Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Moving to the Cloud. What's the best approach for me
- Navigating Tough Choices in Government Cloud Computing
- The New Generation of Database
- Satellite Communications: Acquiring SATCOM in Tight Times
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- Value of Health IT
Shows & Panels
Plan B: You need 4 of them when shopping for insurance
Monday - 12/2/2013, 2:00am EST
Think worst-case scenario and you may be able to avoid it:
Suppose you are hit with eye-popping, wallet-draining medical bills next year. Maybe an accident. Maybe a life-threatening disease or medical condition. Who is going to pay for the treatment you need? Could you afford to shell out $15,000 for yourself, or twice that amount for your family, before your health insurance took over?
Or suppose you decide to retire, or find out you must retire, only learn that you won't be eligible for the government's cradle-to-grave Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program because you've been covered by a plan outside the FEHB program for the previous five years.
You can't avoid getting older, nor can you choose not to be struck by a major illness — or a bus — but you can take steps to prepare yourself for a worst-case scenario.
HMOs — for health-maintenance organizations — stress preventive care, do very well with maternity benefits, and have minimal out-of- pocket costs and very little paperwork. Some even have all of their doctors in one facility, which can be a major time-saver for you. And them.
There are four very important things to remember as you shop for health insurance. Remember the Open Season ends next Monday. Things on your checklist should include:
- Check with your doctor or doctors to make sure they will be in
the network of the plan or plans you are considering. Otherwise you may need to
change plans. Or doctors.
- Check the catastrophic limit on your health plan. That is the
amount you will be required to pay out of pocket (in the event of a major accident
or illness) before the insurance plan takes over. Medical bills are the leading
cause of bankruptcy, so insure yourself for the worst. For more information, click here.
- If you are married to a fed, don't try to save money by enrolling
in two self-only plans. You will pay slightly higher premiums in a family plan
but the deductible you must satisfy (in the event of a major illness or accident)
is much less. For more information, click here.
- If you are piggybacking on your nonfederal spouse's health plan, be very careful. That plan may shrink or go away when he or she retirees. Then the cradle-to-grave FEHBP looks very good. BUT ... in order to take FEHBP coverage into retirement, you must have been covered for the five years prior to retirement. For more on the all-important five-year rule, click here.
NEARLY USELESS FACTOID
Compiled by Jack Moore
Approximately $1 billion in gift cards goes unredeemed each year.
MORE FROM FEDERAL NEWS RADIO
Survey: Budget crises leave
little time for long-term planning
A string of recent budget crises, doomsday deadlines and last-minute deals has complicated agencies' longer-term budget planning. However, most agency budget professionals say they're plowing through the uncertainty and will be able to meet spending targets for fiscal 2015 mandated by the Office of Management and Budget, according to a recent survey by Grant Thornton and the American Association for Budget and Program Analysis.
Census Bureau making
progress on field tests for 2020 decennial
When it comes to field testing and preparing for the 2020 decennial, the Census Bureau is making progress on following a list of key practices the Government Accountability Office identified.