Holiday hours

The Postal Service has announced holiday hours for Post Offices and blue collection boxes.

Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve: Some Post Offices may have extended hours leading up to the holidays, while others may have limited hours on Saturday, Dec. 24. There are currently no plans for limited hours on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, Dec. 31. Customers are advised to always check with their local Post Office for hours of operation.

Blue boxes with final collection times before noon will not be affected by an early closing Dec. 24. If a box has a final collection time after noon, its mail may be picked up earlier. For mail pickup on Dec. 24, customers are asked to either put their mail into a blue collection box by noon regardless of the final collection times posted on the box or take their items to one of the more than 34,000 Post Offices.

Customers who are unable to mail items before the scheduled collection box pickup times on Dec. 24 should use the online Postal Locator tool to find Post Office locations that may be open late.

Christmas Day and New Year’s Day: This year, both federal holidays fall on Sunday when Post Offices nationwide are regularly closed. In observance of the two holidays, Post Offices will be closed on Monday, Dec. 26, and Monday, Jan. 2. Blue collection boxes will not be serviced these days and there are no residential or business deliveries — except for Priority Mail Express, which is delivered 365 days a year in select locations for an additional fee.

Post Offices will be open for business and regular mail delivery resumes on Tuesday, Dec. 27, and Tuesday, Jan. 3.

Ready when you are

The Postal Service has redesigned the IT Self Help/Service Now portal to provide users with quick, step-by-step information on how to resolve software, operating system, technology and application issues.

The updated portal separates the IT service catalog into four sections:

Resolve: where users can create tickets to fix issues, including problems involving desk phones, printers and Microsoft Office software.

Request: where users can ask for reports, services, application access and other digital items.

Shop: where users can submit requests for phones, tablets, computers and other items.

Links: provides access to applications, department homepages and downloadable resources.

The redesign also includes a featured articles section that provides instructions on how to resolve printer errors, slow internet performance and other common issues.

The IT Self Help/Service Now portal is available on Blue.

How HDHPs work

Do you have questions about high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), one of the options available during this year’s open season?

Here’s what you should know:

HDHPs generally offer lower premiums than other plans. This means you’ll have less money taken out of your paycheck.

HDHPs give you greater flexibility. While HDHPs have higher annual deductibles and out-of-pocket limits than other Federal Employees Health Benefits Program plans, they have features that help you pay your medical expenses, including the ability to pay expenses on a pretax or tax-deductible basis.

HDHPs work with HSAs and HRAs. With HDHPs, a portion of your premium or a credit is automatically deposited into a health savings account (HSA) or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA).

This is money you can use for out-of-pocket health care costs or to save for future medical expenses. HDHPs combine an HSA or HRA with the traditional coverage offered by health maintenance organization and fee-for-service plans.

Any unused money in your HSA rolls over from year to year and stays with you, even if you change plans or leave the Postal Service.

The Open Season LiteBlue page has more information.

Open season, the annual period when you can make changes to your health coverage, runs through Monday, Dec. 12.