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- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
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- The Data Privacy Imperative: Safeguarding Sensitive Data
- Eliminating the Pitfalls: Steps to Virtualization in Government
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- Understanding the Intersection of Customer Service and Security in the Cloud
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.
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