Open Season: Shop online and during company time for your health plan


What if you worked for an outfit that paid most of the premium for the dozens of health plan options available to you and allowed you to shop on the clock? And even paid for an online service that would give you several options that are best for you?

If you work for Uncle Sam, there’s a 50/50 chance that you will. That is, your agency has prepaid so you can shop at home, office, or home / office using the popular Checkbook Guide to Federal Health Plans. Many people use it to find several best buys for them. Editor-in-chief Walton Francis says most people can save a lot of money – up to $ 2,000 next year – if they pick the best deal from the dizzying array of health plans available for over $ 2,000. 4 million federal workers, retired public servants and their survivors. Many of them have been in the same health plan for decades, and over time as they get older and more dependent on health care, the plan has simply become too expensive (in premiums). ) according to what they receive in benefits and services.

Places that subscribe to the service include the ministries of education, interior, justice, labor and state. Also the Congressional Budget Office, the United States Capitol Police, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Government Accountability Office, the GOP and the Office of Personnel Management. It is also available to members of the American Foreign Service Association, the Professional Managers Association, and the National Treasury Employees Union. And more.

Francis estimates that tens of thousands of workers – and even more retirees – could save thousands of dollars in premiums next year by switching to the standard or basic option of their current plan. Or save thousands of dollars by switching to a similar plan that also has your doctor (s) in its network. There are even plans with health savings accounts that allow policyholders to accumulate accounts worth $ 50,000 or more. But you have to shop. The Office of Personnel Management also has an excellent online shopping tool available to all employees.

And if you prefer the Checkbook Guide or want to use it with the OPM Online Shopper, you can check if your agency is subscribed for you.

Walt Francis will be my guest today at 10 a.m. EST on the Your Turn radio show. It’s streaming at or in the DC-Baltimore area at 3:00 p.m. If you have any questions for the expert (him, not me), email them to me at [email protected] before showtime so we can answer them live.

If your agency has not purchased a subscription for you, you can do so yourself by going online at; use promo code FEDNEWS to get a discount.

On today’s show, we’ll cover.

  • Ways to find plans to consider “side by side” with the plan you are currently in.
  • Use of FEHB as an investment option.
  • New Medicare Advantage options within the FEHB.
  • Best buys for seniors, young employees, people in need of specific coverage like maternity, hearing aids, chiropractic.

Almost useless factoid

By David Thornton

Many modern nicknames that seem to have little meaning date back to a medieval practice of rhyming or exchanging letters. Therefore, Richard is abbreviated as Ric (k), which rhymes with Dick. The same goes for Bill (William – Will – Bill) and Peggy (Margaret – Meggie – Peggy).

Source: MindBounce


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