Don't DO That

Tuesday - 11/25/2008, 4:05am EST

In responding to a reader's question about which plan to choose, Walton Francis, author of CHECKBOOK's Guide to Federal Health Plans says "the dumb thing you can do would be to stay in a plan, or join a plan, that lacks the very benefit you desperately need."

The good news, says Francis, is "it's pretty hard to do that," because most plans cover about 99% of what can go wrong.

Another dumb thing would be to stay in a high-premium plan because your doctor's always been in it, only to find out that your doctor left the plan on January first.

Again, the good news is that's easily avoided: call your doctor's office and ask if they plan to stay participating in the program.