Let the health plan pay your premiums

Would you like your health plan to pay your premiums? If that is appealing, checkout some of the weird-sounding but solid HD (high deductible) and CD (consumer driven) plans that are open to all federal workers and retirees. Some of the plans provide enrollees with savings accounts that are larger than your actual annual premiums after taxes. Walton Francis, editor of Checkbook Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees, says that if medical costs are low...

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Would you like your health plan to pay your premiums? If that is appealing, checkout some of the weird-sounding but solid HD (high deductible) and CD (consumer driven) plans that are open to all federal workers and retirees. Some of the plans provide enrollees with savings accounts that are larger than your actual annual premiums after taxes. Walton Francis, editor of Checkbook Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees, says that if medical costs are low next year, “you can end the year with more money than you started if your medical costs are low.”

There are CD and HD plans offered by CareFirst, the NALC, APWU, GEHA Aetna and MHBP. Although sponsored by postal unions, the AWPU, NALC and MHBP are open to all federal workers and retirees. Francis said that those plans, many of the HMOs (health maintenance organizations), plus the Blue Cross basic plan, the Foreign Service high option and GEHA’s standard option plans can save a family $2,000 or more next year compared to the highest-cost national plans being offered during this benefits open season. Feds and retirees have until Dec. 14 (that’s a week from next Monday) to pick their 2016 health plan.

On most years, only a small percentage of people eligible to change plans (which is everybody in the program) actual move into a new plan. But that could change this year because of a new type of coverage being offered: The self-plus-one option.

Francis believes that most couples and single parents will check out the self-plus-one options that are available now for 2016 coverage.

The insurance expert was our guest on Wednesday’s Your Turn radio show. You can listen by clicking here. Immediately after the show, he and I had an extended online chat with some of the people who signed up. If you missed it, or want to review the questions and answers, you can click here.

Medicare Wrap Around: Many retired couples with Medicare Parts A and B are looking for a good wrap around plan that will provide them almost complete coverage. Francis said there is one plan “that could give you the same wrap around as other plans, where you pay nothing for hospital or medical, save over $2,000 next year in FEHBP premiums and also pay almost all your Part B premiums of over $2,000, for a total savings of over $4,000 compared to many other plans.” Spoiler alert: The plan in question is Aetna Direct . For details, listen to the show by clicking here.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Michael O’Connell

Though many point to more recent origins, the hokey pokey dance can be traced back to dances and lyrics from the 17th century.

Source: Wikipedia

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