How the Postal Service Benefit program will impact rural letter carriers and annuitants

The National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (NRLCA) sponsors the Rural Carrier Benefit Plan. For nearly 60 years, the Rural Carrier Benefit Plan has proudly served the specific needs of NRLCA members and their families. And we’re excited to bring that history of experience to the Postal Service Health Benefits program starting in 2025.

Here’s what we know right now

  • What is the Postal Service Health Benefits (PSHB) program? 

The PSHB program is new. It’s separate from other programs and administered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The OPM will provide health insurance to eligible Postal Service employees, annuitants and their eligible family members. The PSHB program coverage will start in 2025. And it will replace FEHB coverage for these groups. Since the Rural Carrier Benefit Plan (RCBP) is only open to rural letter carriers, RCBP will become a PSHB plan effective January 1, 2025.

  • Do I need to do anything now? 

No. Postal Service employees, annuitants and eligible family members may continue to participate in the FEHB program for the 2023 and 2024 plan years. 

  • Will there be an opportunity to enroll in Medicare Part B without a late enrollment penalty? 

Yes. Most Postal Service annuitants entitled to Medicare Part A are eligible to enroll in Medicare Part B. This includes any eligible family members. Enrollment will occur during a six-month special enrollment period (SEP). Individuals who qualify for the SEP will receive a separate notification prior to April 1, 2024. 

  • Does the PSHB Program affect my other benefits? 

Enrolling in PSHB will not impact any of your other benefits, including: 

  • Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) 
  • Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS) 
  • Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI), or 
  • Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) 

Please be sure to check back regularly. We’ll update this page as we learn more. When we know, you’ll know.

Also, take advantage of the resources available on your USPS employee portal, LiteBlue and OPM.

This is a summary of the Rural Carrier Benefit Plan. For a complete description of all benefits, please read the official plan brochure (RI 72-005). All benefits are subject to the definitions, limitations and exclusions set forth in the official plan brochure.

Aetna is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Aetna group of companies, including Aetna Life Insurance Company and its affiliates (Aetna).