Indian Health Care Improvement Act: FEHB

Section 409 of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act authorized Tribes and Tribal organizations that are operating programs under the Indian Self-Determination and Educational Assistance Act (ISDEAA) to access the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Program and Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI). The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) administers the FEHB and FEGLI.

Information from OPM

May 2, 2011 Letter – Update that OPM will implement FEHB and FEGLI to enable Tribes and Tribal organizations carrying out programs under the ISDEAA to purchase coverage for all of their employees, and announce plans for further consultation.

October 5, 2010 letter – OPM and IHS initiated Tribal consultation

For more information – visit OPM website at

FEHB Tools for Tribes

Whether Tribes participate in the programs or not will be decided on a case-by-case basis as a business decision for each Tribe or Tribal organization. As part of its efforts to assist Tribes in the consultation process, the National Indian Health Board has made available for Indian Country the following documents:

Assessment Tools for the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program

National Indian Health Board consultation response, dated October 28, 2010

NIHB Issue Paper: Access to Federal Employee Health Benefits