Reliving your selfie moment?

February 2016 will be selfie month for thousands of federal workers. Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says this is not a "smile and say cheese" event photo op. ...

Did you, like most people, do nothing during the just concluded health plan open enrollment period?

Did you zag when you should have zigged?

Did you think, seriously, about signing up for that new-fangled self-plus-one option, only to do nothing?

Do you wish you could push the reset button?

Well, for some of you, you can have a do-over.

The government will offer an LEP (Limited Enrollment Period) that will run from Feb. 1 to Feb. 29. Leap year will give you an extra day to enroll in one of the self-plus-one plans. You might save much, leaving your family plan for a selfie, but most people can save a few bucks in 2016. Here are some premium differences from the lowest premium plans to the highest:

  • Next year the self only plan of Kaiser standard will cost $1,400 in premiums. The self-plus-one plan premium will be $3,160 and the family premium next year will be $3,270. So you save about a hundred bucks by switching.
  • At the top end of the premium scale, the self only option for SAMBA high option premium will be $3,840. Its new self-plus-one option premium will be $7,870 and its family plan will cost you $8,960 in premiums. All the figures are your share. Remember the government pays on average about 72 percent of the TOTAL premium.
  • In the most popular plans, the Blue Cross basic self only plan will be $1,780 next year, and the BC standard self only premium will be $2,600. The basic family plan will be $4,270 while the standard family plan will be $6,390. The new self-plus-one option premium will be $$4,180 in the basic plan and $6,010 in the standard option. You do the math.

So is the February LEP for you? And if it is, is it open to you? Who can sign up for the self-plus-one option? Who can’t? Are rules different for workers than for retirees? Spoiler alert: Yes. If they want to switch to self-plus-one, active-duty workers MUST do it during the special enrollment period in February, or wait until the next open season. But retirees can switch anytime if they want to “downsize” as in go from family to self plus or family to self only coverage. Many are expected to do that during the February enrollment period, but according to NARFE’s David Snell they can make that change anytime.

In Wednesday’s Your Turn radio show, David Snell and I talked about the new enrollment period. He’s a veteran of OPM and currently serves as director of retirement benefits for the National Active and Retired Federal Employees. During the open season, NARFE made its special health benefits edition of its magazine available to nonmembers.

Snell answered lots of questions about the LEP and self-plu- one. He also discussed Medicare Part B, as in what is it, what does it cost, and what’s in it (or not) for federal and postal retirees. To listen to the program, anytime, or pass it on to a friend, click here.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Michael O’Connell

The first use of the word “selfie” is credited to an Australian man who took a drunk photo of himself in September 2003.

“Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped ofer [sic] and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps,” the man wrote in a post on the website of Australian public broadcaster ABC.

“I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.”

Source: The Telegraph

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