Registered benefits consultant, Ed Zurndorfer told Federal News Radio pointers on what to think about, starting with deciding on what needs to be decided:
Switch to another plan? (If you want to staying in your current plan, do nothing.)
Focus on what you will be paying out of pocket, “period,” said Zurndorfer.
What are the deductibles for the plan?
What are the co-payments for the plan?
What does the plan cover?
What type of coverage do you really want? If you like something like an HMO, you have HMOs. If you’d rather go to a so-called fee for service plan, in which you have your choice of doctors where you want to go, it really would be helpful that the fee for service plan you’re choosing is what is called a preferred provider organization plan, a PPO, because they can save some money by going to doctors who are in the network. You’re only going to know if your doctor’s in the network by looking up the doctors…”
Each PPO plan, said Zurndorfer, has a listing of participating doctors, of all specialties, and hospitals in that network.
Premiums aren’t the only story, stressed Zurndorfer.
Get serious about enrolling in the Flexible Spending Accounts. You can only enroll during the open season. Even if you were in the program, you must re-enroll, said Zurndorfer.
Other things to be considered – Changes and enrollments must be made between now and Dec. 13th.
To hear the entire interview, including information about coverage coming for adult children, click on the audio play above. For more, see the Open Season Guide here on federalnewsradio.com.
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-10 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.