Aside from the prospect of dry, tasteless turkey, the scariest thing that November brings for federal employees is the beginning of Open Season. Open Season is the period of time (this year, Nov. 8-Dec. 13) when federal employees can review their healthcare plans, make changes and enroll in coverage.
One always wishes to make the best possible selections for themselves and their family, but the background of the COVID-19 pandemic adds extra importance and urgency this year, and government employees know they need to consider carefully their unique needs and consider all the information available in order to make an informed decision.
On the recent NextGen online training, 5 Things to Know During Open Season, Maggie Martel, Supervisory Analyst, Healthcare and Insurance, Office of Personnel Management (OPM), shared insights on what the current federal healthcare landscape looks like and how government employees can make smart choices. Watch the training on demand for the full rundown, or check out some highlights below.
Many COVID-Related Costs Are Covered
OPM has worked with FEHB carriers to ensure that enrollees have ready access to COVID-related benefits, with no cost sharing. These include things like vaccines and testing.
Utilize Your Agency’s Benefit Officers
Agencies have benefit officers who may be able to offer advice or guidance on selecting a plan, although the level of support may vary from agency to agency.
Decide if an FSA Is Right for You
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) offer tax savings on money that you plan to spend on healthcare needs.
Use OPM’s Plan Comparison Tool
Not sure which plan is right for you or your family? You can compare the benefits of different plans with OPM’s Plan Comparison Tool.
Inaction Means that You Keep Your Current Plan
With the exception of FSAs, not taking action will result in the continuation of your current plan selection.
Don’t Forget Dental and Vision
Be sure to make selections for dental and vision insurance if those benefits are things that you need; you can compare plans using OPM’s FedVIP Comparison Tool.