Cheryl Ward replied to the topic Last Day – Did You Change? How Do You Change in Open Season? in the forum Forum Discussions 9 years ago
I did extensive research with the CHECKBOOK tool and PLANSMARTCHOICE — I talked to my local plan representative (for Blue Cross Blue Shield), and after all that, I am afraid to change plans. I gave serious consideration to switching from Standard to Basic… but my husband is 20 years my senior, and there is more risk that we will need to step outside the network to get to specialists that might participate with BCBS, but are not preferred providers. The BASIC option with BCBS requires that you use only preferred providers, and frankly, it is not that easy to determine and be confident that a doctor IS ‘preferred.’ And it seems like more and more doctors are no longer operating within Medicare…
We have reached the maximum out of pocket spending cap most of the last 5 years… I have exhausted my $3120 FSAFEDS health care account before the end of the summer each year… to be able to keep the doctors we like and to manage the risk of needing doctors outside of the network, I am staying with BCBS standard…. I guess I am spoiled by the high coverage we’ve had for decades, but I continue to feel that I probably could do better. However, I must confess – analysis paralysis and fear of making a wrong choice after a lifetime of using BCBS leaves me right where I started.
I really wish we had a longer, or maybe an earlier open season — it is tough to finish off the prior FY with performance reviews, etc., launch the new FY, rev up for the holidays and get through Thanksgiving and shopping, and simultaenously deal with all the data you need to consider in this decision. We did not have benefits fairs at my agency until last week, and you were either available to attend or you missed out. I also would like to see OPM require more consistent terminology and more plain language definitions of the jargon across all the plans.
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