It's Time to Prepare for Open Season
It’s in your interest to conduct an annual insurance checkup—especially this year.
The start of the 2023 plan year open season for the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program, and flexible spending account elections under FSAFEDS is only three weeks away. Open season runs from Nov. 14 to Dec. 12. But Instead of waiting until the eleventh hour, it’s a good idea to get started early.
The overall average premium increase for FEHB plans next year will be 7.2%, the highest since 2011. This figure applies to the total premium, which includes the government contribution. The average increase to the enrollee premium will be 8.7%. So this may be the year to do some comparison shopping to try to mitigate the increases. There are 271 plan choices in 2023, down slightly from the 275 this year.
Here’s a to-do list to help you navigate this year’s open season (and preseason):
- Review your 2022 health care expenses. Don’t forget dental, vision and prescription costs.
- Check your plan website for specific information, such as providers in your plan’s network, its prescription drug formulary and information about how the plan works with Medicare.
- Check OPM’s website to find available plans and check the plans’ website to see if 2023 plan brochures are available.
- Check the Office of Personnel Management’s 2023 premium list and open season information for FEHB and FEDVIP plans. In early November, full FEHB and FEDVIP plan brochures will be available on the OPM website. Benefits information will be available on OPM’s plan comparison tool.
- Begin to consider your 2023 flexible spending account allotment. Remember that only actively employed feds can use FSA dollars. You can carry over up to $570 of unused funds remaining in your health care flexible spending account and limited expense (dental or vision) flexible spending account into 2023. Carryover is not available under the dependent care flexible spending account.
- Assess your FEDVIP needs and options. FEDVIP provides dental and vision benefits to a total of 7.5 million federal employees, uniformed service members, annuitants and their family members. For the 2023 plan year, FEDVIP carriers have made some changes to their plans, including removing waiting periods for orthodontic services.
During Open Season
- Use the plan comparison tools available at OPM’s website and Consumer’s Checkbook Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees to compare the top three or four health plan options for you and your family’s needs.
- Consider accessing the resources of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, such as their live webinar series.
If you take the time to consider all of your insurance options, you could save some money next year—and maybe even get better coverage. “Tens of thousands of enrollees are potentially leaving valuable savings on the table by not taking advantage of open season to review their health care coverage and ensure they are receiving the most out of their benefits for themselves and their family,” OPM director Kiran Ahuja said recently. “Ask yourself—how have my or my family needs changed this past year, and then utilize the open season enrollment period to conduct a wellness or financial check-up to make an informed decision that gets you the best care.”