November 29, 2010 at 2:30 pm #116334
Dr. GovLoopMemberIt's that time of year again! Federal Open Season for benefits is upon us and will be until December 13th.
Cast your vote below and join the discussion at the bottom of the page:
Whether you plan to change or not, what's most important to you in choosing a health plan?
November 29, 2010 at 2:50 pm #116352
Importance for me
-That I can actually understand it
-My existing doctors take it
-Good perks - I'd love to have stuff like gym reimbursement, health incentives, cool free fitness iphone apps, etc
November 29, 2010 at 3:23 pm #116350
Co-pays, Flex spending, Lots of Drs in network and perks for health living life styles.
November 29, 2010 at 6:54 pm #116348
So glad GovLoop is featuring this topic on the home page today -- we need to remind all feds that decisions re: health coverage are critically important and seldom given the needed attention -- Mike Causey's blog on this topic is featured here in GovLoop too -- that's excellent. We could stand to have more collaboration to help spread accurate useful information.
Mike Causey of Federal News Radio is perhaps the most vocal source of info on all the stuff that's happening during Open Season.
I am grateful that Mr Causey continuously reminds everyone of the Checkbook guide on Federal Health Benefit Plans -- most agencies provide free access to their guide -- go to http://www.checkbook.org/newhig2/more.cfm to see if your agency has provided free access, and what you need to do to get it. For example, GSA and a number of other agencies provide access thru Employee Express.
Mike also has numeroous articles and archived radio shows from the past few weeks that highlight key decision factors folks should consider for 2011, and the radio segments provide more details on each of the major companies who offer FEHB plans. Check him out for info on Federal News Radio: http://www.federalnewsradio.com. You can do a tag search there for FEHBP and see several informative articles including links to Causey's stuff.
I am still gathering information, but I do expect to change plans this year -- I have paid the relatively high price for Blue Cross high option - now renamed 'standard' - for almost 3 decades... now that I am older and have more medical needs I am really looking at all the options to see if I can hold out of pocket costs any lower.
Let's keep bring this topic and the other important Federal Benefits items up for the next 2 weeks -- in addition to their health insurance plan, people must make decisions and take any needed action re: Flexible Spending Accounts and re: Dental and Vision Insurance by Dec 13th. Like Mike Causey says - taking no action means you HAVE made a decision.....
sorry for the long post - but you can see I am passionate on this subject... and with today's news of pay freezes, we should all be looking ahead to manage cash outflow....
November 29, 2010 at 9:04 pm #116346
November 30, 2010 at 1:06 pm #116344
Cool site thanks for the link
November 30, 2010 at 3:24 pm #116342
Thanks for sharing this link -- I am also a fan of the site, and I forgot to mention it above. A great feature is the fact that once you register and use it one year, it retains your questionnaire responses so you don't have to recreate it from scratch during the next year's Open Season. And it has a feature to help you estimate how much you could put away in the Flexible Spending Account and be certain that you will use throughout the year.
Mike Causey was on a panel this morning on Fed News Radio with the Checkbook spokesperson and the spokesperson from PlanSmartChoice. I am sure the show is archived and accessible from their website if you want to check it out.
December 2, 2010 at 4:49 pm #116340
Most important to me is finding the right doctors easily, having them take the insurance, and being able to talk to a real person on the phone (healthcare rep) in case I have a question. You should feel at easy calling, not get stressed out.
Also, a gym membership reimbursement is ideal and definitely something I think can benefit the greater good.
December 3, 2010 at 3:54 pm #116338
Great info - Thanks!
December 8, 2010 at 2:17 pm #116336
Cool smart phone apps would be fun - kind of like a personal trainer in your pocket. Combine that with a gym membership and good health incentives I think it is a winner all around. One cool website is http://www.fitfeud.com - I like how they intertwine healthy challenges in the workplace.
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