Shows & Panels
Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- American Readiness: Renewable Power and Efficiency Technologies
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Delivering the Digital Government Mission
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal News Radio's National Cyber Security Awareness Month Special Panel Discussion
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Future of Government Data Centers
- The Future of IT: How CIOs Can Enable the Service-Oriented Enterprise
- Government Perspectives on Mobility and the Cloud
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Mitigating Insider Threats in Virtual & Cloud Environments
- Modern Mission Critical Series
- The New Generation of Database
- Reimagining the Next Generation of Government
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Air Traffic Management Transformation Report
- Cloud First Report
- General Dynamics IT Enterprise Center
- Gov Cloud Minute
- Government in Technology Series
- Homeland Security Cybersecurity Market Report
- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- Technology Insights
- The Cyber Security Report
- The Next Generation Cyber Security Experts
Shows & Panels
Insurance options to consider as Open Season draws to a close
Monday - 12/3/2012, 3:17pm EST
By Andrew Mitchell
Federal News Radio
With one week left to go in the federal health insurance Open Season, insurance expert and author Walton Francis warns that this is no time for federal employees and retirees to procrastinate in making their choices for 2013.
The Federal Employees Health Benefit Program Open Season ends Dec. 10.
"One way or another," said Francis, "spend a few minutes comparing plans, thinking about your health situation."
The author of Checkbook's Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees and Annuitants appeared on this week's edition of For Your Benefit with Bob Leins and John Elliott.
"In a year of pay freezes, the typical family with FEHBP can save close to $2,000 by changing plans. That's giving yourself a pay raise," Francis added.
Francis told Leins and Elliott that, in addition to his publication, another good source for comparing FEHB plans is OPM's website.
A tip for healthy employees
Francis said that employees and retirees who do little more than see a doctor once a year and have low prescription medicine costs should consider signing up with one of the high-deductible plans offered by the FEHBP.
"They're a little different than regular plans, because the deductibles are bigger, but the health savings account that you get with those plans we call an IRA on steroids," Francis said. "The money is tax-preferred going in, it grows tax-preferred — you can even invest it in stocks — and you take it out tax-preferred. It's not use-or-lose money; it carries over year after year. It's your money for the rest of your life and, if you're reasonably healthy for a couple of years, you may wind up in a situation where you never have to pay anything for health care, your health savings account will have grown so much."
A tip for healthy seniors
Francis and Elliott agreed that seniors, whether still employed or retired, who also do little more than see a doctor once a year would also do well to defer enrolling in Medicare Part B.
Elliott said that his co-pay for a doctor's visit is just $20, while the cost of Medicare Part B in his case would be $2,000 per year. "If I go to Part B, I'm paying an extra $1,980 and getting essentially nothing for it," Elliott said.
The cost of the Medicare Part B premium rises with each year after age 65 that you do not enroll. However, as Elliott pointed out, in the eventuality that you do contract an illness, particularly one that is long-term, you can then assess how much you are spending per year on medical costs and do a cost-benefit analysis to see whether it is beneficial to you to join Medicare Part B at the higher late-enrollment rate.
Francis will also appear on the Dec. 5 edition of Your Turn with Mike Causey, which airs live on Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. on Federal News Radio.