Monday marks last day of open season 2010

Tuesday - 12/7/2010, 3:12pm EST

For Your Benefit

Click to listen to the show.

Download mp3

December 13, 2010 -- On the final day of open season, For Your Benefit hosts Bob Leins and John Elliott discuss last-minute advice for making changes to your health care plans and the importance of not overlooking vision coverage.

Do open season research in ten minutes or less
Federal employees only need to spend ten minutes today at www.plansmartchoice.com, said Colleen Murphy, president and CEO of Asparity Decision Solutions.

The website has a medical cost calculator that tells federal employees their health care costs based on number of doctor visits, prescription drugs, surgery and other factors for each member of your family, Murphy said.

This year 80,000 federal employees have used the website, Murphy said. The site also provides information on flexible spending accounts, she said.

Murphy warns that premiums alone should not be the deciding factor for a health plan decision.

"The plan with the lowest premium could end up being the most expensive for you if you take into account your usage of medical services as well as your medical expenses," Murphy said.

Vision care part of overall health
Because of the "diagnostic component" of an eye exam, vision care plays an important role in overall health care, said Al Schubert, Division Vice-President, Managed Care and Health Policy, VSP, Vision Care for Federal Employees. VSP provides affordable eye care coverage nationwide and more for the federal employee.

Enrolling in a vision plan through FEDVIP and setting up payroll deductions is "extremely simple," Schubert said.

Schubert said employees already enrolled in a vision plan should use their benefits and get an exam every year.

Employees may not consider enrolling in vision coverage until they notice something wrong with their eyes. But Schubert recommends enrolling early, even for children.

Children "can still benefit from a comprehensive eye exam and make sure medically there's nothing else happening associated with their eyes," Schubert said.

More open season resources