

If you join the TSP your contributions will all go into the Traditional TSP G fund until you change it. The G fund is stable but very little growth, so get with an advisor to assess risk and choose the right funds. Most people at least use the Lifecycle Funds but one can do better with individual funds if they know what they're doing and have a tolerance for risk. The Traditional TSP uses your pre-tax or "tax deferred" dollars to fund it, and the Roth TSP uses after tax dollars to build the account. When you retire you either pay taxes on the traditional version or pay zero taxes on the Roth version. All gov't contributions and matches go into Traditional though. Get your tsp.gov password ASAP and manage your funds! All the data tells us that early and steady investment into retirement accounts (with funds that have a good return) is what makes millionaires and generational wealth.

Sign up for the FEGLI group life insurance day 1 and max out all the categories you can. They have open season VERY rarely...the last 3 were 1999, 2004, and 2016! If you have qualifying life events and are already enrolled you can make changes but it's good to get in on the ground floor. I have everything maxed out and with a wife and kids it's around $600K in coverage for about $35 per paycheck, When one reaches 45 years old though, the benefits start to reduce and the premiums start to become cost prohibitive compared to buying private term life insurance. Before that though, it's a great deal.

If you want to know anything else, just ask. I really like to help people with this type of information.
Lets say a trainee enrolls in the health benefits plan day 1, and 4 months later that trainee has a heart attack the day after failing out. Is he or she still covered under insurance?
 

River

Chow Runner
#7
Lets say a trainee enrolls in the health benefits plan day 1, and 4 months later that trainee has a heart attack the day after failing out. Is he or she still covered under insurance?
It depends on a lot of factors; when you separate from a position (it doesn't matter the reason), the employer can yank your health benefits right away but you typically can keep them through the end of the month (this is what happened when I separated from my previous Federal employment). After you separate, in a typical situation you are offered a COBRA plan which means you pay the ENTIRE health premium (when you're employed you only pay a portion while the employer pays another portion) this can get expensive fast. Another option is to shop the government health plans through the marketplace, or of course you can choose to not carry an insurance plan.

The final answer is.. if you have a heart attack the day after you separate, you should be covered.. If you have one the next month, it depends on if you've decided to continue coverage. This isn't a thorough answer to your question.. Insurance is a finicky subject.. but I hope this helped a little bit.
 

GMX

Chow Runner
#10
I had a break in service between the TSA and the FAA. My health benefits ceased on the official date of separation (I'm pretty sure) and I didn't elect to pay for COBRA. If something had happened the very next day I'd have been SOL. So my situation was a little different than River's. I don't know what factors decide that it ends immediately or continues until the end of the month or whatever. Best to talk to your regional HR office.
 
Last edited:
#12
So my wife is pregnant, we have insurance with my work so when I leave there will be a lapse in insurance for about two weeks. Anyone know how this will effect payment?
Thankfully insurers can't deny claims based on "pre-exisiting" conditions, like her pregnancy. You have the option to extend your plan via COBRA (if your current policy is required to offer this option to you), purchase a plan through the healthcare marketplace, see if your family is able to qualify for medicare, or you can gamble and lapse the insurance for a few weeks. I would present her with the options and see how she feels about them while taking into consideration how far along she is into the pregnancy (might not want it to lapse in the timeframe of her due date- lol), it might be worth throwing a few hundred bucks at a temporary policy if that gives your family peace of mind. They always say happy wife, happy life.