Pay and Benefits Watch: Switching health plans

letters@govexec.com

A Maryland employee of the Social Security Administration wrote Pay and Benefits Watch after she read that the average increase in Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) premiums would be more than 9 percent next year.

"I thought it was distressing to see the average increase of 9.3 percent," the employee wrote. "But I was totally unprepared to see that my own premium contribution will actually increase by 93-yes, 93!-percent."

The employee belongs to the Free State Health Plan, which in 1999 charges her a biweekly premium of $23.87. When she looked at the rates for 2000, listed on GovExec.com's FEHBP Open Season Guide, she discovered that her biweekly premium next year would nearly double, to $46.07.

For the Maryland employee, and many other civil servants facing big premium hikes, it's time to shop around. The FEHBP open season began Monday, Nov. 8 and runs until Dec. 13. That gives employees a little more than a month to review the various health plans available to them.

Start by comparing your current premium with the premium for next year on our FEHBP Open Season Guide. You can also download the FEHBP Handbook there.

Then head over to the Office of Personnel Management's FEHBP Web site. There, you can see how your plan ranks in the Computer Assessment of Health Plans Survey, prepared by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. OPM also offers a tool called PlanSmartChoice, which you can use to weigh various factors that influence which health plan you should choose.

The OPM site also provides links to health insurance companies' Web sites. If you're seriously considering switching plans, it's worth looking at their Web sites and learning more about the companies.

If you crave numerous sources of consumer information, you can also look up health insurance plans on the National Committee for Quality Assurance Web site. For a host of additional Web-based resources on choosing health plans, stop by the Healthfinder Web site, run by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.