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You just found out your getting converted. Now what? Aside from finally getting your own route, the paperwork side of things can get confusing so here are some links, guides, and tip to make it all a little easier.

First of all, the timeline:

Within 31 days from conversion, you can sign up for FEGLI (Federal Employee’s Group Life Insurance)

Within 60 days from conversion, you can enroll in health/vision/dental insurance

Within 90 days from conversion, you can NOT use annual leave but you can use sick leave.

At any point after conversion you can enroll in MBA Insurance plans and adjust your TSP contributions

First let’s go over FEGLI. It’s pretty reasonably priced life insurance. You have 60 days from conversion to change your enrollment. Here is the application form. If you do nothing, you will automatically be enrolled in the Basic plan. If you would like, you can increase your coverage with the attached form for a very nominal price (a few dollars a paycheck). You can also purchase insurance for your family as well. Here is a link to the cost calculator for FEGLI so you can see how much it would cost per paycheck before you enroll. FEGLI Calculator Once you complete the enrollment form, give it to your supervisor.

Second, you can enroll in Health/Dental/Vision benefits within the first 60 days as well. Here is a guide for how to sign up for health benefits once you compare plans and find the plan code you want to elect. You can compare plans here . Here is more information on the NALC health plan summaries. For vision and dental (FEDVIP) as well as long term care, go to Benefeds.

Third, let’s talk TSP. If you do nothing, you will be enrolled at a 3% contribution rate. So, three percent of your paycheck goes into your Thrift Savings Plan. I suggest you go onto LiteBlue and increase your contribution up to at least 5% for maximum employer contributions. If you give 5%, the employer will match up to 5%. You can give more but the employer maxes out at 5%. Here is a link to the page on TPS. Scroll to the bottom, and you will see the link to PostalEase where you can change your elections.

And then there is the NALC Mutual Benefits Association. To learn more about all the plans they offer, click here . Most plans are different types of life insurance but there is also a retirement plan as well as a hospital insurance plan. It’s worth a few minutes to check them out.

Other interesting conversion facts:

  • You can bid on routes as soon as you get converted. (If any are available) You bid with eJob Bidding on LiteBlue.

  • Your unused annual leave will be paid out. You will be bought out just like when you were a CCA separated at 360 days but you will not have to re-enroll in direct deposit.

  • You cannot use your annual leave for 90 calendar days but you can use your sick leave right away. You accrue sick leave at the same rate as annual leave.

  • You can elect between 8 hours only and work assignment once you are converted. You cannot go onto the overtime desired list until the start of a new quarter.

  • You are guaranteed 8 hours a day. If you punch out earlier than 8 hours, you will need to fill out a 3971 and designate if you would like to use annual leave or LWOP for the different in making 8 hours.

The 2017 open season is from November 14th - December 12th, 2016.

Choosing the right health insurance plan for you and your family can be overwhelming. There are a lot of different aspects to consider. First and foremost are the monthly premiums. Keep in mind that cheaper is not always better in this department. Sometimes you get what you pay for and cheap coverage could cost you way more in the long run.

Second, what are you and your family’s medical needs for the upcoming year? Surgeries, chronic illness, and specialist visits are just a few spendy issues that you may want to consider and compare plan coverage’s on.

Third, compare how much you will pay out of pocket for services. Does the plan have copays for doctor visits or will you be paying toward your deductible and co insurance? How much is the out-of-pocket maximum (the most you will pay out of pocket a year) Are there services that are not covered by the plan that you will need that you would have to pay completely out of pocket for? These are all things I suggest you compare when looking at plans.

Fourth, are your current doctors considered “in the network” for the plans you are looking at? You get substantially cheaper rates for using in network providers with almost all plans. All health insurance companies should have an online site in which you can check who is in network for them prior to signing up for the plan.

Last, do you take regular prescriptions? What are the copays or coinsurance rates for them? Are your prescriptions covered by the plan? Is your pharmacy in network for the plans you are comparing? Do they offer cheaper rates for mail order prescriptions?

I know the process is overwhelming. It’s better to start researching plans early rather than on the last day of open enrollment. Check out You can compare several health plans at once on there. It’s a great tool!

The NALC has three health plans as well. Since 1950, the NALC Health Benefit Plan has provided letter carriers and their families with first-rate health insurance. The NALC’s health plan is a natural choice—as the only health plan owned and operated by letter carriers; it pays particular attention to their health needs. And because NALC health benefit plan is a not-for-profit organization, its only focus is the health of its members.

Some of the benefits of the NALC plan are access to real live humans to answer your questions when you call. They cover foot orthotics (Most plans do not cover these). Free help to quit smoking including nicotine replacement at no additional cost to you. The High plan also has several additional benefits. Check out You can read plan details for each plan.

Regardless of whether you select one of the NALC plans or not, please take the time to research your options. Whatever you select, you are stuck with for another year. Just sticking with what you’ve always had could be unnecessarily costing you extra cash.

Mount Royal Station

View from the Country Club: The Internet version: November 2016

There are some great resources on this website. Our webmaster, Heidi, has done a fantastic job of providing links to a wide variety of publications and manuals. Please use this information. Knowledge truly is power. Here, below are some of the links to videos that you might find entertaining and insightful. A great resource to find info on the day to day stories that involve the postal service is

As bad as things may seem, they can get worse. Seriously. Check this out: It’s the old postmaster stating, unilaterally, that he was going to eliminate Saturday delivery. That was only 3 and ½ years ago. We dodged a bullet there.

On October 22nd Donald Trump gave a speech where he outlined what we would do during his first 100 days (after he threatened to sue the women who had accused him of groping…sad!). During his speech he stated that he would initiate …“ a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health)” So, does this mean postal workers? Who the hell knows!

Then there’s this: Management. Numbers. And a poop cake. Again, as bad as things might be, they can be worse.

Something different. Safety. Safety isn’t funny, but this video on safety IS FUNNY. Watch it…you’ll see what I mean. Let me just warn, if you’re squeamish about fake blood ya might want to skip is…otherwise, please check out: :

The NALC has a longer, very well done, video on the dangers of retrieving items from the back of postal vehicles. It can be found here: Even if you just watch the first four minutes you’ll get the point of the presentation.

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