Open Season Doesn’t Have to Be Scary

Halloween is almost upon us, and nationwide, people are getting ready for spooky season.

But for federal employees, another potentially scary time of year is just around the corner: Open Season. Open Season is the period of time (this year, Nov. 9-Dec. 14) when federal employees can review their healthcare plans, make changes and enroll in coverage. Making the right choices can often prove stressful, but the COVID-19 pandemic makes this year’s decisions feel even more high stakes.

Fortunately, with a little planning and preparation, govies can navigate the myriad options to make the best selections for themselves and their dependents. On the GovLoop online training “Open Season Unlocked: Understanding Your Benefits,” Amber Rhodes, Supervisory Analyst, Program Support Analysis, Healthcare and Insurance, Office of Personnel Management (OPM), discussed best practices for a stress-free Open Season.

Rhode’s first piece of advice was to take advantage of the OPM’s Open Season web page, which contains a wealth of information. The site has specific sections for:

The site also has program specific information, including:

This can seem like a lot of information, and it is. One of Rhode’s key pieces of advice was to carefully evaluate your coverage needs, and to understand what options you are eligible for.

What works best for your coworker or friend might not be the best choice for you, and it’s important to remember that while there’s a wealth of options, what will ultimately guide you to the correct choice is a careful consideration of what you and any dependents need from a plan.

Take advantage of OPM’s plan comparison tools, be thoughtful about your unique needs, and you can rest assured that you will emerge from Open Season with the perfect plan. In today’s world, knowing that you don’t have to worry about your healthcare coverage is a key to peace of mind and a happy, healthy 2021.


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