With the deadline of this Federal Employee Health Benefits Open Season fast approaching, now is the time to make any changes to your plan(s). Ending on Monday, December 10, Open Season is the time to sign up for or make changes to your government health care plan.
But how do you know what the best option is?
There is a lot to consider: premiums, out-of-pocket costs, physician networks, and catastrophic limits. You should weigh these carefully and by doing so, you should be able to make an informed decision that could potentially save you hundreds or thousands of dollars.
There are 280 plans available, so choosing one can be an overwhelming task. There is help though—Consumers’ Checkbook has its annual Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees available. The guide provides ratings on all plans available, both locally and nationally. It provides overall ratings and ratings broken down by different factors, such as insurance value, out-of-pocket cost limits, premiums, and more. It also rates the various standalone plans available through the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Program.
These ratings should only serve as a starting point, not the be all, end all. Federal employees still need to carefully examine their needs and the plan details.
“The data we have presented should help you to quickly and easily narrow your choice to 2 or 3 of the plans out of the dozens you are offered,” the group wrote. “At this point, compare the brochures of these carefully. Underline key points, or parts of the plans that confuse you, and compare these points among the plans.”
You can also visit www.GuidetoHealthPlans.org for more information.