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Open Season News

The Fiscal Year End - A look back at 2013 and a look forward to 2014

Mike Causey joins hosts Bob Leins and Tammy Flanagan for an animated discussion on the fiscal year, what 2013 brought us and what we might expect in 2014.
September 30, 2013

Monday - 09/30/2013, 05:23pm EDT
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Health premiums up 3.7 percent -- or is that 4.4 percent?

Health insurance premiums on average are going up next year. While the increase isn't as high as many experts predicted it will still be a jolt to feds who have been on a pay raise diet for the past three years, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says. Then there is the question of whether that "average" increase is 3.7 percent or more like 4.4 percent?

Thursday - 09/26/2013, 02:00am EDT

Federal health premiums to rise 3.7 percent in 2014

Health premiums for federal employees are going up an average of 3.7 percent, according to the Office of Personnel Management. Postal Service employees, who separate negotiating rights over premiums, will see, on average, a 3.8 percent increase.

Tuesday - 09/24/2013, 11:36am EDT

OPM to manage part of Affordable Care Act program

The launch of state insurance exchanges will have little impact on most federal employees, the Office of Personnel Management says. It's a different story for OPM, itself, however. Due to its experience managing the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, OPM has been tasked with managing a part of the new health exchange system.

Thursday - 08/29/2013, 04:37pm EDT

OPM provision defines how Congress, staff receive health benefits in 2014

Congress and some congressional staff members will no longer be eligible for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, when The Affordable Care Act goes in to effect in January. OPM explains what that means.

Wednesday - 08/07/2013, 04:07pm EDT

OPM expanding vision, dental options under FEDVIP next year

OPM is planning to add four new insurance carriers to the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) for 2014. Premium rates and benefits coverage of the new plans would be announced later this year ahead of the annual federal health-insurance Open Season.

Friday - 06/21/2013, 05:18pm EDT

LTC = Long-term peace of mind

Joan Melanson of Long Term Care Partners answers calls and emails about the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program.
April 15, 2013

Monday - 04/15/2013, 09:44pm EDT
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Federal Drive Interviews -- Dec. 7, 2012

Carmen Middleton talks about overcoming stereotypes at the CIA. Paul Wormeli of IBM talk about how new technology is improving communication between law enforcement agencies. Registered employee benefit consultant Ed Zurndorfer offers tips for last minute Open Season choices.

Friday - 12/07/2012, 12:08pm EST

Your health plan and the Nixon curse

Did you ever hear of the Nixon curse? Are you sick of having people push you to shop around for a health insurance plan? If so, rejoice, because Monday is the deadline for picking your 2013 health plan. After that, you won't have all those confusing options to kick around anymore for a long time, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Friday - 12/07/2012, 02:00am EST

FEHBP open season part 2

Insurance expert Walton Francis will answer your questions and emails about federal benefits.
December 5, 2012

Wednesday - 12/05/2012, 08:08pm EST
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Health premiums: It pays to go postal

The health-insurance hunting season ends next Monday. When shopping around, this is a case where it pays to go postal if you can, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Wednesday - 12/05/2012, 02:00am EST

Insurance options to consider as Open Season draws to a close

Benefits consultant Walton Francis offers top tips for federal employees considering a new health plan. Open Season runs from Nov. 12 to Dec. 10.

Monday - 12/03/2012, 03:17pm EST
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Reality check: Shop or drop this Open Season

For most federal workers and retirees going over the fiscal cliff in January isn't the problem du jour. If you or a family member gets really sick, or has a serious accident in the new year that is reality, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says. That, rightly so, will be your No. 1 problem. And whether you come out of it alive and kicking or financially strapped could depend on what you do between now and next Monday.

Monday - 12/03/2012, 02:00am EST

Changes coming in 2013 to flexible spending accounts

As federal employees weigh health plan options during Open Season, federal benefits consultant Ed Zurndorfer advises feds not overlook flexible spending accounts.

Friday - 11/30/2012, 03:13pm EST
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Playing catch-up with health insurance

Long before there was the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, there was the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, which actually became a model for the new health-care law, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Thursday - 11/29/2012, 02:00am EST

FEHBP open season

Walton Francis, author of the Consumer's Checkbook Guide to Federal Health Plans, will provide tips on what to look for when choosing your health benefits.
November 28, 2012

Thursday - 11/29/2012, 12:08am EST
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The end is near, seriously!

Not to put a damper on things but you have less than two weeks to pick your health plan and less than a month until the end of the world. We can help you big time with the first deadline, but when it comes to the Mayan calendar warnings, you are on your own, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Wednesday - 11/28/2012, 02:00am EST

Jimmy Choo at Payless Shoes?

Wouldn't it be great if you could get Jimmy Choo shoes or Savile Row suits at Payless Shoes or Wal-Mart? The hitch is you can't, and it's a reality federal workers and retirees need to consider when picking their 2013 health plan, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Tuesday - 11/27/2012, 02:00am EST

Two's a couple, three's a family!

Whether your family consists of just a husband or you have 18 dependents, a family is a family as far as Uncle Sam is concerned. And that ticks off couples who resent paying the same health premiums as those charged a large family, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says. Is that right?

Monday - 11/26/2012, 02:00am EST

Your other health plan option - failure

In inspirational movies, a heroic general often says things like, "failure is not an option." And that's silly, of course, because failure is always an option and that's especially true for millions of current and former federal workers - some of whom are sleepwalking their way through the health insurance hunting season, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Wednesday - 11/21/2012, 02:00am EST
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