A guide to the federal health plans for Open Season

Monday - 11/12/2012, 6:51pm EST

For Your Benefit

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November 12, 2012 -- This week on For Your Benefit, insurance expert and author Walton Francis joins hosts Bob Leins and Tammy Flanagan to talk about FEHBP Open Season.

Walton Francis is the editor of the Checkbook Guide to the Health Plans for Federal Employees.

The guide gives you vital insurance information that you cannot get from any other source. It tells you how much money you can save by changing—or by staying in—your health insurance plan. It summarizes thousands of facts about the plans to simplify your choice.

Read more of Francis' top tips for Open Season.

The guide comes in both print and Internet versions.

  • It rates all of over 200 health insurance plans available to federal employees and retirees, including a dozen national plans, almost 200 health maintenance organization (HMO) options, and over a dozen consumer-driven and high deductible plan options.
  • Its ratings of plan costs take into account premiums, catastrophic limits, and estimates of likely out-of-pocket costs for medical expenses of every kind.
  • It compares plans for insurance value in dealing with unforeseen medical expenses, not just for the routine costs you can predict.
  • It compares limits on out-of-pocket costs based on the actual coverage allowed by each plan, not just what the plan seems to say before you read the fine print.
  • It rates dental and vision plans as well. It provides dollar estimates of likely dental costs, taking into account both premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, not just descriptions. It compares dental coverage in all plans, not just standalone plans.
  • It provides up-to-date information on changes in the FEHBP program, including the effects of health reform.