Federal Benefits Open Season: Got Questions or Suggestions?

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Brenda Chamberlain 6 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #146744

    Every year, Federal employees encounter Open Season when they have the opportunity to re-examine their benefits. This year’s Open Season runs from November 14 to December 12.

    You can find a wealth of resources on OPM’s website and we’ve started a blog series here. In addition to those two resources, we wanted to open a thread to ask:

    What are your questions about Open Season?

    What do you think about Open Season in general?

    Would you change the way it works?


    Aetna is a proud partner of GovLoop.To find health insurance plans and Open Season materials, check out AetnaFeds.com.

  • #146756

    Brenda Chamberlain

    When health insurance plans include vision and dental, what is the benefit with purchasing a seperate dental plan (like GEHA) or vision plan (like VSP)?

  • #146754

    Stephanie Davis

    In my experience, the dental coverage provided by my health plan (GEHA) is minimal and I still had to pay some out of pocket, even for routine cleanings with a covered provider. Since getting the dental insurance last year, I haven’t paid anything for routine cleanings and a small copay for other minor dental procedures.

    I also added a vision plan to my coverage but I’m going to drop it this open season and just put the money I would have paid for the additional insurance in to a health savings account. It didn’t provide any additional benefits over what I get with my health coverage.

  • #146752

    I have used the OPM web site and the Consumer Checklist web site for comparison of two HMO plans. I have even called the potential health insurance for clarification. The problem is I do not get the same answer every time I turn around. It is either the agents over the phone may not have enough knowledge to give out the right answer, or the handbook has been updated but not the web site. No matter what, I still no courage to switch my health insurance because it may be too late when something goes wrong with the new one.

  • #146750

    Just got this response by email to share with you, Brenda:

    It really depends how much dental and vision coverage is included in your health plan. If it is sufficient for your needs you may not need to purchase a separate dental or vision plan. If not, you may want to look into a separate plan. Ultimately, the decision to add additional coverage is a personal one based on what you need.

  • #146748

    Kent Smith

    In my case, I had the same experience as Stephanie for the basic medical plan, and the separate plans pay for themselves easily. I have a wife and two kids. Three of the four have glasses/contacts, including me with the need for extra tests (glaucoma in the family) and a daughter who is winning the war over a couple curable eye issues. My daughter also has braces (can’t start ortho work until year 3 of having dental insurance), and my son needs extra attention at the dentist (autism related). It ultimately comes down to your needs. The more complicated, the more you need the extra protection.

  • #146746

    Stephen Peteritas

    Second blog post with our Partner Aetna breaking down the ins and outs of Open Season: https://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/understanding-open-season-in-government-how-will-you-be-paying-fo

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