Medicare Part B special enrollment period for USPS annuitants begins today

USPS retirees who are eligible for Medicare Part B, but do not have it, can sign up between now and September 1 without having to pay a penalty.

  • Open Season is not until this fall, but some feds may want to start looking at their health care early. A special enrollment period starts today for Postal Service annuitants. USPS retirees who are eligible for Medicare Part B, but do not have it, can sign up between now and September 1 without having to pay a penalty. The USPS is covering the cost of the penalty for any annuitants who do choose to sign up. The special enrollment period comes ahead of the launch of the brand-new Postal Service Health Benefits program for plan year 2025. And for everyone else, Open Season will run Nov. 11 to Dec. 9.
    (Postal Service Health Benefits program - Office of Personnel Management)
  • Nearly a two-year effort has concluded with agencies receiving their first update to the standards for collecting federal data on race and ethnicity in more than 25 years. The Office of Management and Budget's Chief Statistician Karin Orvis said the interagency working group made several significant changes to the standards, including adding Middle Eastern or North African as a new minimum category. Agencies are to begin updating their surveys and administrative forms as quickly as possible and must submit an agency action plan for complete compliance within 18 months. Orvis said the working group reviewed 20,000 comments and held almost 100 listening sessions as part of its effort to finalize the new standards.
  • The Defense Department has established the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy. The new office, officially launched on March 20, will oversee all cyber-related policy issues at the Pentagon. That includes certifying the department's cyber operations budget and overlooking cyber workforce development programs. Ashley Manning will serve as the official performing the duties of the assistant secretary until the Senate confirms an official for the position. President Joe Biden nominated Michael Sulmeyer, who is currently serving as the principal cyber adviser to the Army Secretary, to serve in the new role.
  • There is a new section to the FAR and it may be the most important change in decades. Get used to hearing about FAR Part 40. It's the new consolidated section of the Federal Acquisition Regulations for all things cybersecurity and supply chain security. The FAR Council issued the final rule today establishing this new section, bringing together clauses and regulations covering broad security requirements for most acquisitions. The new FAR part will provide contracting officers with a single, consolidated location to find these requirements. While the new FAR section does not create any new requirements or contract clauses, the council currently is reviewing three rules that would be added to Part 40 when finalized.
  • Senate lawmakers are pushing to bring federal record-keeping practices into the 21st century. Agencies would need to make sure employees back up their texts and other digital chats used for official business under the Strengthening Federal Records Act of 2024. Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) are co-sponsoring the bill. They say the Federal Records Act needs to keep with rapidly changing technology. The bill would also strengthen the role of the National Archives and Records Administration in holding agencies accountable to record-keeping rules.
  • The Navy has created a sort of one-stop-shop of efficiency when it comes to Navy Culture. A new initiative dubbed Culture of Excellence 2.0 aligns several Navy programs and concepts, allowing the leadership to better understand the needs of its sailors. New materials released as part of the initiative include a playbook on mental health and a suicide-related behavior response guide. The women’s initiatives team and the new policy for the assignment of pregnant sailors also fall under the umbrella of Culture of Excellence 2.0. And there will be a new tool for commanders to better understand the risk of destructive behaviors within their commands.
  • A new leader has taken the reins at the National Security Agency’s Cybersecurity Directorate (CSD). Dave Luber formally took over as CSD Director on Friday, replacing Rob Joyce, who had led the directorate since 2021. Luber previously served as CSD’s deputy director. He is a longtime veteran of the intelligence community, having also served as executive director at U.S. Cyber Command and in various positions throughout the NSA. The Cybersecurity Directorate is responsible for helping to secure defense industrial base networks and issuing public advisories on cyber threats.
  • When candidates go online to apply for a federal job, they will see a brand new look. USA has updated its homepage design and some key features of the website. There is now a "search tips" option for anyone who might need help narrowing down a search. A link at the top of the homepage will take users to a list of upcoming hiring events and information sessions. And there is info about what career fields are hiring right now, and how the federal hiring process works.

Copyright © 2024 Federal News Network. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Related Stories

    Michael Shea/NALC

    ‘We are on the front line:’ USPS letter carriers recognized for heroic acts

    Read more
    Clean Energy Pentagon

    Alpha-1, DoD’s portfolio of services, will accelerate AI adoption

    Read more