Open Season To-Do List
Don’t let health insurance decisions and deadlines sneak up on you.
The beginning of health insurance open season is only a little more than three weeks away. Of course, you then have until Dec. 13 to make your decisions about coverage for next year. But Instead of waiting until the 11th hour, it’s a good idea to get started early.
Here’s a to-do list to help you navigate this year’s open season (and preseason):
- Review your 2021 health care expenses (don’t forget dental, vision and prescription costs).
- Check the Office of Personnel Management’s 2022 premium list and open season information for Federal Employees Health Benefits and Federal Employees Dental and Vision Program plans.
- Begin to consider your 2022 allotment for your flexible spending account. Remember that you must be employed to use FSA dollars. Due to an act of Congress, unlimited carryover is available for the 2021 plan year to holders of Health Care FSA or Limited Expense FSA accounts. But you must re-enroll in a 2022 HCFSA or LEX HCFSA to be eligible for this benefit. All claims for expenses incurred in the 2021 benefit period must be submitted no later than April 30, 2022.
Late October-Nov. 7
- Check your plan website for specific information, such as providers in your plan’s network, its prescription drug formulary and information about how your plan works with Medicare.
- Check OPM’s website to see if the 2022 plan brochures are available.
Nov. 8-Dec. 13
- Use the plan comparison tools available at OPM’s website and Checkbook’s Guide to Federal Health Plans to compare the top three or four health plan options for you and your family’s needs.
- Register to attend a virtual health fair hosted by the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program. There will be live chat days on Nov. 12, Nov. 19, Dec. 1, and Dec. 8.
- The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association’s Federal Benefits Institute will have a variety of resources available during open season, including a live webinar series.
If you follow these steps, and take the time to consider all of your insurance options, you could save some money next year--and maybe even get better coverage.
Correction: This article has been updated to correct inaccurate information about Health Care and Limited Expense Flexible Spending Accounts.